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Whatever training sessions that Hollymount-Carramore put in over the next fortnight preparing for the Connacht Intermediate Football Championship Final against Moycullen, it’ll be nothing compared to the battle they came through on Sunday in MacHale Park.
There is a massive weekend of action for the Maigh Cuilinn hurling and football clubs this Saturday and Sunday, as both teams are in championship action in the space of twenty-four hours.
Sunday’s senior final between neighbours Breaffy and Castlebar is likely to be an enthralling affair and I cannot wait. It is bizarre that the junior, intermediate, and senior finals were/are all local derbies in 2015. There are some big hitters squaring up to each other on Sunday which will make it compelling viewing. Aidan O'Shea has bulldozed Breaffy and Mayo to victory in many games this year so of course the big talking point is what Castlebar will do to negate his effectiveness.
Since the last time that these two neighbours came together in the senior championship, Breaffy have won their two league meetings, a 2-13 to 0-7 win in 2014, and a 3-9 to 1-12 victory in the spring of this year. But it is the meeting before those two that was the last big one, with Mitchels claiming their 28th senior title on a rain soaked day back in 2013.
Encouraged by a battling display which earned a draw away to champions Dundalk, Tommy Dunne's Galway United travel to the Carlisle Grounds on Saturday (5.45pm) for another crucial clash with Bray Wanderers.
This one should be special, just as in the junior final that precedes it, the local rivalry between both sides will add something special to Sunday's intermediate final. Hollymount-Carramore and The Neale have crossed swords plenty of times down through the years, but never with this much at stake.
The All Ireland minor championship sponsors have been using the tagline "this is major" as part of their promotion of that grade in recent years and it could quite easily be applied to what is going to happen on Sunday when Ardnaree and Killala meet at 3pm in the Mayo junior final. This all north Mayo battle promises to be an encounter that will be one for the ages. Ardanree have been knocking at the door in the junior championship so hard over the past number of years there is no paint left on it at this stage, but they have just failed to make grade each time, losing finals in 2009, 2011, and 2012. You also have to go back as far as 1971 to find the last time they claimed the title.
ntinental Tyres WNL on Saturday when they grabbed a 2-1 victory on their third successive meeting with Peamount United in Dublin.
Manager Luke Dempsey hailed St Loman’s sterling first-half performance as they defeated Castledaly 1-15 to 0-8 to reclaim the Westmeath SFC title at Cusack Park on Sunday.
If Breaffy are going to claim their first ever senior county title, they are certainly going to earn it. After topping a group that included fellow semi-finalists Knockmore, they saw off arguably the fourth best team in the county in Garrymore in their quarter-final win. On Sunday they backed that up with a steamrolling of the defending county champions Ballintubber to set up a final on the bank holiday weekend against fellow local rivals Castlebar Mitchels. This will be a repeat of the 2013 final between the sides, with a few little angles thrown into the mix.