And then there were eight. After last weekend's final round of group games we now know the eight sides who will be battling it out to claim the Mayo Intermediate Football Championship.
The quarter-finals will take place on the weekend after next and the action will get underway on Saturday September 22 at 4pm in Claremorris, where The Neale will take on Parke-Keelogues-Crimlin. The south Mayo men topped their group after a massive win over Ardnaree last Saturday in McHale Park.
Facing them will be the west Mayo men who finished in second place in group four after a hard fought 1-14 to 1-10 win over Shrule-Glencorrib in Castlebar. Anthony Dunne's men trailed by four points at half-time, but they upped the work rate in the second half to run out four point winners.
The winners of this clash will square off in the semi-final against the victors from the clash between Burishoole and Ballinrobe, who will square off in Breaffy on Sunday September 23 at 1pm. Burrishoole had to do it the hard way last week, winning two games in four days to claim top spot in the group. They beat Islandeady, thanks to a late Jason Doherty goal on the Wednesday night, before they inflicted a eight point defeat on the previously unbeaten Swinford last Sunday, where once again Doherty shone, bagging 11 points.
Ballinrobe got over their loss to The Neale in round two to comprehensively beat Castlebar Mitchels B 2-15 to 0-9 on Saturday afternoon, with Kevin Quinn bagging 1-5 for the south Mayo men. Having been relegated from the senior championship last year, Ballinrobe will be looking to bounce back up to the top level as soon as possible.
The third quarter-final is the meeting of Belmullet, who topped group one thanks to their 1-14 to 2-8 win over Kiltimagh in Ballina and Swinford in Ballina on Sunday September 24 at 2.30pm. The north Mayo men will head into the last eight with pep in their step after their victory over many peoples favourites for the title, Kiltimagh last weekend. Swinford know they will need to seriously up their game from last weekend against Burrishoole in this one. The east Mayo men have been flying in the league this year, albeit in division four, where they have a 100 per cent record-and they will be keen to get back to winning ways.
Whoever comes out of that game will take on either Louisburgh or Kiltimagh whenever they sort out their own battle, which is down for decision in Islandeady at 3pm on Sunday September 23. Kiltimagh will be disappointed to have seen first place in their group slip through their fingers, when they were turned over by Belmullet. The seasiders have adapted well to the middle tier of championship football after getting promoted back up from the junior grade a few years ago and their two point win over last year's junior champions, Lahardane, will have them in good stead going into this one.
Intermediate Football Championship Draw
(1 ) Burrishoole v Ballinrobe
(2 ) Belmullet v Swinford
(3 ) The Neale v Parke-Keelogues-Crimlin
(4 ) Louisbiugh v Kiltimagh
(1 ) v (3 )
(2 ) v(4 )
Relegation Semi Finals
Bonniconlon v Castlebar Mitchels B
Shrule-Glencorrib v Mayo Gaels