Old rivals set to clash the ash once more

GAA: Mayo Senior Hurling Championship Final

Old rivals to face off again: Tooreen and Ballyhaunis will meet in the Mayo Senior Hurling Championship again on Sunday. Photo: Tooreen GAA

Old rivals to face off again: Tooreen and Ballyhaunis will meet in the Mayo Senior Hurling Championship again on Sunday. Photo: Tooreen GAA

What now appears to be an annual meeting of Tooreen and Ballyhaunis in the Mayo Senior Hurling Championship final - will have its latest outing on Sunday - when the two east Mayo rivals square off in Ballyhaunis at 3pm.

The Blue Devils from Tooreen are the defending champions, having seen off their opponents on Sunday in style last year, on a scoreline of 2-10 to 0-6 at home.

But this year the team will have to make the short trip to their opponents' back yard, as they look to make it back-to-back titles. After last year's championship win Tooreen went on to create history, by becoming the first Mayo side to claim the Connacht Intermediate Hurling Championship title, before bowing out at the All Ireland final stage.

In this year's championship the two finalists have already faced off in the group stages of the competition, with Ballyhaunis winning out on the day by two points, after a tough encounter in Tooreen on a score of 1-16 to 1-14 - and by virtue of that win, they topped the group and progressed directly to the final.

Tooreen on the other hand had to make their way past a tricky Castlebar Mitchels side in the semi-final, where they were tested for long periods, before running out 2-26 to 4-13 winners to set up Sunday's encounter.

The defending champions will be looking to the likes of Fergal Boland, Brian Morley, Stephen Coyne, Shane Boland, Shane Morley and Stephen Leneghan to lead the charge for them on Sunday; while for Ballyhaunis, as usual, Keith Higgins will be looked to for leadership on the field, along with Eoghan Collins, Donal O'Brien, Stephen Hoban and Brian Hunt.

These fixtures are usually tight and hard fought encounters - expect this Sunday's clash to be no different.

Both sides know if they come out of this one - they also have a great chance of having a serious crack at provincial honours - following Tooreen's breaking of the glass ceiling last season in the Connacht championship.

Throw in is at 3pm in Ballyhaunis, with Charile Collins the man in the middle.

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