Coastal battle to claim the Sweeney Cup

GAA: Mayo GAA IFC Final

Getting out of the intermediate championship is one of the toughest things to do - just ask Burrishoole or Belmullet, who will be face-to-face on Saturday evening, with that prize up for grabs.

Both sides have been waiting a long time to bring the Sweeney Cup home with them, for the men from the Barony of Erris that wait stretches back to 1974, while the McGovern Park men are not waiting as long, with their last title coming in 1992 - but after losing three finals on the trot in recent times, the wait probably feels as long.

In their semi-final, Belmullet backed up their group stage win over Kiltimagh, by seeing off the same side in the final four - with super sub Cathal Barrett bagging 2-1 for Damien Mulligan's men; while Burrishoole were impressive in their win over The Neale, with the centre-half-back grabbing 1-1 to see them to victory over the south Mayo men a fortnight ago.

Burrishoole have Colm McManamon back on the sideline again this time and the Mayo legend has crafted a side full of physical strength and attacking guile. With Mayo man Jason Doherty their leading man in attack, he finished up the semi-final with seven points - while Alan Ryder chipped in with three points over the hour. At the back Paraic Holmes will man the goal, having played outfield in those lost finals in recent times, with veteran Liam O'Malley, John Sammon and Darragh Drum all solid defenders.

In the middle of the park captain Paraic McManamon and Adrian McManamon will have to be on top of their game and the likes of Fintan McManamon, Colin Guifoyle and Aaron McDermott will have to be on their game in support of the aforementioned Doherty and Ryder.

Belmullet will miss the influential Jason Boylan from the middle of the park after he picked up an injury in the semi-final and will be hoping that Shane Nallen will have overcome the injury that forced him off in that win.

At the back, the teak tough Chris Barrett and his Mayo team-mate Eoin O'Doghue, will be looked to, to mind the shop in front of Scott Kilker in goal, while Michael, Colin and Ciaran Barrett can be counted on to stick manfully to their tasks.

Up front team captain Ryan O'Donoghue, Jason Donoghue, James Kelly, Ciaran Conway and Gerry Barrett will have to be on top of their games if the cup is to head north on Saturday night.

This one promises to be a real battle right to the end and neither side is going to want to see their long wait extended any longer than necessary.


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