Minors look to see off the Dubs and book semi-final spot

GAA: All Ireland Minor Football Championship Quarter Final

Eyes forward: Frank Irwin will be a key attacking threat for Mayo tomorrow. Photo: Sportsfile

Eyes forward: Frank Irwin will be a key attacking threat for Mayo tomorrow. Photo: Sportsfile

The Mayo seniors are feeling the pinch of having played seven championship games to date - but their minor counterparts will also reach that total of championship games played tomorrow afternoon when they take on Dublin in the All Ireland Minor Football Championship quarter-final in Longford.

It has been a championship to remember for Tom Morley's charges already - having played six games in the Connacht championship, losing twice on the bounce against Sligo and Galway in the round robin stage before regrouping and beating the Yeats County men in the semi-final and then the Tribesmen, in a dramatic Connacht final to claim the title.

Having lost two games in a row in the Connacht championship and being the first team to complete their four regulation games in the round-robin series - Mayo were in a strange position of having to keep training and wait around for a week to see were they still going to be in the competition the following week. Thankfully for them Sligo did manage to overcome Roscommon after the Rossies' had built up a big lead early on.

Tomorrow they will face a Dublin side who were beaten by Kildare in the Leinster final - after overcoming Wicklow and Westmeath to reach the provincial decider. The eastern final was as dramatic as the one in Connacht with extra-time needed to separate the sides at the end, with Kildare running out 2-21 to 1-19 winners. The Dub's main marksman that day was Fionn Murray, who kicked ten points over the game, while Luke Swan chipped in with 1-1 and Ryan O'Dwyer kicking four points and Luke Curran bagging two majors in the game.

Mayo's Connacht final win over Galway was one of the games of the year with just a single point separating the sides at the end of a pulsating encounter that went all the way to the end of extra time, before the outcome was finally decided. Ethan Henry kicked six points for Mayo, three of them coming from frees and one from a 45 - while Frank Irwin helped himself to 1-2, his goal coming from the penalty spot.

The scoring duty was well spread out with Rory Morrin, Dylan Thornton and Ciaran Mylett all kicking two points each during the game. The quality of this Mayo side has been well road-tested already - but they will more than likely still be without Sam Callinan - with a foot injury - and will hope that Alfie Morrison is able to make it back into contention after picking up a hamstring injury in the Connacht semi-final.

Luke Jennings has shown himself to be an able goalkeeper, while Aidan Cosgrove and Oisin Tunney make up part of a hard working full-back line - in front of Ruairi Keane, marshalling the centre-half-back position, while in the middle third of the field, Paddy Heneghan and Ethan Henry will have to be on top of their game. One place where they will be confident of hurting Dublin is in attack - where Irwin, Paul Walsh, Ronan Hughes and Ciaran Mylett have all put in big showings in the championship this summer.


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