Still lots to play for in final round

GAA:Mayo GAA Senior Football Championship

Looking for a last eight spot: Colm Moran and his Westport team-mates will be looking to book a place in the quarter-finals of the Mayo GAA Senior Football Championship. Photo: Sportsfile

Looking for a last eight spot: Colm Moran and his Westport team-mates will be looking to book a place in the quarter-finals of the Mayo GAA Senior Football Championship. Photo: Sportsfile

A few things are known already before the final round of group games in the Mayo Senior Football Championship - Breaffy, Ballintubber, Belmullet and Ballaghaderreen are all in the last eight already and Bohola Moy Davitts are in the relegation play-offs. For the other 11 sides in the competition there is still all to play for, with four spots in the quarter-finals still to be filled and three in the relegation play-offs to be sorted out.

In group one, Breaffy are through to the last eight as group winners - no matter what happens this weekend - thanks to their two wins in the opening two rounds. Their opponents on Saturday, Bohola Moy Davitts, also know their fate is a spot in the relegation play-offs no matter what they do tomorrow evening, having lost both of their two games to date.

The other game in the group is where all the attention will be focused, when Kiltane and Davitts meet at 6pm in the county grounds in Castlebar. Both sides heading into the game know that a win will send them into the last eight, while defeat will see their championship season come to an end. Davitts also have the cushion of knowing that a draw will do them, as they have the superior points difference after two rounds. Davitts surprised many - including this writer in the previous round - seeing off Moy Davitts 2-12 to 0-9 to set up this shot at a spot in the last eight. Kiltane went down by ten points to Breaffy a fortnight ago - but more damaging to their chances will be the loss of Tony Gaughan, who suffered a double leg break in that defeat. This should be a tough and tense encounter and one to keep an eye on over the weekend.

Group Two is where all the excitement lies this weekend, with all four sides having plenty to play for. At the minute Castlebar Mitchels top the group with three points from their two games, Ballina Stephenites and Aghamore are right behind them on two points - with both sides drawing their first two games - and in fourth place, but still well in with a shout of making the last eight, is Westport on one point.

On Saturday afternoon Castlebar Mitchels will take on Aghamore in Claremorris at 4.30pm and at the same time, Ballina and Westport will be squaring off in MacHale Park. While Aghamore have held both Ballina and Westport to draws so far - the Mitchels will probably be a step too far for them this time around. If they do lose to Castlebar, the margin of that defeat could be very important if results go one way in the other game. With Castlebar favoured to win their game - both Ballina and Westport would be confident that whoever wins this game will be looking forward to a spot in the last eight. If Westport lose, they know they will be facing into the relegation play-offs - but the same fate could await Ballina if they lose by more to Westport, than potentially Aghamore lose to Castlebar, with both sides being level on two points each in the table and on a scoring difference of 0. This is the group to be watching on Saturday afternoon for sure.

In group three the defending champions, Ballintubber, are through to the quarter finals, no matter what happens this weekend, thanks to their wins over Hollymount-Carramore in round one and Knockmore in round two. On Saturday they will make the trip to Ballinrobe to take on Garrymore - where the south Mayo men must pick up a win if they are to have any chance of making the last eight, while a defeat would leave them sweating the result in the other game to make sure they don't end up in the relegation play-off. The other game in the group sees second placed Knockmore face Hollymount-Carramore in Charlestown at 4pm, the north Mayo men look well set to make the last eight if they do as expected and see off the south Mayo men. But there is still plenty to play for - for Hollymount-Carramore a win would see them leap-frog Knockmore in the table and if Ballintubber, as expected, beat Garrymore, they'd make the last eight. However, a defeat would see them more than likely end up in the relegation play-off, even if Garrymore lose, as they have a -12 scoring difference compared to Garry's -4 and the draw between those two sides, meaning the head-to-head result will not come into play.

The final group in the senior championship is a far clearer picture, with both Ballaghaderreen and Belmullet already through to the last eight - progression to the knock-out stages at the first time of asking by the north Mayo men represents great progress for last year's intermediate champions. The two sides already through to the quarter-finals will meet on Sunday in Ballina, with the prize of top spot and a seeded quarter-final their reward. The other game in the group is where it is all to play for, both Claremorris and Charlestown have lost their opening two rounds of games and the loser of their clash in Aghamore on Sunday lunchtime will be consigned to the relegation play-offs. Both sides have not been that far away from the two teams who are going into the next round in their games in the previous rounds - the east Mayo men have the better scoring difference and know that a draw will see them safe, while it is win or bust for Claremorris.

Group One

Bohola Moy Davitts v Breaffy

Saturday, September 7 at 6pm in Charlestown

Kiltane v Davitts

Saturday, September 7 at 6pm in MacHale Park

Group Two

Ballina Stephenites v Westport

Saturday, September 7 at 4.30pm in MacHale Park

Castlebar Mitchels v Aghamore

Saturday, September 7 at 4.30pm in Claremorris

Group Three

Garrymore v Ballintubber

Saturday, September 7 at 4pm in Ballinrobe

Knockmore v Charlestown

Saturday, September 7 at 4pm in Charlestown

Group Four

Claremorris v Charlestown

Sunday, September 8 at 1.30pm in Aghamore

Ballaghaderreen v Belmullet

Sunday, September 8 at 3pm in Ballina.


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