Final four pairings getting ready to showdown

GAA: Mayo GAA Championships

Right place, right time: Neil Douglas was in the right place to get a vital goal for Castlebar Mitchels last Sunday afternoon. Photo: Sportsfile.

Right place, right time: Neil Douglas was in the right place to get a vital goal for Castlebar Mitchels last Sunday afternoon. Photo: Sportsfile.

After their wins last weekend at the quarter-final stages of the senior and intermediate championships, the eight teams left standing in the competitions now know when they will be back in action.

In the senior championship defending champions Ballintubber will take on Ballina Stephenites on Saturday, October 5 at 7.30pm in the MacHale Park, the following afternoon Ballaghaderreen and Castlebar Mitchels will do battle in the county grounds at 3pm.

The intermediate semi-finals will see Louisburgh face The Neale at 5pm on the undercard of the Ballintubber and Ballina clash, while the following day Ballyhaunis and Burrishoole will do battle at 1.30pm on the Sunday afternoon.

The relegation finals in both competitions will also take place next weekend with Hollymount-Carramore and Bohola Moy Davitts meeting with it all on the line on Sunday, October 6 at 12pm in Claremorris in the senior relegation final and at the same time it is all south Mayo clash in Cong when Ballinrobe and Shrule-Glencorib meet at the same time.

Senior pairings throw up interesting encounters

In the top competition both semi-finals will be intriguing encouters - Ballina Stephenites were the big winners dumping last year's beaten finalists Breaffy out of the competition after extra time. Enda Gilvarry's men had shown they were serious contenders in the group stages pushing Castlebar Mitchels all the way in round one only being pegged back at the death to a draw and following another draw with Aghamore, they dismantled Westport in the final round of the group games. After taking a six-point lead early in the second half against Breaffy, they were pegged back at the death to force the game into additional time - but showed great composure to run out five point winners with Simon Leonard getting his side's vital second goal.

Their opponents held their nerve after being given a stiff examination by Belmullet in Ballina last Saturday afternoon - they responded well from conceding a goal early to Ryan O'Donoghue, with Cillian O'Connor stepping up and kicking 1-6, while Jason Gibbons put in a big showing in the middle of the park as they booked a four-point win and progression to the semi-final.

Castlebar Mitchels were put to the pin of their collar by Knockmore on Sunday afternoon — the north Mayo men led by five points early in the second half, but Castlebar have been around the block one too many times to let that be the knockout blow. They held their composure and got the bit of luck they needed when Neil Douglas was on hand to toe-poke the ball home as they edged home by two points on a score of 1-12 to 0-13. Knockmore will feel they could have won this one, but Mitchels' greater experience saw them home.

Ballaghaderreen, maybe the dark horses for this title, showed they are not to be trifled with with a comprehensive dismantling of Davitts in their last eight clash. Andy Moran showed all his qualities kicking 1-5 in a commanding display, while Cian Hanley chipped in with 1-2 and his early goal setting up the way the rest of the contest played out over the hour.


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