Mayo hurling champions Tooreen will be back in action this weekend when they take on Roscommon winners, Four Roads, in Athleague in the quarter-final of the Connacht Intermediate Hurling Championship.
The east Mayo outfit collected a hat-trick of titles and placed 30th overall a fortnight ago when they saw off a stern examination by Castlebar Mitchels by two points in MacHale Park, on a scoreline of 0-18 to 1-13.
Tooreen have enjoyed a good run in the Connacht championship over the last couple of years, winning the title in 2018 and pushing Oranmore Marree from Galway all the way in last year's final, going down narrowly to a side who went on to win the All Ireland title earlier this year.
While they will be pleased to have claimed the Mayo title once again, Tooreen know they will have to up their game if they are to see off the challenge of the men from Four Roads. Their opponents claimed their first Roscommon Senior Hurling Championship since 2015, seeing off the recent kingpins, Athleague, 1-19 to 1-8 earlier this month - having lost the previous three finals on the bounce.
James Cunniffe got their final victory off and running with a goal two minutes in - but their score-getter in chief on the day was wing forward Cathal Dolan, who hit nine points over the hour, six of them coming from dead balls - while Padraig Kelly hit five points from play and Noel Fallon chipped in with two points from play - both of whom were nominated for the Christy Ring Champions 15 this week (All Stars for the second tier of hurling championship ).
Tooreen also picked up a Champions 15 nomination with their top scorer in the county final, Shane Boland, who hit seven points in the Mayo decider, getting nominated for his performances for Mayo in the Nicky Rackard Cup. Boland's accuracy from placed balls was key to Tooreen's win in the Mayo final, landing five of his seven scores from frees and they will be hoping he can replicate that this weekend.
The east Mayo men will be looking for the likes of Boland, Kenny Feeney, Seán Regan, David Kenny, Michael Morley, Conor English and Fergal Boland all to hit the high notes in Athleague to get over the challenge that Four Roads will put in front of them. The sides last met in this competition six years ago when Tooreen ran out 0-16 to 2-9 winners, with Stephen Coyne who captains Tooreen, hitting the winning score in that game back in 2013.