There are still five places up for grabs in the quarter-finals of the Mayo GAA Senior Football Championship this weekend as the final round of group games takes place.
The three sides already into the last eight before this weekend are north Mayo duo Ballina Stephenites and Knockmore who have already qualified from group three and Ballaghaderren who have booked their spot out of group one.
Group four was dubbed the 'Group of Death' when the draw was made and it has lived up to that billing, with all four teams still in with a shout of making the last four heading into this weekend. Currently Westport sit top of the table with three points from two games, Breaffy and Castlebar Mitchels are on two points and Charlestown have one point to their name.
On Saturday evening both final games in the group will throw in simultaneously at 7pm, with Westport and Castlebar tussling in Breaffy and Charlestown taking on Breaffy in Claremorris. A draw will do for Westport in their game against Castlebar, but they will be looking to lay down another serious marker of intent when they face the county town men - eliminating Castlebar from the competition would be a serious achievement if they win this one. In the other game it really is as simple as winner takes all, Breaffy's win over Castlebar last time out was massive for them after going down to Westport in round one. The east Mayo men's draw with Westport in round two was a huge result and they will fancy their chances of pulling off a big win on Saturday evening and if Paul Towey can keep up his good form - they won't be far off.
In group one Ballaghaderreen are already through and they will take on The Neale who are looking to join them in the last eight. The south Mayo men were held by Belmullet in round two having beaten Garrymore in round one and another draw will do them this time out. Currently they have a +11 point scoring difference advantage over Belmullet who can overtake them if they get a win and Ballagh' see off The Neale and the scoring difference swings in their favour. But it's not that Garrymore haven't plenty to play for themselves - while they can't make the last eight if they beat Belmullet they'll avoid the relegation play-offs. The south Mayo men have only lost their two games so far by a point each and will be favoured to pick up the win they need this weekend.
Theoretically it's all to play for in group two, but in reality it is almost impossible to see anything but both Ballintubber and Aghamore go through to the last eight. The defending county champions had a huge win over Bohola Moy Davitts on the road in round two and they will expect to pick up a second win on the bounce when they take on Davitts in Ballinrobe this weekend. Aghamore held Ballintubber to a draw in round one and while they were pushed for a long time by Davitts last time out, they ran out comfortable enough winners and will be expecting to pick up their second win against Bohola Moy Davitts this time around.
So it really all comes down to who will finish at the foot of the table and goes into the relegation play-off. At the moment the points difference favours Davitts who have -6 in their column, while Bohola Moy Davitts are on -18. The east Mayo men will need a 12 point swing in their favour if results go as expected if they are to avoid finishing in bottom spot.
The two old big beasts from north Mayo - Ballina Stephenties and Knockmore - have already booked their places in the last eight - they will face off this weekend to see who will get the seeded spot in the quarter-final and also lay down a serious marker of their intentions for the year ahead, against one of the other sides who will be looking to challenge for the title. It might not have progression to the last eight on the line, but their meeting should be a serious encounter.
The other game in the group is all about survival when Kiltane and Claremorris meet in Knockmore on Sunday afternoon. Claremorris have a ten point advantage on scoring difference so a draw will do them to stay out of the basement battle when this weekend is done - but they won't be thinking about that and both sides will be going all guns to win this one. There'll be no quarter given by either side and it should be a close fought championship thriller.
Mayo GAA Senior Football Championship Round Three
Ballaghaderreen v The Neale; Sunday, August 23 at 4pm in Davitts. Verdict:Ballagh'
Garrymore v Belmullet; Sunday, August 23 at 4pm in Ballina; Verdict:Garrymore
Bohola Moy Davitts v Aghamore; Saturday, August 22 at 7pm in Ballaghaderren; Verdict:Aghamore
Davitts v Ballintubber; Saturday, August 22 at 7pm in Ballinrobe; Verdict:Ballintubber
Ballina Stephenites v Knockmore; Saturday, August 22 at 7pm in Crossmolina; Verdict: Ballina Stephenites
Kiltane v Claremorris ; Sunday, August 23 at 2pm in Knockmore; Verdict: Kiltane
Westport v Castlebar Mitchels; Saturday, August 22 at 7pm in Breaffy; Verdict: Castlebar Mitchels
Breaffy v Charlestown; Saturday, August 22 at 7pm in Claremorris; Verdict: Breaffy