Final four go to the post for final spots

GAA: Mayo Intermediate Football Championship Semi-Final

Back in the final four: Paul Kelly and his Kiltimagh team are looking to make it back to the Mayo GAA intermediate championship final. Photo: Memories thru a lens

Back in the final four: Paul Kelly and his Kiltimagh team are looking to make it back to the Mayo GAA intermediate championship final. Photo: Memories thru a lens

And then there were four - after last weekend's quarter finals of the Mayo Intermediate Football Championship, just four teams were left in the race for the title.

Balla, Hollymount-Carramore, Ballinrobe and Kiltimagh are the four sides left in contention for the title, with the semi-finals taking place this weekend in MacHale Park. The first semi-final on Saturday evening will see many people's favourites - Hollymount-Carramore - face off against Kiltimagh, with Balla and Ballinrobe going toe-to-toe in the second semi-final on Sunday afternoon.

Kiltimagh look to stop Holly-Carra return

Hollymount-Carramore v Kiltimagh

Saturday, September 5 at 5.30pm in MacHale Park

So far this season Hollymount-Carramore have been able to answer any question posed to them with relative ease. They blitzed their way through the group stages kicking 7-41 in three games and they backed that up with another 4-13 on the scoreboard last weekend against Bonniconlon - that's an amazing haul of 11-54 over four games. But things should be a lot more difficult for them on Saturday evening when they take on Kiltimagh in MacHale Park.

The east Mayo men sprang a bit of a surprise when they had four points to spare over Crossmolina Deel Rovers last Sunday, but it really shouldn't have been, as the men from Gilmartin Park have been knocking at the door to get out of the intermediate grade for a number of years now.

The south Mayo men will be looking to Darren Coen to continue leading the line up front in as impressive a style as he has to date this year, while he has plenty of quality support from the likes of Stephen Coen, Kevin Costello, Damien Kelly and Nathan Moran to drive them on to the final.

But they will be facing the toughest test they've had to face into so far this year when they run headlong into a battle-hardened and hungry Kiltimagh outfit. Ger McNicholas will be looking for the likes of Eoghan Lavin, Sean Walsh, Donovan Cosgrove and Cillian Finn to keep his side moving forward and they won't be found wanting for effort. But the south Mayo men may have just too much firepower to edge over the line.

Verdict: Hollymount-Carramore

South and west clash in a battle of the B's

Balla v Ballinrobe

Sunday, September 6 at 2pm in MacHale Park

This is another one that's very hard to call, the west Mayo men were lying in wait for their near neighbours Mayo Gaels last weekend and showed that they were the big guns in that local derby. Ger Butler's side have been making big strides since making it out of junior two years ago and will fancy their chances of making it to the intermediate final this term and having a real crack at going for the title.

They have a good spine of players, who, having tasted success in 2018, know what is needed to win championship games and they will be looking to the likes of Mattie and Ger Flanagan, Conor Walsh, Barry Duffy and Ger Holian to lead the way again in the white heat of championship.

Ballinrobe have bounced back brilliantly this year after being involved in the relegation dog-fight last term. They are under the guidance of the experienced hand of Pete Warren who has forgotten as much about football as many of us will have ever known and he has brought them right back into contention. They topped their group with three wins from three and last weekend were pushed hard by Ardnaree - but showed the composure that had been a bit lacking in recent years to get the win there.

The south Mayo men have plenty of quality in the shape of Evan O'Brien, Kevin Quinn, Aaron McDonnell, Eoin Gilraine and Darren McDonnell who will all need to hit the high notes come Sunday.

This one will go down to the wire and don't be surprised if extra time is needed - but the westerners may just pip it, but only just.

Verdict: Balla

 

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