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GAA: Mayo GAA Junior Championship Final

The one thing everyone expected before this year's junior championship threw-in was that, come the business end of the season, Kilmaine would be there battling it out for the title.

The south Mayo men have held up that end of the bargain and are back in the final tomorrow evening looking to finally make their way out of the junior grade, after a number of near misses in recent times.

Going into the final last year - the South Mayo men were everyone's favourites to win the game, but a slow start and an impressive showing from Castlebar Mitchels B saw them fall at the final hurdle, leaving them to have to prepare for another year in the junior ranks.

The changes in the championship structures this year has seen no B teams allowed to take part in the competition, so the chances of coming up against a well stacked and equipped second team from one of the senior clubs is gone and Kilmaine have made it back to the final again.

Standing in their way tomorrow evening is a team that will feel they could have and probably should have knocked them out of last year's competition at the semi-final stage. Kilmeena looked to have done the hard work when these two met in Breaffy last year and were leading the game well before the South Mayo men reeled them in over the closing stages, to emerge one-point winners.

Both sides have made it to the final this year and by common consensus, they are the best two sides at this grade and a cracking final is lying in wait tomorrow evening, when the Pete McDonnell Cup will be handed out to the eventual winners.

Kilmaine have one of the best young players in the county in Oisin Mullin who is playing in the middle of the park and they have other young stars like Adam Barrett, who will be looking to take the game by the scruff of the neck from the get-go. They also have plenty of experienced veterans like former Mayo men Pat Kelly and Brian Maloney to call on as they look to get over the line.

Kilmeena, while the underdogs, are a serious outfit themselves - ace attacker Jack Carney has been been getting rave reviews for his performances, no more so than in their semi-final win over Shrule-Glenncorrib; while others likes Keith Joyce, Niall Feehan, Darragh Keaveney and John McGlynn are all capable of putting in big showings and having a big say in where the outcome of this final will fall.

Kilmaine are the favourites and they showed their resilience last year by shaking off the disappointment of losing last year's final to go on and win a Connacht Junior Championship crown - but they are facing a side that will pose a number of serious questions and won't give in without looking for answers to those questions.

Verdict: Kilmaine

Mayo GAA Junior Football Championship Final

Kilmaine v Kilmeena

Saturday, September 19 at 5pm

In MacHale Park


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