Mayo given championship opener against Sligo

Tussling again: Kevin McLoughlin tries to shake off Sligo's Charlie Harrison in the last championship meeting between the sides which took place in 2017. Photo: Sportsfile.

Tussling again: Kevin McLoughlin tries to shake off Sligo's Charlie Harrison in the last championship meeting between the sides which took place in 2017. Photo: Sportsfile.

James Horan's Mayo senior side who got back to training earlier this week, have been handed a Connacht Senior Football Championship opener against Sligo, at the quarter-final stage, following this week's provincial championship draw.

The defending Connacht champions will then face off against Leitrim in the semi-finals of the competition, before a potential date against the winners of Roscommon and Galway for the Nestor Cup.

The Yeats County men will have plenty of inside knowledge on Mayo, with Tony McEntee, who was a selector under Stephen Rochford during his tenure in charge of Mayo, being the new Sligo manager.

The last time the teams met in the championship was back in 2017, when Mayo ran out 2-14 to 0-11 winners in MacHale Park at the quarter-final stage of the competition. Cillian O'Connor was the top scorer that day, bagging 1-6, with his brother Diarmuid getting the second Mayo goal.

When the sides take to the field it will be a much different looking Mayo side from that game, with David Clarke, Chris Barrett, Keith Higgins, Ger Cafferkey, Seamus O'Shea, Tom Parsons and Andy Moran, who all started the game, having departed from the inter-county scene in recent years and months.

The last time that Sligo recorded a championship win over Mayo came 11 years ago, when the Yeats County men surprised Mayo in Markievicz Park in the preliminary round of the Connacht championship, winning 0-15 to 1-8. Just one Mayo starter from that day is still involved in the senior inter-county side - Kevin McLoughlin, while Aidan O'Shea also made an appearance in that game off the bench.

 

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