Eyes now firmly focused for clubs following championship draws

GAA: Mayo Club Championships

Chasing the champions: The draws were made for the Mayo GAA senior, intermediate and junior championships this week. Can Kevin McLoughlin and Knockmore defend the title they won last year? Photo: Sportsfile.

Chasing the champions: The draws were made for the Mayo GAA senior, intermediate and junior championships this week. Can Kevin McLoughlin and Knockmore defend the title they won last year? Photo: Sportsfile.

The eyes of club footballers across the county are firmly focused on their opponents in the Mayo GAA championships following the draws for the group stages of the senior, intermediate and junior championships this week.

The draws have, as always, thrown up a number of mouthwatering groups, no more than in the senior championship where group three has pitted three sides who would have serious designs on claiming the Moclair Cup, namely, Castlebar Mitchels, Westport, Ballaghaderreen and a Balla side who will be looking to make a serious dent in their first year back up as a senior side following their intermediate championship win last year.

The defending champions, Knockmore, have been drawn in group two, alongside Charlestown, Aghamore and Belmullet, and they will be favoured to come out as one of the two last eight qualifiers, with the three other teams all feeling they can make it out of the group.

In group one, Ballintubber, who won two of the last three county titles and were beaten by Knockmore at the quarter-final stage last term, have been pitted alongside Ballina Stephenites who reached the semi-final last year alongside Claremorris and Davitts. This group has the added edge with a number of managers facing off against teams they have previously managed, with Enda Gilvarry, who was in charge of Ballina for the last few season, now over Ballintubber, and Niall Heffernan, who has replaced him in the north Mayo side, having previously managed Claremorris.

The final group in the senior championship has last year's beaten senior finalists, Breaffy, in a group, alongside Kiltane, Garrymore and The Neale, who made a serious impression on the senior grade last year, having won the intermediate title the previous year.

In the intermediate championship almost every club will feel that they can follow in the footsteps of Balla last year. Last year's beaten finalists, Kiltimagh, are in a tough group three, alongside last year's junior winners, Kilmaine, along with Louisburgh and Ardnaree. Bohola Moy Davitts who were relegated from senior football last term, are in group one, alongside Parke-Keelogues-Crimlin and Swinford and Bonniconlon, who had an impressive run in last year's championship.

The only B team in the three championship grades, Castlebar Mitchels, will be facing off against an improving Ballinrobe, and a Crossmolina Deal Rovers club who are looking to get back to the top grade after a few years in the middle tier and Ballyhaunis.

The final group in the intermediate grade features a Hollymount-Carramore side, who will be amongst the favourites to win the competition; Mayo Gaels, who were pipped by Balla in the knock-out stages last year, and a Burrishoole team looking to get back up and going after a poor championship season last year and Lahardane McHales, who are looking to continue the progress they have made over the past number of years.

The junior championship is now in its second year with only junior clubs and no B teams competing and is a 15-team competition, with three groups of four and one group of three. The three-team group is group four and will feature Islandeady, who were relegated from intermediate championship football last year, alongside Killala and Ballycroy.

Last year's beaten finalists, Kilmeena, will be tipped by many to make the breakthrough this year and they have been drawn in group one alongside Tourmakeady, Kilfian and Armagh. Group two has pitted together Kilmovee Shamrocks, Lacken, Achill and Cill Chomain, and group three has Shrule-Glencorrib, who will be looking to push on and try and move back up the ranks, alongside Moygownagh, Eastern Gaels and Ballycastle.

Connacht Gold Senior Football Championship

Group One: Ballintubber, Ballina Stephenites, Claremorris, Davitts.

Round 1: Ballintubber v Ballina, Claremorris v Davitts; Round 2: Ballina v Claremorris, Davitts v Ballintubber; Round 3: Ballintubber v Claremorris, Ballina v Davitts.

Group Two: Knockmore, Aghamore, Charlestown, Belmullet.

Round 1: Knockmore v Aghamore, Charlestown v Belmullet; Round 2: Aghamore v Charlestown, Belmullet v Knockmore; Round 3: Knockmore v Charlestown, Aghamore v Belmullet.

Group Three: Balla, Castlebar Mitchels, Westport, Belmullet.

Round 1: Balla v Castlebar, Westport v Ballaghaderreen; Round 2: Castlebar v Westport, Ballaghadeeren v Balla; Round 3: Balla v Westport, Castlebar v Ballaghaderreen.

Group Four: Garrymore, Kiltane, Breaffy, The Neale

Round 1: Garrymore v Kiltane, Breaffy v The Neale, Round 2: Kiltane v Breaffy, The Neale v Garrymore, Round 3: Garrymore v Breaffy, Kiltaine v The Neale

Egan Jewellers Intermediate Football Championship

Group One: Parke Keelogues Crimilin, Bonniconlon, Swinford, Bohol Moy Davitts.

Round 1: Parke KC v Bonniconlon, Swinford v Moy Davitts; Round 2: Moy Davitts v Parke, Bonniconlon v Swinford; Round 3: Parke KC v Swinford, Bonniconlon v Moy Davitts

Group Two: Mayo Gaels, Hollymount-Carramore, Lahardane, Burrishoole.

Round 1: Mayo Gaels v Hollymount-Carramore, Lahardane v Burrishoole; Round 2: Burrishoole v Mayo Gaels, Hollymount-Carramore v Lahardane; Round 3: Mayo Gaels v Lahardane, Hollymount-Carramore v Burrishoole.

Group Three: Ardnaree, Louisburgh, Kilmaine, Kiltimagh.

Round 1: Ardnaree v Louisburgh, Kilmaine v Kiltimagh; Round 2: Kiltimagh v Ardnaree, Louisburgh v Kilmaine; Round 3: Ardnaree v Kilmaine, Louisburgh v Kiltimagh

Group Four: Ballyhaunis, Crossmolina Deal Rovers, Castlebar Mitchels B, Ballinrobe.

Round 1: Ballyhaunis v Crossmolina, Castlebar B v Ballinrobe; Round 2: Ballinrobe v Ballyhaunis, Crossmolina v Castlebar B; Round 3: Ballyhaunis v Castlebar B, Crossmolina v Ballinrobe

TF Royal Exclusive Junior Football Championship

Group One: Ardagh, Kilfian, Kilmeena, Tourmakeady.

Round 1: Ardagh v Kilfian, Kilmeena v Tourmakeady; Round 2: Kilfian v Kilmeena, Tourmakeady v Ardagh; Round 3: Ardagh v Kilmeena, Kilfian v Tourmakeady

Group Two: Cill Chomain, Achill, Lacken, Kilmovee Shamrocks.

Round 1: Cill Chomain v Achill, Lacken v Kilmovee; Round 2: Achill v Lacken, Kilmovee v Cill Chomain; Round 3: Cill Chomain v Lacken, Achill v Kilmovee

Group Three: Ballycastle, Eastern Gaels, Moygownagh, Shrule-Glencorrib.

Round 1: Ballycastle v Eastern Gaels, Moygownagh v Shrule-Glencorrib; Round 2: Eastern Gaels v Moygownagh, Shrule-Glencorrib v Ballycastle; Round 3: Ballycastle v Moygownagh, Eastern Gaels v Shurle-Glencorrib.

Group Four: Killala, Islandeady, Ballycroy.

Round 1: Killala v Islandeady, Round 2: Ballycroy v Killala, Round 3: Islandeady v Ballycroy

*First named teams have home fixtures in round one and two, round three games played at neutral venues; except in group four of junior championship where first named teams have home advantage in all rounds.


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