Mayo dip their toes back into championship action

Camogie: Nancy Murray Cup

Mayo camogie captain Helen O'Malley (third from left) at the launch of the Nancy Murray Cup in Croke Park, alongside: Amy Campbell (Donegal), Jade Byrne (Wicklow), Camogie president Hilda Breslin, Laura Barker (Tyrone) and Grainne Mackin (Louth). Photo: INPHO/James Crombie.

Mayo camogie captain Helen O'Malley (third from left) at the launch of the Nancy Murray Cup in Croke Park, alongside: Amy Campbell (Donegal), Jade Byrne (Wicklow), Camogie president Hilda Breslin, Laura Barker (Tyrone) and Grainne Mackin (Louth). Photo: INPHO/James Crombie.

After almost a decade outside of championship action, a Mayo Camogie senior team will get a championship Summer up and running this weekend.

Jimmy Lyons' side will open their campaign against Donegal in the Nancy Murray cup, where six teams are competing in two groups of three. Mayo have been placed in group alongside Donegal and fellow Ulster side Tyrone, with the top two sides in each group progressing to the semi-final stages of the competition. The other group consists of Louth, Monaghan and Wicklow.

Mayo made their first foray back into senior camogie earlier this year taking part in the National Camogie League for the first time in a long number of years, where they surprised many by their performances, having not competed at adult level for a long time, by making it out of the group stages and into the semi-finals of the league, thanks to wins over Kildare and Louth. They ended up being beaten by Cavan in the semi-final, but put in a very good showing against a more experienced Breffni outfit. The Ulster side went on to claim the league title, beating Roscommon in the final comfortably.

Mayo's opponents this weekend did not take part in the league this year and their scheduled clash with Monaghan in the Ulster Junior Camogie Championship last weekend was postponed, so judging their form will not be easy for Mayo heading into this one.

Speaking to the Mayo Advertiser ahead of the game, Mayo manager Jimmy Lyons said his side were looking forward to the clash: "We took a couple of weeks off after the league, because it was a very intense lead up to it. We started the team up from scratch and getting everybody to gel together and prepare for games, so we took a break for two weeks and then got back into it again three weeks ago. We are ready to step out onto the pitch again"

"Going into the league we didn't know what to expect in one sense, but we figured if we could be competitive then maybe we if we win one game that would be good progress. But we ended up winning two games and getting to the league semi-final, where we played a good Cavan side and we put in a decent performance for the vast majority of the game. We also saw the areas we needed to make more progress on - they are a level above us in the championship, it was a good test for us and we came out of it with a very positive frame of mind.

U16 come up short in All Ireland final

The Mayo u16 camogie team were in action in the All Ireland u16D final last weekend in Kingspan Breffni Park in Cavan, where they took on Wicklow for All Ireland honours. Unfortunately for the Mayo girls they came up short against the Leinster outfit who ran out 3-13 to 0-3 winners - after a big second half showing. The Garden County were 0-9 to 0-2 in front at the half-time whistle with Geri-Maye Henry and Laura Flanagan getting the points for Mayo, a trio of goals from Wicklow killed off their chances in the second half with Molly Tunney getting Mayo's final point of the day. While a disappointing end to the season for them, it was one of great progress where they beat Donegal, Cavan and Louth on their way to making the final.

 

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