Battle to make the break into the final showdown

GAA: Mayo Intermediate Football Championship

Eyes on it: Oisin Mullin will be looking to lead Kilmaine to the intermediate final this weekend. Photo: Sportsfile.

Eyes on it: Oisin Mullin will be looking to lead Kilmaine to the intermediate final this weekend. Photo: Sportsfile.

The final four left standing in the intermediate football championship will leave it all on the field this weekend, with a spot in the final up for grabs.

The action throws in on Saturday afternoon at 2.30pm when Mayo Gaels and Kilmaine do battle in a south Mayo derby in Flanagan Park in Ballinrobe.

Last year's junior champions, Kilmaine, have acclimatised brilliantly to the middle tier of football in the county, but that isn't much of a surprise as they were knocking at the door to make it out of the junior grade for the past number of years.

They've carried the pep in their step into this year's intermediate championship and looked ready to take on all comers, but on Saturday they'll be facing a Mayo Gaels side who themselves have been looking to break through their own glass ceiling and escape this level of football to make it to the top level of the club game.

Kilmaine, of course, pack the punching power of Oisin Mullin, who will be the star attraction on Saturday, but he will be ably supported by the likes of Matt Keady, Adam Barrett, Jarlath Mullin and Michael Hession from midfield up; while at the back, Frank Burke and David Hughes will be looked at to keep things tight and keep the door closed on the Mayo Gaels' attack.

The Mayo Abbey based side under the guidance of James Fallon have been one of the most impressive club teams this year, breezing their way through the group stages and their quarter-final a fortnight ago. John Gallagher has been in flying form in attack for the Gaels alongside the likes of Adam Gallagher, while others such as Ethan Henry, Fintan Cavan, Tommie Keane and Jack Fallon will be looked to for big games for their side. The Gaels will have the 'favourites' tag and they should have just enough to make their way to the final.

On Sunday lunch-time in the shadow of the stand at MacHale Park, Louisburgh and Ballyhaunis will do battle in the other semi-final. The Seasiders have been flying all year, gaining promotion in the league and laying down a marker in championship so far. Ronan O'Grady's side have come through some tough examinations and looked the part to date. Oisin Lally in attack alongside James Gibbons and Sean Keane, can have a big influence, while Padraig Prendergast, Alfie Morrison and Ben Cox will need to have big showings.

The east Mayo men have gritted their way through to this stage of the competition and come into it battle-hardened and having to pick themselves up after an early defeat in the group stages. Paul Jordan is over the side and he's got the experience of the likes of Keith Higgins to call on, along with other serious operators at this level, such as Jack Coyne, Jason Coyne and Jarlath Carney.

Ballyhaunis have had to learn as they went this year so far and will be ready to put everything on the line on Sunday in this one, but it might just be a bridge too far for them - but it promises to be a close and enthralling encounter.

At the other end of the spectrum in the competition is the meeting of Swinford and Lahardane in Bonniconlon in the relegation final, on Sunday at 2pm. Both sides have lost all four of their championship games to date - but Swinford will feel they were unfortunate to have not got a result in their three group games, having never been beaten by that much, and it might just be enough to see them hold on to their Intermediate status for the second year in a row, after they have found themselves in the relegation final.

 

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