The Mayo senior and intermediate football championships kicked into life this weekend, with most sides getting to grips with the white heat of championship fare for the first time this season. The big surprise of the weekend occurred on Saturday evening when Norman O'Brien's Ballinrobe destroyed Ballaghaderreen in Charlestown. The south Mayo men pulled off a 1-11 to 0-5 win over the 2008 county champions and restricted them to a solitary point in the second half, Kenneth O'Malley also saved a penalty from Andy Moran in the game.
Also on Saturday evening, Kiltaine more or less said good bye to their interest in reaching the knock out stages of the championship lossing their second game in the five team group going down surprisingly to West Mayo in Islandeady. The amalgamation of Parke, Balla, Islandeady and Louisburgh saw off the north Mayo men by 0-13 to -10, which really throws the cat amongst the pigions in section three. In the other game in that group, Breaffy came out of Westport with the points thanks to an injury time Aidan O'Shea free to give them a 0-11 to 1-7 win. O'Shea's point was the first time that Breaffy were in the lead over the course of the game, both sides engaged in a whole hearted encounter where Alan Durcan was the leading marksman for the victors, while Stephen Broderick was outstanding for Westport in the first half in the full forward line. Broderick was brought further out the field in the second half which saw his impact lessend, both Kevin Keane and Lee Keegan were both very good for Westport. For Breaffy, Aidan O'Shea kicked a number of good scores,while Rory Martyn put in a good shift alongside the likes of Finin Canavan and Seamus O'Shea.
Breaffy, Charlestown, Westport, West Mayo all have two points each, with both Breaffy and Charlestown having played a game less than the other sides in the group. In section one Ballintubber and Crossmolina saw a meeting of the master and the apprentice when John Maughan hosted James Horan's men in St Tiernach's Park. It was Horan's men who held the advantage at the break, but Crossmolina pulled the game level in the closing stages to leave the game level 0-9 to 1-6. Garrymore electrified the previous evening by routing south Mayo neighbors Claremorris by 2-9 to 0-4 in Garrymore. In the north Mayo derby the village saw off the town with Knockmore beating Ballina by 0-10 to 1-5 in Knockmore. The only game in section two of the competition this weekend saw Castlebar Mitchels host Shurle Glencorrib in Josie Munnelly Park in the shadow of the new stand at McHale Park and it was the hosts who came out on top by 0-10 to 0-7 in a petulant encounter which saw both sides reduced to 14 men early in the second half. Trevor Mortimer didn't start for the visitors due to a knock picked up in Mayo action against Sligo, but even his introduction in the final quarter couldn't save the day for the south Mayo men. Neil Douglas looked the most dangerous of all the Mayo contingent on display, both Barry Moran and Conor Mortimer missed guilt edged goal chances for their sides, while in the first half Mortimer dropped two balls into the keepers hands inside a one minute period. Peter Ford will be very happy with the fight shown by his side to dig in when things got tough in the second half, he also had to deal with the absence of Alan Feeney from full back due to a continuing injury. Alan's brother Richie slotted in to mark Conor Mortimer and rounded off the day with two points to his name, one from a 45' and the other a free from the same distance, which he had to take twice and landed over the bar both times.
In the intermediate championship, last years junior champions Kiltimagh came out of Belmullet with a draw after the game finished 1-11 to 2-8, the other game in that group saw Bonniconlon record a three point win over Mayo Geals to record at home. In section two last years beaten finalists Tourmakeady hammered Crossmolina B, but 4-11 to 0-10 to get the west Mayo Gaeltacht men off to a great championship start, while Cill Chomain took the points thanks to a two point win over Hollymount in south Mayo. It was a west Mayo double in section three with near neighbors Burrishoole and Kilmeena seeing off Ballyhaunis and Swinford respectively, while in section four Kilimaine and Davitts had more than enough for Achill and Killala.