The club scene in Mayo will take a backwards step this weekend with the Michael Walsh league rolling around for a round of fixtures. After a hectic few weeks of both inter county and club championship fixtures the Michael Walsh league will bring respite for a number of players and offer club managers a chance to run the rule over some of their fringe players.
Last weekend’s round of championship action, saw favourites for the title Crossmolina fail to win for the second round of games in a row after they had to come from behind at the break and rely on a Gabriel Walsh equaliser to steal a draw against Claremorris. Ballintubber moved to the top of that particular group thanks to a 1-11 to 0-6 win over Garrymore where Padraic O’Connor was the star man scoring 1-5 for his side.
Ballintubber now sit on top of their group by a point and have to face Claremorris in their last game. In section two of the senior championship, Castlebar Mitchels made it two out of two with a comprehensive 3-16 to 0-4 demolition of Moy Davitts in Foxford. Peter Ford’s side were marked out as contenders for the title in their 125th year early on and haven’t disappointed yet. Veteran corner forward Kevin Filan kicked seven points for the Mitchels on the day.
In the other game in the group Shurle Glencorrib kicked off their opening day blues against the Mitchels to give Aghamore a clipping in south Mayo. Conor Mortimer kicked 1-7 of his side’s 1-17 with Aghamore only able to muster seven points in reply. In section three, tempers boiled over in Breaffy when an all-in brawl broke out with a few minutes to go — both Aidan O’Shea and Tom Parsons were the men to be shown the line, when in fact there could have been half a dozen from each side sent for early showers. Charlestown held on to see off Breaffy by a point on a scoreline of 1-8 to 1-7. In the other game in the group Westport survived a tough challenge from West Mayo to come away with the points in a 0-12 to 1-7 win that leaves them level on top of the group with Charlestown. They have though played a game more than both Charlestown and Breaffy who are snapping at their heels in third place, while West Mayo who are level on points with Breaffy have also played three games in this five team group, with Kiltane routed to the bottom with no wins from two.
In section three the big surprise is that 2008 county champions Ballaghaderreen have been eliminated from contention of making the last eight and will more than likely end up in a play off to avoid dropping down to the intermediate grade. The east Mayo men were beaten for the second time in the competition by Ballina at the weekend with Pat Harte the main man scoring 0-4 in a game that ended up 2-4 to 0-8 in favour of the north Mayo men. In the other game Ballinrobe and Knockmore made sure it stayed tight at the top when both sides played out a 1-4 to 0-7 draw in Flanagan Park. It leaves both sides tied at the top, with Knockmore looking to have the easier task of facing an already eliminated Ballaghaderreen in the final round, while Ballinrobe will have a winner takes it all clash against Ballina.
In the intermediate championship, Burrishoole kept up their impressive form this year with a 1-14 to 1-3 win over Swinford, while last year’s beaten finalists Tourmakeady also made it two out of two thanks to a 0-14 to 1-6 win over Cill Chomain. In section one of the grade, it’s all very tight at the top with Belmullet and Kiltimagh tied on three points and Bonniconlon just a point further back. It’s a similar story in section four with Kilmaine and Davitts tied at the top on three points each, while Killala and Achill each have a point before the final round of games.