Mayo ladies finally get back to what they do best

The Mayo ladies’ senior football team are back in the sports pages of the local media this week, and this time it is for all the right reasons. The controversy that consumed the ladies’ senior team over the past few months has been parked for now and it is all about the football once again.

Mayo will be going into Monday’s game against Kerry cold and their season could end in Banagher a little before 4pm with just one game played in the championship. The person entrusted with trying to negotiate a longer summer of football is Fr Michael Murphy, who took up the manager’s job a few weeks ago. Fr Murphy has had success with both St Joseph’s, Castlebar, and Mount St Michael, Claremorris, guiding the schools to All Ireland success over the past number of years. But this will probably be his hardest challenge to date. Speaking to the Mayo Advertiser this week, Fr Murphy said: “So far we’ve had two week to do a year’s work, so it’s far from ideal but it’s what we have. We’ve had a few good sessions in the past fortnight, and we had a challenge game against Longford on Tuesday night, it was a good work out for the girls, they were saying that it was March since they last played together.”

Getting some game time in the side before Monday’s meeting with the Kingdom was something that had to be done as a lot of the panel have never played together before, he explained. “It was a good run out and we got to give everyone some game time coming into Monday’s game. We’ve got a panel sorted now and are looking forward to Monday. We have lost a number of girls, when the whole incident happened about eight or nine of them headed off for the summer and other changed plans to go on holidays and such, so we’ve had to bring in a number of new players up from the ranks.”

In the national league, Mayo made the long trip to Listowel and came home with the points winning 2-13 to 0-15. But a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then in the ladies’ game in the county since then. “Kerry ran Cork to five points in the Munster semi-final so they can’t be bad,” Fr Murphy said. “They’re a big strong team who have a lot of good players. It’s going to be tough on Monday, we are under no illusions about that, but we’re going to go out and give our all.”

As for his future past the end of this season’s championship, Fr Murphy does not know if he will be staying on with the side, even though he would like to, as he told the Mayo Advertiser. “I’m here till the end of this championship season at least, I was asked to come in a do the job and I had no hesitation in doing so. They are a brilliant bunch of girls to work for, I have no complaints about that. As for the future, that’s a decision that the county board will have to make, but at the moment I’d like to, but we have to take it one week at a time and see how it goes.”

All Ireland Qualifier,

Mayo v Kerry

Banagher, Co Offaly,

Monday, August 2

Throw in at 2.30pm

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