So with seven of the eight quarter finalists already known, the last place in the knock out stages of the Royal Theatre senior football championship will be known by Saturday night when Breaffy host West Mayo in the final group game of the competition.
Last weekend Ballintubber, Castlebar Mitchels, Charlestown and Knockmore all booked their places in the last eight by topping their groups. While top spot guarantees you a game against one of the runners-up from the round robin stages, with both Crossmolina Deel Rovers and Ballina Stephenites among the second placed teams there are some mouthwatering quarter final prospects in store. Both the Deel Rovers and the Stephenites were in devastating form last weekend, crushing south Mayo sides Garrymore and Ballinrobe respectively. John Maughan’s and John Healy’s sides had slow burning starts to their championship campaigns but seem to have come into form at the right time.
In the last eight, Crossmolina Deel Rovers won’t fear any of the three possible sides that they can be drawn against and will pose a stiff test for any of the trio of Castlebar Mitchels, Knockmore, or Charlestown. The Stephenites themselves will have no fear of facing Charlestown, Castlebar Mitchels or Ballintubber for a place in the last four. Shrule Glencorrib were the other side to book their place in the last eight of the senior championship when section two concluded last Saturday night. The south Mayo border club were runners-up in their section to Castlebar Mitchels following a comprehensive 1-12 to 0-6 win over Bohola Moy Davitts in Foxford.
The final place in the last eight will be decided when Breaffy and West Mayo go head to head in Breaffy on Saturday at 7pm. Last Sunday Jim O’Shea’s men came through a tough examination in Bangor Erris to see off Kiltaine by six points on a score of 1-12 to 0-9. That victory put Breaffy’s destiny in their own hands, a win or draw or even a narrow defeat will see them follow Charlestown into the last eight for the second time in three years. Having the game at home will be a massive boost to Breaffy, having previously being stripped of home advantage following the brawl that marred their game with Charlestown in the third round. West Mayo were not in action last weekend, but have been impressive enough for an amalgamation of junior sides from Balla, Parke, Islandeady, and Louisburgh. In their first game they pushed Charlestown until the second half, then collected a win at home against Kiltaine before they went down to Westport in their last game. With players such as Simon Cloherty, Ollie Feeney, and Peter Collins all looking to show that they are capable of mixing it with the big boys, Breaffy won’t be taking their opponents this weekend lightly.
Section three will see its penultimate game this evening (August 13 ) at 7.30pm, when Charlestown host Kiltaine. The east Mayo men have already booked their place in the last eight and even a defeat can’t stop them from finishing top of the group. After three successive defeats Kiltaine find themselves locked into the relegation play-off battle to avoid the drop. Joining them there are Claremorris (semi-finalists in 2008 ), Ballaghaderreen (champions in 2008 ), and Bohola Moy Davitts.
Big battle ahead for intermediate title
In the intermediate championship, Belmullet, Tourmakeady, Burrishoole, and Davitts all topped their groups in the league stages, with Kiltimagh, Cill Chomain, Ballyhaunis, and Kilmaine joining them in the last eight. Both Burrishoole and Tourmakeady finished with maximum points from their three games, while Davitts and Belmullet also went through their groups undefeated. Ballyhaunis were probably the luckiest team to make it to the last eight, with points difference sending them through from a three-way tie for second place. The relegation play-off for the intermediate grade will feature the pointless duo of Crossmolina B and Mayo Gaels, along with Kilmeena and Killala.
U21 championships down to the semi finalists
Castlebar Mitchels progressed to the last four of the u21A football championship thanks to a crushing win over local rivals Breaffy on Tuesday evening. The Mitchels were always in control in the clash, which was played in the nominal neutral venue of McHale Park. Breaffy did hit a number of bad wides in the first half, but Castlebar coasted to an easy 1-16 to 0-6 win. St Gerald’s booked their place in the last four thanks to a four-point win over Swinford in Claremorris; the south Mayo side came out on top by 1-11 to 1-7. Claremorris were far and away the most impressive winners on Tuesday night, the south Mayo side hammering Knockmore by 6-10 to 1-3 in Breaffy. The final quarter final in Mayo Abbey saw Ballintubber see off Aghamore by 1-12 to 0-8 to complete a very interesting final four. In the B championship Kiltimagh just about held off Kiltaine by 0-18 to 2-10, and despite scoring three goals Ballyhaunis still went down to Garrymore on a score of 2-20 to 3-10. Davitts saw off Belmullet by 4-15 to 2-7, while Ballinrobe were 1-14 to 2-8 winners over Ardnaree in Kiltimagh. The C championship saw quarter final wins for Ardmore, Bonniconlon, Islandeady, and The Neale.