Mayo championship draw has focused clubs’ attention

Rising star: Jason Doherty jumps to claim the ball against Galway last weekend, the Burrishoole man scored 2-1 for Mayo on his debut against the Tribesmen. Photo: Sportsfile

Rising star: Jason Doherty jumps to claim the ball against Galway last weekend, the Burrishoole man scored 2-1 for Mayo on his debut against the Tribesmen. Photo: Sportsfile

The draw for the Mayo Club Championship last Monday night has the 16 clubs in the senior and intermediate championships along with those in both the Junior A and B championships plotting and planning for the summer ahead. At Monday night’s draw it was also announced that Midfield based catering company Trenalaur Catering would be the official sponsor of the Mayo senior championship for the coming year, with Westport based courier company Jim Hogan Couriers sponsoring the Mayo senior hurling championship.

The first team out of the bingo machine which was used for the draw on Monday night were the defending senior champions, Ballintubber, who were pitted in section one of the championship along with Westport, Garrymore, and Crossmolina. In section two last year’s semi-finalist Knockmore will be joined by Breaffy who made the last eight in 2011, along with Kiltaine who will be renewing old rivalries with Breaffy who they have met in four of the last five years in the championship, and Ballinrobe will make up the fourth team in the group. In the third group in the senior championship, last year’s beaten finalists Castlebar Mitchels will be in the mix with the winners of the competition in 2008 and 2009, Ballaghaderreen and Charlestown respectively, with Aghamore the other team in the group of death. The final group in the senior championship, last year’s intermediate champions, Tourmakeady will face off against Claremorris who will be looking to make a breakthrough after two poor years, fellow south Mayo men Shrule Glencorrib and Ballina Stephenites.

In the intermediate championship last year’s beaten finalists Burrishoole, who will go into the competition as favourites, will be in section one of the competition, the three sides they will meet are Kilmaine, Swinford, and Bonniconlon. In section two, Davitts, Hollymount, Killala, and Kiltimagh will go head to head over the group stages, while in the third group the four sides looking to get one of the two spots in the last eight are Cill Chomain, Mayo Gaels Kilmeena, and Hollymount. The final group contains last year’s relegated side from the top tier competition, Moy Davitts alongside Achill, Ballyhaunis, and last year’s junior champions Parke. The senior and intermediate championships have been pencilled in to throw in over the weekend of June 12 and 13.

The draw was also made on Monday night for the Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta which will take place this weekend and is being hosted by Kiltaine GAA club. The senior championship draw sees Tourmakeady play Kiltaine in the first semi-final, with Achill playing Cill Chomain in the other. The junior championship will just be one game in the final between Ballycastle and Belmullet.

Dublin game to be moved to Friday night?

At last night’s meeting of the Mayo County Board, the topic of the meeting of Mayo and Dublin in the National Football League was down for discussion. Reports emerged this week that Dublin wanted to change the game from Sunday March 20 for which it had been originally fixed to Friday March 18 for an evening throw in. The following day, provided Mayo overcome Roscommon in their preliminary round game in the Connacht u21 championship, Mayo would also be in action in the semi-final of the Connacht championship. The preliminary round of the Connacht u21 championship between Mayo and Roscommon will be played on Saturday week in McHale Park at 2.30pm. This will be Ray Dempsey’s second year in charge of the u21s after he stepped up to the job following a successful stint in charge of the minor side which saw them reach the All Ireland final two years in a row. Last year Mayo were knocked out of the competition by Roscommon in Hyde Park by the slimmest of margins.

Ladies look to get a win under their belts

The Mayo senior ladies team will be looking to pick up their first win of the season as they try to pull themselves out of relegation trouble. Mayo suffered their third defeat of the season last weekend when they were beaten by 10 points by Cork in a rescheduled first round game. The defeat to Cork on the back of earlier losses to Monaghan and Laois has Mayo rooted to the bottom of the table with zero points and a points difference of minus 30.

This Sunday Mayo will host southern neighbours Galway in the Davitts GAA ground in Balindine in what will be a borderline battle. The Tribeswomen come into the game on two point from three games. They have lost only once so far in the league at the hands of Donegal on the opening day, and since then have managed to draw with both Kildare and Tyrone. After Sunday Mayo will have only three games left against Donegal, Kildare, and Tyrone to try to retain their status in division one of the league for next season. But having already faced two of the top three sides in the table a win on Sunday would set them up nicely for a crack at moving up the table.

Michael Walsh leagues throw in next weekend

The first round of club action proper will get under way on the Mayo GAA scene next weekend with the start of the Michael Walsh senior and intermediate leagues. The 32 teams in both the senior and intermediate championships will get their seasons under way outside the divisional competitions that have been run off over the past few weeks. Both the senior and intermediate competitions are split into two groups, with eight teams in each group.


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