It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks for Davitts, a fortnight ago they hung on against Burrishoole to claim their first Mayo Intermediate title in 30 years in McHale Park. They managed to curb the celebrations enough last weekend to beat Kiltimagh by 1-16 to 1-7 to secure promotion to Division 1A of the senior football league for next season, and if Breaffy fail to beat Bohola Moy Davitts on Saturday night they can add the Division 1B championship to the top table for the dinner dance.
But all eyes will be focused now on Páirc Seán MacDiarmada in Carrick on Shannon on Sunday at 2pm when they take on Leitrim Intermediate champions Melvin Gaels in the semi-final of the Connacht Intermediate Championship. The Leitrim champions will be no push over at this grade, as they showed by bouncing straight back up from the media grade after being relegated from senior football in 2010.
The Melvin Gaels challenge to the south Mayo border men will be led by Leitrim star Emlyn Mulligan who has proved himself to be a more than capable attacker for the inter-county side in the last number of years. Davitts’ Colm Boyle who has had an outstanding season in the number six shirt for his side will probably be the man tasked with putting the shackles on Mulligan. Melvin Gaels picked up their county title thanks to a win over Gortleeteragh in Ballinamore at the end of September and followed that back up with a win over Sligo champions Collaney/Mullinabreena a couple of weeks ago to book their semi-final spot. While they were pushed all the way in the Leitrim final, they comfortably accounted for the Sligo champions on a scoreline of 2-21 to 0-7 with the goals coming from Mulligan and Peter McGowan. The Gaels have also gone through division one of the Leitrim senior league unbeaten this season, only dropping points in a draw with Glencar-Manorhamilton.
Davitts though will not be fearing the Leitrim men, they have shown a new found maturity this year in their play, which has been exemplified by no-one more than captain Michael Conroy. He has been the go to man this year for the men in black and red. In the county final against Burrishoole he kicked a vital score to steady the ship midway through the second half as Burrishoole began to eat into the big first half lead they had built up. But it is not all about Conroy, the midfield pairing of Paul Carey and Ronan McNamara have been in very good form. This year for the side McNamara’s place kicking in particular has been excellent, no more so than in the Mayo final at the death to push his side over the line. David McDonnagh will also bring a lot of experience to the half forward line for his side, along with the aforementioned Boyle in the half back line. Sunday’s game offers Pete Warren’s men a chance to further extend their year and have a crack at a Connacht title, and from there on in who knows?