At the end of last weekend’s league relegation play-off, Westport would have been relieved to have overcome Crossmolina and ensured their survival in division 1A for another year, while the defeated side knew that they had one last chance this weekend to stay up against Ballinrobe. However both last weekend’s game and the one which was fixed for this weekend were rendered null and void of any consequences following Monday night’s county board meeting. At the meeting the delegates passed a new league structure for 2012, meaning that all three sides who were involved in those play-offs were safe in the top flight for another season.
The new structures see a the top three flights consist of 12 teams, with 10 teams in both divisions 1D and 1E, and the bottom two divisions to be formally finalised when teams commit to entering B sides in the new year.
The restructure has seen 19 teams moved up a division for next year, with only the bottom teams in each of this year’s divisions dropping down a tier. Breaffy and Davitts will move up to Division 1A, with Burrishoole going in the opposite direction. Three teams have come up from Division 1C to 1B, Aghamore, Ballyhaunis and Swinford, with Parke going the other way. In Division 1C five teams have been promoted to this league, Ardnaree, Killala, Kilmeena, Mayo Gaels and Lahardane, while Achill drop down to 1D. Achill will be joined in 1D by five sides coming up from Division 1E; those teams are Lackan, Castlebar B, Ballycastle, Charlestown B and Moy Davitts B. The fifth league tier of Mayo football (Division 1E ) will have four new members next year with Breaffy B, Balla, Westport B and Ballaghaderreen B moving up, and Ballina B dropping back from Division 1D. The last two tiers have eight and six teams respectively, but that could change depending on the number of clubs that have B teams in these divisions who decide to enter it in the new year.
Next year will see a change to the rules for the league, with clubs having to name 15 players for their first team and, unlike previous years where it was up to the clubs to name whatever registered players they wanted to, they now have to name at least 12 of those who started their last championship game for their first team in those 15 nominated players.