While there are still two weeks left before May comes to an end, the action will throw in on home soil in the All Ireland football championship on Sunday in earnest. Roscommon will host Galway in the Hyde in the first of the big games in the province, but before that game throws in there is the small business of the Connacht junior final to be taken care of.
This final will have snuck up on a lot of people as it does most years, flying under the radar. But this year’s Connacht junior championship has proved to be a very low key affair. The withdrawal of Roscommon and Leitrim from the competition at a very late stage has left the future of the competition as a whole very much in the air, but on Sunday Mayo under the guidance of John Kelly will take on Galway in the curtain raiser to the Roscommon v Galway clash.
Mayo will be looking to claim their first Connacht title since 2007 when they picked up the title in a sun drenched Pearse Stadium in Salthill. Last year Mayo lost out in the final of this competition to Sligo in Charlestown, and it has been used as a springboard by the likes of Michael Conroy to re-establish himself among the senior team which he has done this year.
Kelly will have an experienced enough side to choose from with the likes of Liam O’Malley, Ronan McNamara, Colin Dempsey, Simon Cloherty, Colm Cafferkey to choose from.
Ladies back in the limelight
The Mayo ladies senior team last weekend put themselves back where they belong at the top table of ladies football following a comprehensive win over Galway in the ladies national league division two final. Cora Staunton was the star of the show once again, scoring 2-11 of her side’s 4-17 over the 60 minutes. The other Mayo goals came from Triona McNicholas and Fiona McHale. Under the guidance of Fr Mike Murphy, Mayo will be tailoring their preparation from now on to their Connacht Championship clash with the same opposition in July.
Hurlers bow out for the year
The Mayo hurlers’ year came to an end last weekend across the water when London eliminated them from the Christy Ring Cup by two points in Ruislip. The exiles’ 2-15 to 3-10 win over Murt Connolly’s side came after Mayo had blitzed into an early lead thanks to two quick goals, but the exiles were able to overtake Mayo and send them out of the competition for another year.
Five sides make it two out of two at the top of 1A
The second round of games in division 1A of the Mayo senior football league has seen five sides keep their 100 per cent record. Knockmore, Westport, Castlebar, Ballintubber, and Ballina all have won their opening two games. This evening the third round of action will get under way when Davitts host Castlebar at 7.30pm in Ballindine, while tomorrow evening the other 10 sides will be in action at 6pm. Shrule-Glenncorrib will host Crossmolina, Knockmore, and Westport will both be looking to make it three out of three when they meet, Charlestown will host defending champions Ballintubber. Breaffy who are looking for their first win will have a tough task when Ballina come calling, and Ballinrobe and Ballaghaderreen battle it out in the final game in the division.
In division 1B Aghamore, Hollymount-Carramore, and Swinford all have maximum points while Burrishoole and Claremorris have a possible three points from four. This evening Swinford will host Islandeady at Hollymount and Carramore will welcome Burrishoole in what looks like a very tasty encounter. On Saturday evening Tourmakeady will travel to Kiltimagh, Claremorris will host Ballyhaunis, and Aghamore will travel to Moy Davitts, all games throwing in at 6pm. The final game in the division will see Garrymore make the long journey to Kiltane on Sunday at 2pm.