Everyone expected that it would be Leitrim that came visiting to McHale Park on Sunday, June 24 in the Connacht semi-final. But it was only by the skin of their teeth that they got out of London with the win. The annual trip to Ruislip is becoming a tricker and tricker encounter as Mayo can attest to following last year’s extra time battle and it was something very similar last Sunday when a late Leitrim surge saw them go home 0-12 to 1-8 winners.
Not long after the conclusion of that game in London, Mayo were put through their paces in a senior challenge game against Westmeath to mark the opening of the new pitch in Ballaghaderreen. James Horan gave his team a minor shake up with the likes of Shane McHale, Ronan McGarrity and Jason Doherty given the chance to start. McGarrity started the game in midfield alongside Barry Moran in the middle of the park in the first half. Doherty who was a goal scoring machine in the 2011 league campaign, found some of his old net busting form by scoring three goals in the 5-10 to 0-10 rout of the midlanders. Other squad players to stake a claim for a place in the starting 15 for the Leitrim game were the likes of Michael Forde, Danny Kirby, Enda Varley and Chris Barrett who all made appearances from the bench.
Junior championship got underway last weekend
Following the first round of the club championships at senior and intermediate level last weekend, the majority of clubs got back to action in the Mayo senior football leagues. There was one game left over in the intermediate championship last weekend and it was the host Swinford who came out on top in their clash with Kiltimagh on a score of 2-8 to 0-12 with Conor Horan and Colm Dempsey getting the goals.
There was also action in the first round of the junior championship with Kilmovee Shamrocks and Louisburgh picking up win group one over Balla and Kilmeena. In group two there were wins for Ballina Stephenites, Kilfian and Ardnaree. In group three The Neale, Ballaghaderreen and Moygownagh all picked up two points, while in group four there were wins for Crossmolina, Lahardane and Claremorris and Shrule Glencorrib drew.
Mitchels keep up top spot in league
Castlebar Mitchels kept up their 100 per cent record at the top of Division 1A of the Breaffy House with a 2-7 to 0-9 win over Shrule-Glencorrib last weekend. They are joined at the top of the table by Ballina Stephenites who won a low scoring battle against Charlestown in James Stephens Park. The trio of Knockmore, Westport and Ballintubber are locked together behind the top with three wins from four while Ballinrobe are behind them with a 50 per cent return from their four games. Crossmolina, Ballaghaderreen and Shrule are all next in line with Davitts and Breaffy propping up the table with out a win from their first four games. In Division 1B Claremorris are out in front with seven points from their first four games, behind them are the trio of Burrishoole, Aghamore and Swinford who all have five points with Tourmakeady, Hollymount-Carramore and Ballyhaunis next in line on four points each. There is a full round of fixtures down across all divisions this weekend an the fixtures can be found on page 46.