Mayo picked up four football All Stars in the team that was announced yesterday morning. Alan Dillon claimed his second All Star to go with the one he won in 2006 when he was named at centre half forward on the team. The half of the back six was made up by Mayo players with Ger Cafferkey getting the nod at full back following an outstanding year by the Ballina Stephenites man. Keith Higgins was picked outside him in the corner back slot after the Ballyhaunis man had another brilliant year in the green and red. Lee Keegan was the fourth Mayo man to pick up an All Star. It has been some two years for the Westport man who only made his championship debut last year, and only made himself a first team regular this year.
No splitting either side in junior decider
The fare served up last Sunday in the drawn encounter will not have done much to encourage the neutral to part with their hard earned euros for tomorrow’s replay. But both The Neale and Ardnaree have much more to offer and tomorrow’s replay will give both sides a second chance to put their best foot forward and bring the Pete McDonnell cup home with them.
If you had told someone beforehand, that a side could go a whole 60 minutes in a county final and not score from play and still not lose the game, you would have surely been greeted with an incredulous look from that person. But that was what happened in last Sunday’s drawn encounter as The Neale’s total of 1-5 all came from placed balls, with Seán Cosgrove kicking all five points for the south Mayo side and substuite Niall Walsh applying a sublime finish to penalty after a stuttering run up to throw off Blaine Ginty in the Ardnaree goal.
Both sides know that they will have to do much better when they reconvene tomorrow at 4pm, but last weekend’s game did feature one of the finest goals to grace the county ground. With Kevin Newell’s thunderbolt effort flying past Keith Hennelly midway through the first half, The Neale custodian had previously pulled off a fine save to deny the same player. Ardnaree had a couple of goal chances throughout the hour which they failed to take and which cost them in the end. Both sides were guilty of some terrible shooting, but when the south Mayo outfit worked themselves into a two point lead with a little over five minutes left on the clock, it looked like it would be their day for the first time in the history of the club. But the north Mayo men dug deep in injury time, with man of the match Michael Walsh driving them on from the back and late late scores from Darragh McCormack earning his side a second chance.
Throw in for tomorrow’s replay will be at 4pm in McHale Park.
Buckley comes on board
Mayo manager James Horan has announced former Kerry coach and Clare joint manager, Donie Buckley, as his replacement for the recently departed Cian O’Neill. The highly regarded Kerry native also had a three year spell coaching Limerick under Mickey Ned O’Sullivan. Buckley most recently was involved with Jack O’Connor’s Kerry side in 2011, but declined to join up with the managment team earlier this year.
Ladies’ day on Sunday
It is provincial final day in the Tesco Connacht Club Championships and Mayo will be represented in both the senior and intermediate finals. In the senior final which is down for decision in Tuam Stadium at 3pm, Carnacon will be looking to add to their list of honours when they take on Roscommon champions, St Brigid’s from Kiltoom. In their semi-final a fortnight ago, Carnacon were forced to work hard to see off the challenge of Galway champions Corofin by a score of 1-11 to 2-6 in Tuam Stadium. Last year Carnacon saw off the same opposition, before going on to win the All Ireland title.
Closer to home in the intermediate final, Hollymount will take on Kilkerrin/Clonberne in the intermediate final in McHale Park, Castlebar, at 3pm.
Moy Davitts have Dublin date for celebrity decider
Bohola Moy Davitts will be looking to claim an All Ireland title of their own this evening when they look to claim the RTE Celebrity Banisteoir title. The Foxford based outfit who have been under the guidance of Calum Best in this year’s competition will take on Newtowncashel from Longford in the final of the competition, which will take place this evening in Parnell Park, Dublin, at 7.30pm. Moy Davitts have beaten Clontarf and Tullow to get this far and a large crowd is excepted to travel up to this evening’s game in the Dublin county ground, the final will then be aired on Sunday in the final episode to this year’s season on RTÉ One.
Final spots in u21 championships down for decision tonight
If Celebrity Banisteoir is not your thing, also down for decision tonight is a place in the final of both the u21A and u21B football finals. Both of the A semi-finals will form a double header in McHale Park with Castlebar Mitchels and Claremorris getting things under way at 6.30pm under the lights. The second semi-final will see Ballintubber and Hollymount-Carramore go toe to toe then at 8pm. In the B semi-finals both of which throw in at 8pm, Crossmolina will take on Kiltane in Moygownagh and Shrule-Glencorrib will face Ballaghaderreen in Aghamore.