Old rivalries to be rekindled in league semi-final

Captain’s charge: Fiona McHale will be looking to lead her side into the league final against Monaghan on Sunday.

Captain’s charge: Fiona McHale will be looking to lead her side into the league final against Monaghan on Sunday.

Mayo will face a familiar foe on Sunday when they renew their acquaintance with Monaghan in the Tesco Homegrown National Football League division one semi-final. The girls from the Farney county are going into the game with a 100 per cent record from their seven league games so far this season, which includes a win over Mayo back in March in Aughnamullen where they came out 1-15 to 2-6 winners in a re-fixed game from earlier in the spring.

Mayo for their part booked their place in the semi-final of the league thanks to four wins from their seven games. Their final game in the group stages of the league saw them travel to Dublin for a winner takes all clash with the Jackies. Mayo came home from Naomh Mernog in Portmarnock with a 1-10 to 0-8 win to go with their wins over Meath, Laois, and Donegal over the months of February and March.

It has been a successful first few months in charge for Peter Clarke who is the latest person to take over the manager’s position with the side, and a successful return to division one for Mayo who came back up to the top table of league football after a year down in division two last term. Clarke is still able to call on the experienced spine of Yvonne Byrne, Martha Carter, Claire Egan, Fiona McHale, and Cora Staunton to anchor his side’s challenge, while playerd like Kathryn Sullivan, Leona Ryder, Noelle Tierney, and Aileen Gilroy have established themselves as another layer of experienced inter-county players over the past few years.

Mayo will be hoping to overcome this season’s league defeat and last year’s championship meeting between the sides where Monaghan came out on top of a high scoring encounter on a scoreline of 4-15 to 2-14. Sunday’s game will throw in at 2pm in Ballinamore, with a place against either Cork or Laois up for grabs in the league final.

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