There will not be an inch given in any of the eight games in the second round of the Mayo GAA Intermediate Football Championship this weekend, with a number of exciting battles in store over the two days of action.
In group one the teams which picked up wins in round one will meet in McGovern Park tomorrow evening at 7pm. Mayo Gaels, who will travel to Burrishoole on Saturday, only got their championship under way last weekend when they saw off Ballyhaunis by 2-12 to 0-13 in Ballyhaunis in a rearranged fixture. Adam Gallagher kicked six points from frees last weekend for the Gaels, while wing back Kevin Lynch found the back of the net twice. While they will be full of confidence going into the game after that win, Burrishoole will not be giving up anything easy, especially at home. They got their championship run off to a winning start against Tourmakeady last time out and will be looking to their own ‘county man’ Jason Doherty to lead the way for them. The men from Burrishoole have been the nearly men of the intermediate championship for the past half decade and this year they look determined to finally get over the line.
The other game in the group sees Tourmakeady entertain a Ballyhaunis side who will be licking their wounds and raring to get going again after their defeat at the hands of Mayo Gaels last weekend. Tourmakeady won this championship as recently as in 2010 and managed to stay in the senior championship for a couple of years before falling back down to the middle tier. Tradition says that going to Tourmakeady is never easy, but they shipped 12 points to Burrishoole in their last championship outing at home, while Ballyhaunis have also been in free scoring form so far this year, even with last weekend’s defeat, and will be looking to Keith Higgins to lead they way for them to ensure they have something to play for going into the final day of group games.
South Mayo showdown
In group two of the championship, the opening day threw up one big surprise with an unfancied Killala side getting a draw against Hollymount-Carramore at home. On Saturday evening they will be looking to get their first win in the championship on the boards when they host Bonniconlon at 7pm. The visitors went down by 4-9 to 0-14 to The Neale at home in round one and will be going all guns blazing to make sure they do not get turned over again this weekend, so they have a chance of making the last eight on the final day.
The meeting of Hollymount-Carramore and The Neale on Saturday evening is sure to be one that will attract plenty of neutral interest along to ‘the Saucer’. Both sides have engaged in plenty of battles over the years in south
Mayo competitions, but this one promises to be a bit more special. Hollymount-Carramore will have been disappointed to have only drawn with Killala thanks to a last gasp goal in round one, while The Neale are looking to keep up their constant improvement. If your own club is not in action this Saturday evening it is probably the place to be.
Long trips and local derbies in group three
In group three they will be leaving Kilmaine early on Saturday to make the long trek to Cill Chomain to be ready for action at 7pm. Kilmaine hit the ground running with a 2-12 to 1-6 win over Swinford in round one, and will be looking to have their place in the last eight wrapped up before they play their first home game of the championship against Bohola Moy Davitts in round three. Cill Chomain will be hoping to rediscover some of the form that brought them to last years junior championship success so they do not face into a last day shootout with Swinford to avoid the relegation play-off.
Swinford themselves this weekend will make the relatively short journey to Foxford to take on Bohola Moy Davitts, and will be looking to pick up their first win of the championship this season. The home team put up an impressive display in their first round win over Cill Chomain kicking 19 points on the day, while Swinford were put to the sword by Kilmaine. The Moy Davitts men look to have real designs on having a crack and winning the intermediate title this year and Swinford will have to up their game a few gears on Saturday to stop them.
All to play for in group four
In group four, Parke-Keelogues-Crimlin sit on top of the table by the narrowest of margins, one point on scoring difference after round one. The west Mayo men have become old hands at navigating seemingly tricky looking groups in the intermediate championship over the past few years and have got off to a good start again this year. On Saturday evening, they will be making a trip to Belmullet for what should be a interesting encounter. The home side were very unlucky to lose to Kiltimagh on the opening day, when they went down by a point to the east Mayo men, and will know a win tomorrow night should set them up for a shot at a quarter-final spot in the last round, while a Parke victory would have them looking forward to knock-out football.
In the final game in this weekend’s intermediate championship, Kiltimagh will entertain Islandeady. In round one, Islandeady will feel they could have got the points away to Parke where they went down by two at the end, and Kiltimagh will know they were lucky to get out of Belmullet with the win thanks to a late goal. This weekend’s meeting will more than likely come down to similar narrow margins at full time.