The second round of games in the Treanlaur Catering Mayo Senior Football Championship saw plenty of action and excitement over the last two days. The defending champions, Castlebar Mitchels laid down another marker of their intentions to retain their title with a top drawer display against the former star attractions of the competition Crossmolina Deel Rovers in MacHale Park on Sunday afternoon in group one. The county town men rand out 2-22 to 1-5 winners showing little hospitality for their guests on the field. Mitchels hit an impressive 1-11 in each half of the game and went in leading 1-11 to 0-1 at the break as their powered through the Crossmolina defence at will. The Mitchels were superior in every area of the field with their inter-changeable attack and midfield players running riot against a weakened Deel Rovers side.
All of Mitchels six starting forwards scored in the first half, with Neil Lydon palming in the goal from close range after Mitchels turned defence into attack in lighting fashion after they intercepted a stray Ciaran McDonald pass 17 minutes in. Cian Costello who put in a impressive shift during the game scored four points in the opening half and was ably assisted by Richie Feeney, Neil Douglas and Neil Lydon in attack. It was a case of more of the same in the second half as Mitchels kept up the pace and they grabbed their second goal through Richie Feeney ten minutes before the end. Feeney finished from close range after Shane Keane had done well to save an earlier effort. The Deel Rovers number one pulled off a number of good saves over the hour and the scoreboard could have read much worse for his side if it wasn't for his efforts. Brian Benson managed to grab a late consolation goal for Crossmolina to put some gloss on the scoreboard for his side, but Deel Rovers manager Joe Keane will know his side were well beaten by the better side on the day.
The other game in the group over the weekend saw Ballintubber pick up their first win in the championship with a 3-16 to 0-12 win over Shrule-Glencorrib in Ray Prendergast Memorial Park on Saturday evening. Ballintubber lead by 2-7 to 0-6 and were able to add on another 1-9 in the second half to seal the two points. After two rounds of games, Castlebar Mitchels have made their way into the quarter finals with a game to spare. The final round of games will see the Mitchels meet Shrule-Glencorrib, while Ballintubber will face Crossmolina Deel Rovers. The Mitchels will be expected to make it three wins from three, while Ballintubber will be fancied to take the two points they need from Crossmolina to book their last eight spot, however a win for the Deel Rovers would see them leap frog the west Mayo men and take a quarter-final place. If the games go as expected, it will come down to scoring difference to sort out Crossmolina and Shrule-Glencorrib at the foot of the table after both sides drew in round one. Currently, Crossmolina have a scoring difference of -20 while Shrule-Glencorrib are -13.
In group two, both Garrymore and Knockmore picked up their second wins in the championship this season as Garrymore saw off last years intermediate champions Kiltane at home by six points and Knockmore had three points to spare over Ballinrobe in south Mayo. Garrymore were very impressive on Sunday evening, with their midfield pairing of Shane Nally and David Dolan bossing the middle of the park and a combination of Caolan Crowe and Jimmy Killeen running the show in the forward line. Garrymore had to play almost the entire game without the services of their inter-county man Enda Varley after he limped off four minutes in with what looked like and hamstring twinge. Killeen grabbed his teams first goal 18 minutes in when he finished off a fine team move and set his team off on a run of scores that saw his team go in leading by 1-8 to 0-9 at the break. The first half saw Shane Nally, Caolan Crowe and Myles Fallon all kick scores that were as good as your likely to see in any game this summer. Kiltane did come back in the second half with Mikey Sweeney and Ultan Corrigan leading the way for them, but the beaten All Ireland intermediate finalists ran couldn't find the scores they needed to reel in the south Mayo men, and Brendan Cunningham's goal four minutes from time sealed Garrymore's 2-13 to 0-13 win.
In the next round, Garrymore will face Knockmore who were 0-14 to 0-11 winners over Ballinrobe on Saturday night just gone to see who'll top the group and go through to the quarter-finals as group winners, while it'll be a straight shootout between Kiltane and Ballinrobe to avoid the relegation play-offs.
Ballaghaderreen made it two wins from two in group three with a 3-13 to 0-10 win over Westport at home on Sunday. Ballagh' led by 1-5 to 0-6 at the turn-around and introduced Andy Moran for the second half, before they pulled away to record their second win in the championship with Cormac Doohan, Darragh Dunne and Ryan Lynch all finding the back of the net over the hour.
In the other game in the group, Charlestown were narrow winners over Davitts in Ballindine to pick up their first win of the championship. Colm Maye was the main man for the victors kicking a number of points from frees over the hour as they were able to keep their hosts at arms length at the end in a contest that saw two black cards and red card late on. Ballaghaderreen lead the group on four points, with both Charlestown and Westport sitting on two points each and Davitts pointless on at the bottom of the table. In the last round of games in the group Charlestown will host Ballaghaderreen while Westport will be at home to Davitts with it still all to play for in group three for all sides, with Ballaghaderreen odds on to go through, while depending on how the results go, any of the other three sides could still make the last eight.
In group four, Breaffy booked their place in the last eight after winning a high scoring encounter against Claremorris on Saturday evening, last years beaten county finalists ran out 4-17 to 3-13 winners after they pulled away at the end from the south Mayo men who had put it up to them for long periods of the game. The other game in the group saw Ballina Stephenites and Aghamore draw 0-10 to 2-4 in James Stephens Park on Sunday afternoon. A last gasp Darren Duffy goal to go with one scored by Kenny Feeney earlier in the game saw the east Mayo men grab a the vital point and keep their hopes of making the last eight still alive.
In the last round of games in the group, Aghamore will host Claremorris and Breaffy will host Ballina Stephenites. Breaffy are into the quarter-finals with two wins from two and will be favorites to make it three from three against Ballina, while Claremorris are one point ahead of Aghamore at the minute and if they avoid defeat against them in the final round of games they'll make the quarter-finals also.