The contenders and pretenders have been sorted out in both the Mayo senior and intermediate championship after last weekend's third round of action in the group stages of both competition.
Three sides, Breaffy, Castlebar Mitchels, and Knockmore, had already secured their place in the last eight of the senior championship before a ball was kicked in anger last weekend. They were joined by Ballina Stephenites, Ballintubber, Aghamore, Kiltane, and Garrymore after the weekend. While those sides will be busy planning for the challenges ahead and a crack at the Moclair Cup, the four sides that finished bottom of their respective groups, Ballyhaunis, Claremorris, Ballinrobe, and Shrule-Glencorrib know now they have to get back to the grindstone to ensure they do not fall through the trap door and into the intermediate championship next season.
In the big game of the weekend in relation to who makes the last eight with the meeting of Charlestown and Kiltane in Fr O'Hara Park on Sunday, the maths was simple, a win or a draw would send Kiltane through, while Charlestown had to win. At full time, it was the north Mayo men who were celebrating after they held on for a 0-12 to 1-9 draw, despite being outscored in the second half by 0-6 to 0-1, how vital Shane Lindsay's pointed free proved to be at full time.
On Saturday night, Agahmore moved from the bottom of the table to second place and into the knock-out stages thanks to a seven point win over Ballinrobe, at the same time Crossmolina Deel Rovers were going down by 10 points to Ballintubber. That left Aghamore, Ballinrobe, and the Deel Rovers. When the maths were done, Ballintubber were through as group winners with six points and the three others were locked together on two points each. When scoring difference came into play, Agahmore with their +2 edged a place in the last eight with Crossmolina ending up in third place and Ballinrobe finishing bottom of the group.
Smallest of margins prolongs and ends the summer
While the senior championship gets most attention, the eight sides who will be looking to make the break up from the second tier have also been sorted out after the hectic weekend of games. Moy Davitts, Belmullet, Westport, Kiltimagh, Hollymount-Carramore, Burrishoole, The Neale, and Parke. The intermediate championship threw up some of the most nerve wracking moments of the weekend with both Belmullet and Burrishoole making the quarter-final stage by the narrowest of margins on scoring difference. In group one Belmullet lost to table toppers Moy Davitts by four points, while Kilmaine could only beat Islandeady by two points. When all was said and done, all three sides finished with four points each from the group, with the north Mayo men scraping past Kilmaine by a single point on scoring difference to get into the last eight.
In group three of the intermediate championship, it was a similar story when full time was blown in both games. Burrishoole went to the shores of Lough Mask and were expected to see off the Gaeltacht men. But they came undone as the hosts ran out narrow one point winners on a score of 2-10 to 1-12. In the other group game, last year's beaten finalists Hollymount-Carramore had two points to spare over Swinford in a 0-15 to 2-7 win in Hollymount. When the tables were totted up, Hollymount-Carramore topped the group with six points from three games, and the three other sides were locked together on two points each from their three outings, necessitating the the use of scoring difference to find out who progressed, at the end of the day it was the men from McGovern Park who saw luck shining in their direction as their +1 scoring difference saw them squeak by Swinford who had a scoring difference of 0. That is how tight the margins can be at the end of the group stage.
Senior Football Championship quarter-finalists
Breaffy, Knockmore, Castlebar Mitchels, Ballina Stephenites, Ballintubber, Aghamore, Kiltane, Garrymore.
Senior Football Championship relegation play-offs
Ballyhaunis, Claremorris, Ballinrobe, Shrule-Glencorrib.
Intermediate Football Championship quarter-finalists
Moy Davitts, Belmullet, Westport, Kiltimagh, Hollymount-Carramore, Burrishoole, The Neale, Parke.
Intermediate Championship relegation play-offs
Islandeady, Bonniconlon, Tourmakeady, Cill Chomain.
The draw for the quarter-finals and relegation play-offs will be made after the July county board meeting held later this month and the games will not be played until after Mayo exit the championship.