From Rio to Rovers there’s been plenty highlights

In August all of Mayo were rooting behind one man, when Castlebar's Nicholas Quinn became the first Mayoman since 2008 to take part in the Olympic Games. The 23-year-old student won his heat in the 200m butterfly in a time of 2:11.67 but just missed out a place in the next round of the competition. He also took part in the 100m butterfly finishing fourth in his heat. The young Castlebar man returned to the county town to a hero's welcome after his efforts in Rio.

Up and under

The story of Connacht Rugby's rise from the ashes to glory last year is a tale that will be told for many years to come around the west. Pat Lam's men's unbelievable rise to claim the provience's first piece of silverware in the professional era in Murrayfield in May was one that brought great pride to the rugby family in the county and to all who watched them battle against the odds, week in, week out.

On the local scene there was double joy for Mayo sides in the junior game, with the Westport Bulls claiming the Junior 1A league title just ahead of their Mayo rivals Ballina to the title after a long slog over the winter months. But the north Mayo side finished the year in style themselves, by winning the Connacht Junior Cup final and since then have gone on to have a brilliant start to the 2016/2017 league season leading the table at the midway point.

Back of the net

In a race that went right down to the wire Westport United were left standing at the top of the tree in the Mayo League Super League on the final day of the season, pipping Ballina Town to the title after a dramatic race, where Westport kept their nerve down the home straight to pick up the title. Both Conn Rangers and Iorras Aontaithe dropped out of the top division, with newly crowned Premier Division champions Straide and Foxford United and runners-up Achill Rovers joining them in the top division for next year after brilliant seasons in the second tier.

In League One, Ballyhaunis Town took the title with Crossmolina behind them in second place and both sides will bounce up a division next year with Partry Athletic and Charlestown Athletic going in the opposite direction after they fell out of the Premier Division. In the bottom tier of Mayo football, Mulranny United and Snugboro United made the jump up to the next level after a memorable year for both clubs.

In the Cup competitions the Super Cup went to Castlebar Celtic and the Premier Cup to Ballina Town B. In the divisional cup competitions Manulla put together back to back Westaro Cup wins, the Tuohy Cup will winter in Swinford and Snugboro claimed the McDonnell Cup.

There was plenty of Mayo involvement in the pro game in the country, with John Mountney picking up his third league winners medal in a row with Dundalk and going on to play a part in the Louth side's big adventure in the Europa League, while the likes of Ryan Connolly, Michaél Schlingermann, Conor O'Malley, David Cawley and Gary Boylan all featured prominently for their League of Ireland clubs.


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