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Strength in depth
Mayo picked up their first win of the season with a six point win over IT Sligo in Ballina on Sunday, but they will have to serious up their performance if they are to pick up a second win next weekend when they face Roscommon in their final group game of the FBD League and improve even more two weeks later when they host Monaghan in the opening round of the National Football League. That was the message from Mayo manager Stephen Rochford post their win on Sunday.
Last years beaten finalists Breaffy made it to their third Mayo senior semi-finals in four years on Saturday afternoon after a hard fought win over Crossmolina Deel Rovers in MacHale Park. Peter Ford and Shane Conway’s side were pushed right to the wire by a battling brave Deel Rovers side, with the displays by the likes of Fionan Duffy, Conor Loftus and Cathal Carolan pointing towards a very bright future for the north Mayo men. There were also very good showings for the beaten side by goalkeeper Patrick Loftus and veteran Peader Gardiner who almost caused a major surprise against a much fancied Breaffy side.
Over the next two days, MacHale Park in Castlebar will host four big games as the quarter-finals of the Mayo GAA Senior Football Championship are down for decision. Our Sports Editor, Colm Gannon previews the action.
Connacht Championship quarter-final
For the first time since the year before Mayo claimed their first All Ireland senior title, Mayo will take on Kildare in a senior championship match. That meeting, in the All Ireland semifinal back in 1935, saw the Leinster men win 2-6 to 0-7; tomorrow evening the Mayo faithful will be hoping for a different result when the sides clash in MacHale Park.
Was it a penalty? Probably not looking at the replays, but Aidan O’Shea has been fouled and dragged down enough times in his inter-county career and not gotten a free he deserved, some day a break was going to have to go his way.
There's no more room for error for the Mayo seniors of 2016, after five successive Connacht titles, rather than looking forward to a Sunday afternoon showdown for the Nestor Cup, they are back on the chicken and chips circuit of the qualifiers for the first time in six years looking to rebuild their fortunes on the backstreets of the championship. The first step in moving from those backstreets to the main streets is tomorrow afternoon when they host a dangerous visitor from Ulster at 3.30pm
Garry’ win southern shootout
The Mayo football championship kicked into life in sweltering Mediterranean like conditions last weekend. Defending champions Castlebar Mitchels showed no ill effects from their All-Ireland final nightmare two months ago when they easily accounted for Crossmolina Deel Rovers despite fielding just over half of the team that started in that All Ireland final.