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Having picked up three ladies’ All Ireland senior club titles inside the past decade Carnacon are back in the final on Sunday and looking to turn that triple of championships into a quadruple. The girls in green and red have made their way back to the final this year and after narrowly losing out to Inch Rovers from Cork in last year’s showpiece, they will have extra motivation to make this All Ireland number four for the central Mayo club. Standing in their way in Ballymahon in two days’ time will be Dublin and Leinster champions, Na Fianna. The Dublin ladies saw off the challenge of Munster and Cork champions Donoughmore by four points at the start of the month.
At least half a dozen Mayo players were nursing injuries this week according to Mayo manager James Horan. Speaking at the press night in the lead up to next week’s semi-final showdown, Horan confirmed that Trevor Mortimer, David Clarke, Aidan and Seamus O’Shea, Mark Ronaldson and Peadar Gardiner were all nursing knocks at the moment.
The Connacht senior football semi-final win over Sligo was the first step on the road to redemption for the Mayo ladies senior football team after a very poor run in the National Football which saw them go winless over the whole campaign. Jason Tanniane took over a team which had its difficulties, but with a championship win under their belt now he looks to have the team moving in the right direction. The win over Sligo was backboned by a number of old familiar names who have battled valiantly in the green and red for what seems like years now, Yvonne Byrne, Cora Staunton, Claire Egan, Fiona McHale and Martha Carter have all seen the highs with Mayo in the past and their experience will once again be invaluable on Sunday afternoon when they face the old enemy Galway in the Connacht Senior Football Championship final.
n Banagher on Sunday, weather permitting, Carnacon and old foes Inch Rovers will come face to face with the All Ireland senior title at stake. Sunday’s meeting in Offaly will be the third meeting of these sides in the final in four years, with Carnacon winning both finals and now looking to make it three out of three against the Cork club. The 2007 meeting in the final saw Carnacon win out by 11 points on a score of 2-14 to 1-6, while in 2008 putting back to back titles together Carnacon won by five points to seal their double.
With the winter biting at their heels when they take to the field in O’Connor Park in Tullamore on Sunday, Carnacon go searching for their third All Ireland senior club championship crown and their second on the trot. Some things in life are inevitable such as death and taxes, but so it seems are Carnacon at the business end of the club championship season. It seems like a lifetime ago when another Mayo club was able to escape their clutches and try and make a steal into Connacht and beyond.
Following on from Carnacon’s success in last weekend’s senior club final, Mayo are looking to pick up their second All Ireland club title in the space of seven days in the ladies’ game. This time it will be the pride of Mayo who will be looking to take home the honours when Knockmore take on Clare and Munster champions Kilmichil in Tuam Stadium at 2pm tomorrow (Saturday November 29). The Knockmore ladies who claimed their first adult county championship in over 30 years this year when they defeated Westport in the final, have had some tough battles along the way to the this stage, where 60 minutes stand between them and destiny. The Mayo championship saw them see off Tourmakeady and St Brigids before the final against Westport, a game that saw them turn around a half time deficit to claim the championship.
For the sixth time in five years the Mayo senior ladies will set out on the road towards league and championship action with a new manager at the helm. Following in the footsteps of Michael Ryder, Frank Browne, and Charlie Lambert in the last few years is Tuam native Kevin Reidy. Even with the upheaval in management over the last two years the Mayo players have managed to pull through and claim two Connacht titles, a national league title, and make it to an All Ireland final. So Reidy knows that he has the talent at his disposal to make a serious challenge for honours this year.
t is six years since Mayo last lifted the Brendan Martin Cup, while Mayo were the team of the late 1990s and the turn of the century, since 2005 Cork have been the team of the latter half of the decade. Since claiming their first All Ireland title in 2005, the rebels have gone on to put an amazing four titles back to back, and now are going looking for the magical five in a row.