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This Sunday afternoon, MacHale Park will play host to the classic Connacht final pairing of Mayo and Galway in the Connacht Ladies Gaelic Football Championship. For Mayo they will be looking to turn over Galway at this stage for the first time in four years, while the Tribeswomen are on a "drive for five" in the province.
Mayo will have learned a lot from their league campaign this year, but the one lesson they will take away from Parnell Park on Saturday night is that if you don’t take the chances that come your way against a team like Cork, you’re not going to be going home with the silverware.
Ladies Football: National League Final
No matter what the competition, no matter what the grade, nothing beats the excitement of All-Ireland final day. Tomorrow just happens to be a big one in the GAA calendar. The Mayo u21s travel to Ennis to take on Munster champions Cork 10 years on from their last victory at this grade against the same opposition at the same venue. The players would have felt the buzz all week, our senior team have had to take a back seat for the last few weeks, now it's all about the U21s.
Tomorrow afternoon in Birr, Frank Browne's Mayo Ladies' side will be putting their 100 per cent league record on the line when they take on Kerry in the National League semi-final with a spot in the final up for grabs. It has been a seriously impressive league season so far for this side who have swept all before them in the group stages, picking up seven wins from seven games to top the division, finishing nine points in front of the four sides below them in the table who all finished on 12 points. That led to its own confusion and controversy with Armagh initially being told that they had made it into the last four only for it to emerge that it was Mayo's opponents Kerry who had qualified for the play-off spot.
The Mayo Ladies senior football team picked up their sixth win in the league last weekend when they saw off the challenge of Tyrone by nine points in Killyclogher, that win cemented their place at the top of the table six points ahead of second placed Dublin.
Mayo will go looking for their fourth win from four games in the league this Sunday. Having beaten Cork, Dublin and Galway so far in the league, it would be easy to feel they've got the hardest games out of the way already. But this Sunday they welcome to Swinford Amenity Park an Armagh side that are in as rich a vein of form as they are themselves. Armagh sit level on nine points from three games just like Mayo at the top of the table, and the ladies from the Orchard county are also in fine form.
The Mayo ladies' senior football team have got their season off to the perfect start with three wins from their opening three games. On paper it looked like the toughest of starts that Frank Browne's side could have had away to the defending All Ireland champions Cork, before Dublin came to Mayo the following week, and then a trip to Tuam to take on a Galway side that have claimed the last four Connacht titles. But Mayo have come out of those three games with three wins out of three and have set themselves up nicely for a crack at the league title.
Mayo made it two wins from two in the National Football League last weekend when they saw off Dublin by two points in Swinford Amenity Park. This win, backing up their victory over Cork the previous weekend has laid down a serious marker of intent from Frank Browne's ladies for the season ahead.
For the second week in a row the Mayo ladies senior footballers will be facing the same opposition as their male counterparts, but unlike the men last weekend the Mayo ladies left Cork with the points in the bag thanks to a seven point win over the All Ireland champions.