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The first round of the Mayo GAA senior and intermediate championships were played under blazing sunshine over the weekend and threw up a number of surprise results with Hollymount-Carramore's masive 4-15 to 1-6 win over Ballaghaderren one of the stand out performances along with big wins for defending county champions Castlebar Mitchels and Breaffy.
Mayo will be kicking their heels for the guts of two months now, until they get into championship action and you can only feel that’s a pity - because the intensity and passion they showed in the second half of this win over Donegal is something they will need to recreate come summer time.
When word filtered through that Cavan had drawn with Kerry at half time in this encounter, the permutations and combinations of results that would be needed for Mayo to stay up in division one if they couldn’t come home from Omagh with win under their belts were being worked out by the supporters. But come full time in this one Mayo had put their destiny back in their own hands, thanks to Kevin McLoughlin’s brilliant winning score.
Mayo went down to a third league defeat of the season against a suffocating Cavan side in Castlebar on Sunday afternoon, the loss leaves them in the relegation scrap at the bottom of the table with tough encounters against Tyrone and Donegal up next on the horizon for them.
Following their victory on the road in Tralee a fortnight ago, all eyes will be turned to MacHale Park tomorrow evening when Mayo host Roscommon in the third round of the National Football League. Whenever these sides meet, be it in pre-season competition on wet and boggy fields or in the height of summer, there is never an inch given by either side and tomorrow night's encounter is expected to be a similar encounter.
While David Clarke's intervention to stop a couple of goals going past him on Saturday took plenty of deserved plaudits in an excellent display, from the kicking tee the Ballina man also had an excellent night, Mayo won all but four of the kick-outs they took against Monaghan, with Clarke quick off the tee on most of his restarts finding his men close by.
We've been here before and there is no reason to panic, last year Mayo were caught like deer in the headlights against Cork in their league opener, where a Rebel outfit who ultimately got relegated and had a championship season to forget ran riot on Leeside.
Mayo wrappeded up their FBD League run for 2017 with a remarkable win over Roscommon on Sunday, we look back on a that win and pick out a few talking points. You can read our match report at http://www.advertiser.ie/mayo/article/89983/moran-seals-miracle-ending-for-mayo
It’s a long way from the business end of the year, but the determination shown by Mayo to dig out what looked like an impossible victory as the game moved towards the end of normal time and they trailed by five points is something that will warm the spirits of the Mayo faithful ahead of their league opener against Monaghan in a fortnights time.
It may still only be January, but the meeting of Mayo and Roscommon at any stage of the season is always an encounter to look forward to, and on Sunday Mayo will make the long trek to Kiltoom to take on their neighbours in the final round of the FBD League.