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It’s been a long wait and it's nearly over. Since Mayo last tasted competitive action almost every other county has been involved in championship action, with Sligo the only side to have not got their summer underway by the time Mayo throw in against Galway on Sunday. This will be the first proper test of the Holmes and Connelly management ticket in the white heat of championship action and they couldn’t have asked for a more traditional joust than a meeting with Galway in their own back yard.
A two goal first half salvo from Aidan O’Shea inspired Breaffy to their first win in the Mayo GAA Senior Football League this season as they saw off local rivals Castlebar Mitchels in Munnelly Park in Castlebar on Sunday. Both sides lined out with out key players for this contest with Seamus O’Shea serving a one match suspension for Breaffy after being dismissed early in their loss to Ballintubber a fortnight ago, while for Castlebar Mitchels neither Tom Cunniffe or Patrick Durcan were available for selection.
I am sure many of you felt as deflated as I did last Sunday. After leaving Elverys MacHale Park deflated I went home to watch the game again on TG4, and just in case I missed anything on second viewing I had to watch Sunday Sport later on that evening to see what the pundits said about the game. The reality is Mayo should be playing in Croke Park this Sunday against Cork in the semifinal of the National League. They threw away the game against Donegal or should I say kicked away. Some wayward shooting late on cost us a place in the semifinal.
Stephen Griffen’s injury time point stole a draw for his side and sent them into the semi-finals next weekend, while Mayo have nine weeks to get things right before they start the championship in summer time.
It was a game that had it all and then some more, bar the desired result for Mayo as a late, late Brian Hurley goal saw Cork steal the two points from this national football league encounter in Pairc Ui Rinn. Mayo looked to be heading back up the road with a valuable win under their belts as the game ticked towards injury time. But the hosts had other ideas, Conor Dorman ghosted in behind the Mayo rear guard and flicked the ball across the face of the goal, where the Castlehaven man was arriving just at the right time to flick the ball to the back of the net and condemn Mayo to their third defeat of this years league.
If one incident defined how much more Dublin were up for this game that Mayo it was when early in the second half, Aidan O’Shea got in behind the Dublin defence. He stumbled but fed the ball to Mark Ronaldson, who pulled the trigger. But out of nowhere Denis Bastick got back to not only block the ball, but gather it and break clear. It was an outstanding feat of athleticism and brilliance by the Ballymun Kickhams man.
Live coverage from Celtic Park where Mayo take on Derry in the National Football League
The Mayo management have continued their rotation policy for Sunday’s game against Derry in round four of the National Football League. Mayo have made a total of five changes from last weeks starting 15.
Mayo picked up their second win in this years National Football League on Sunday in Elverys MacHale Park, when they saw off Monaghan in an ill disciplined affair that saw two Monaghan players sent off, along two black cards being issued by referee Rory Hickey in a contest that was punctured by numerous scuffles off the ball. In truth Hickey seemed to lose control of the game early in the second half as fracas broke out all over the field.
Goals win games and there was no recovering from the two goals they shipped inside the opening ten minutes for Castlebar Mitchels on Sunday in MacHale Park.