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Mayo showed what they are made of

Last Saturday can only be described as a Super Saturday within Mayo GAA circles with three big games on — However none of the results matched the excitement within the county. The All-Ireland champions Dublin travelled to Elvery’s MacHale Park for what was meant to be a walk in the park for them, given Mayo’s performance the previous week in Cork. What ensued was everything but as a very different Mayo made them fight to the bitter end, only for Dublin to scrape home by two points.

Dubs hold Mayo and rain storm at bay

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Mayo showed the kind of fight and heart that will have given their supporters plenty of cause for optimism going into the rest of the league campaign which will return at the tail end of the month. However, despite that fight and heart Mayo are still pointless after their first two rounds of action in the league and now face into two tough road trips to Ulster on the bounce before the final swing of three games at the tail end of Spring.

Red wave crushes Mayo on Leeside

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There’s nothing won on the last day of January of note, but Mayo will hope that this will be the worst day they have this year as Cork ran riot on Leeside. Every game is different and Mayo came into it shorn of a number of key men that will surely be big players later on this year, but it still must be taken on its merits as a contest over 70 minutes and in this contest Mayo were so far second best that they game was never a contest from as early as the 20th minute when Cork put themselves three points clear.

O'Shea back as Mayo head to Cork

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Aidan O’Shea will play his first football in Mayo colours since last years All Ireland semi-final replay defeat to Dublin when Mayo take on Cork in Páirc Ui Rinn on Sunday. The Breaffy man has been picked at centre-half-forward in Rochford’s first National Football League team.

Time to get down to business for Mayo

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Mayo get their National Football League campaign under way on Sunday away to Cork in Páirc Uí Rinn, and for new manager Stephen Rochford it is going to the first major test of his side's credentials in the new season. Rochford will be dealing from a slightly rigged deck when he makes his first team selection, with no players from Castlebar Mitchels available to him, or from Hollymout-Carramore and Ardnaree who have booked their places in their respective All Ireland club finals.

Winter is over and it’s great to have football back

With the greatest respect to the pre-season provincial leagues, they are really what they are, challenge matches with large attendances. They are a means to an end, to prepare you for the competitions that matter, the National league and the championship. They are to build up fitness, improve your football skills, and try to unearth a player or two that might make a difference in bigger more important games. Unlike some folk out there, Mayo’s defeat by Roscommon in the final group game in the FBD league does not bother me in the slightest. After all Mayo, like most, were experimenting and playing with a very under strength team. There are two matters that do concern me however; firstly the delay in appointing Stephen Rochford means Mayo are a full month behind the other counties in terms of work done, and secondly the number of players Mayo have out injured for the start of the league.

First inter-county test for Rochford’s Mayo

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On Sunday afternoon the FBD really gets serious when Mayo face their first inter-county opponents of the new season when they take on Roscommon in Hyde Park. The action on the sideline will be of as much interest for some observers as what's taking place on the field, with Kevin McStay, the man who wanted the Mayo job in late 2014 and didn't get it, and Stephen Rochford, the man who replaced the duo who got the post over McStay, going face to face. It will also be the meeting of two managers who in the last three years have both guided clubs from Connacht to glory in the All Ireland Senior Club Championship.

Ballintubber grind out win over sticky Ballina

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The Ballintubber juggernaut roles on into the semi-finals of the Mayo Senior Football Championship after the defending champions had nine points to spare over Ballina Stephenites at the end of an intriguing encounter in MacHale Park on Sunday afternoon.

 

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