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As clichés go 'a game of two halves' could not be more appropriate after Dublin's 3-14 to 1-10 win over Mayo last weekend in the first of the All Ireland semi-finals.
Galway's season gets underway in the country's traditional home of football on Sunday against their most traditional of rivals.
"We’ll be competitive and we’ll be looking for a performance every day that we go out and we can be honest in ourselves and we did ourselves and the county proud and we’re going the right direction towards what our goals will be.” That's what Stephen Rochford said back in December 2015 — two days after he was appointed Mayo manager. While there have been days when things haven't quite gone to plan they have always been "honest" in themselves as a team and that's what has brought them to where they are right now, 70 minutes away from their final goal.
Mayo picked up their second win in this years National Football League with a eight point win over Roscommon in front of 11,657 spectators in MacHale Park on Saturday night. This was the 31st meeting of the sides in the league and that win brought Mayo’s record to 19-to-10 against their near neighbours in the competition.
The Mayo hurlers get their National Hurling League campaign under way this Sunday when Derry visit MacHale Park at 2pm. In their last competitive game in 2016 Mayo defeated Derry to gain promotion back to the Christy Ring Cup and send the Oak Leaf county men back down to the Nicky Rackard Cup for this season.
The start of the National Football League on Saturday evening will see thousands flock into MacHale Park to see the new season get under way properly. The league is often seen as time for guys to be given a chance to impress in the early rounds and stake their claim for a place later on in the year. But is this really the case?
Students from Jesus and Mary Secondary School in Gortnor Abbey picked up the third place award in the technology category of the BT Young Scientist and Technology Festival last weekend. Sarah Murphy and Mary Murphy picked up the bronze award for their 'Make a Mark - Sheep Marking Gun' project.
After the disappointment of 2015 for hurling in the county when the senior team were relegated out of the Christy Ring Cup, this year has seen a rebirth of the game in the county, with the senior side winning the Nicky Rackard Cup in Croke Park and making their way back to the Ring Cup for next year.
Stephen Rochford has named his first championship starting team for Mayo this lunch time, Rochford has handed Ballina Stephenites attacker Evan Regan his championship debut in this game and has named nine of the side who started Mayo's All Ireland semi-final replay defeat to Dublin in the starting 15. The players coming into the side who didn't start that day are Brendan Harrision, Kevin Keane, Patrick Durcan, Jason Gibbons, Evan Regan and Conor O'Shea. Dropping to the bench from that clash are Seamus O'Shea, while Ger Cafferkey, Donal Vaughan, Chris Barrett, Barry Moran and Diarmuid O'Connor aren't part of the match-day 26. There had been doubts of the fittness of O'Connor, Barrett, Moran and Ger Cafferkey ahead of the game.
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.