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Tonight, if things went to plan for Castlebar Mitchels, would have been a chance to mark themselves out as the premier side in the county across all the big grades this year. But double defeat last Sunday in the county senior and minor finals has left just the U21A title up for grabs for the Mitchels men. The county town side will not want to let this one slip through their grasp and will go into the game as favourites after overcoming a fancied Breaffy side at the last four stage of the competition. Both sides have bounced back from opening day defeats, with Castlebar losing to Aghamore who were beaten by their opponents on Friday night, Hollymount-Carramore at the semi-final stage and the south Mayo men going down to Westport in their first game back in the summer.
All eyes will be on McHale Park on Sunday for the repeat of last year’s senior championship final, last year it was Ballintubber who were the last men left standing. While both groups of players are still more or less the same, on the sideline two new men will have been busy for the past few weeks plotting and planning each other’s downfall. When James Horan left Ballintubber to rejuvenate the standing of Mayo football on a national level, Anthony McGarry was the man left with the task of filling his boots. For the Mitchels, when Peter Ford stepped aside his banisteoir’s bib was handed to former Mayo senior and u21 manager Pat Holmes, and one target was given him, bring the Moclair cup back to the county town.
The Mayo senior hurling team go into this weekend staring elimination from the championship straight in the face. Last weekend they opened their account in the Christy Ring Cup with a defeat against Wicklow.
Mayo footballing star and former Swinford player David Heaney, who only announced his retirement from county football yesterday, has transferred to Claregalway for the coming season. His transfer was rubber-stamped by the Galway County Board last weekend.
While many would have been lining the pitches in Breaffy, Shrule, Claremorris, and Burrishoole or easing themselves into watching Joe Canning put ona legendary display but still end up on a losing side last Saturday night, there was a bit of history being made in Aughrim, County Wicklow.
All Ireland final day looms again and we’ll make the long trip to Dublin in hope of seeing a Mayo team climb the steps of the Hogan Stand to lift the Tom Markham Cup this time. Hopefully it’ll be Sam next year. It’s been a long road for the Mayo minors to get to where they are and the Mayo faithful are hopeful that they will bring home the victory.
For the 10th year in a row, Mayo will contest the Connacht u-21 football final. In the past nine years the JJ Fahy Cup has been presented to a Mayo captain on six occasions and Mayo captain Tom Parsons will be hoping that he becomes the seventh man in a decade to lift the trophy. Mayo have won the competition 22 times already while their opponents on Sunday have yet to claim the title.
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