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As the last weekend of action in the group stages of both the senior and intermediate championships gets ready to throw in for action this weekend, there are still an awful lot of things to sort out. The only certain things are that Castlebar Mitchels, Knockmore and Breaffy will be in the last eight of the competition when it recommences later this summer, leaving five more places still up for grabs from three of the groups.
Garrymore picked up the first piece of senior silverware on Easter Monday, when they saw off Castlebar Mitchels to claim the Michael Walsh Cup in Ballinrobe, but this weekend the action proper gets under way with the first rounds of games in the Breaffy House Senior Football Leagues. The action in Division 1A, 1B, and 1C will throw in on Saturday evening, with Division 1E, 1D, and 1F getting under way on Sunday afternoon.
Last Sunday’s county Junior and Intermediate finals were certainly a day for the underdog with Castlebar Mitchels B team and Ballyhaunis prevailing as county champions.
Last Sunday’s county Junior and Intermediate finals were certainly a day for the underdog with Castlebar Mitchels B team and Ballyhaunis prevailing as county champions. I predicted both games incorrectly as I expected Achill and Hollymount/Carramore to win their respective finals. The win for Castlebar in the junior final is an amazing feat considering it is their second string outfit, and with their seniors also in the final it could be an unprecedented double for the county town. In the current climate when it is hard to get 15 for a club they have exceeded expectation to remain competitive on all fronts. Before anyone uses the “look at the size of the pick they have or the size of the town” as an explanation of their recent successes, it should be noted that not too many moons ago their first team were playing intermediate football so it is quite remarkable that their second string will compete in that competition next year.
The widely anticipated County Board meeting passed off relatively peacefully last Thursday night with a few members of the board resigning over the process in which the new Mayo managers were appointed. The story had gained national headlines for all the wrong reasons and certainly it was a little embarrassing the way matters were conducted in appointing Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly. An apology was offered as there were and still are a lot of disgruntled people in the county. I am sure Kevin McStay and Liam McHale are bitterly disappointed at what happened, and some gesture or apology to both men should be offered as both are true Mayo Gaels who gave an awful lot to the green and red and they deserved at the very least an interview before been told they did not have the job. I am sure anyone reading this has heard the vile rumours about players not wanting McHale, which I am told could not be further from the truth. It is amazing how widespread the rumours went and pretty much to the point that people started to actually believe them. Liam McHale suffered a severe character assassination over the last few weeks and did not deserve it. Good luck to Pat and Noel; it is time to let them at it. The new management team along with selector Michael Collins and strength and conditioning coach Barry Solan from Ballaghaderreen were deep in discussion and taking lots of notes during the senior semi finals last Sunday. I am a little surprised a forward coach/selector was not incorporated in the set up, I guess they will be basing their team on a strong defence. I feel someone like Kevin O’Neill would have been a great addition to offer some insight into good forward play. I am delighted Barry Solan has finally been given a chance with his own county. Apart from working with Laois and Kildare he has also done a lot of work with Katie Taylor so there is obviously good pedigree there. If Hollymount/Carramore win the intermediate title on Sunday and get a good run in the Connacht championship, Noel Connelly’s wife Valerie and their children may not be seeing a lot of him for the next few months.
The final pairing of this years Eagan Jewellers Mayo intermediate football championship should be known come sundown on Saturday evening after an exciting double header of action in Elverys MacHale Park. Belmullet were the last team to book their place in the final four last weekend when they finally saw off the challenge of Mayo Gaels following a replay in Ballina last Saturday evening. The north Mayo men had three points to spare over the Gaels in a 0-12 to 0-9 win, with Jonathan O'Donoghue's seven points playing a major role in their gallop towards the last four over the closing stages of the contest.
It was a hectic weekend of action in the Mayo GAA Senior Football Championship, with four quarter-finals and one relegation semi-final down for decision, along with a reply in the intermediate championship quarter-finals.
There was no let up in the action on the club scene last weekend, even after Mayo’s elimination from the All Ireland championship.
The four Egan Jewellers Intermediate Football Championships quarter-finals that were down for decision over this weekend were postponed on Wednesday evening by the county board following discussions with Mayo senior team manager James Horan.
The draws for the Mayo GAA senior, intermediate and junior championship quarter-final and semi-final stages were made in Elverys MacHale Park this week.