Search Results for 'McHale Park'

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Minors make it a year to remember

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The senior season may have ended up in disappointment against Dublin, however, our minors had a truly remarkable year but it could have been so different. Back on June 22 we first set eyes on Stephen Coen, Tommy “Goals” Conroy, and co. They had an easy victory over Leitrim winning by 1-15 to 1-05 in McHale Park. The old saying that “no one game will make a season”, could not be further from the truth after Mayo’s clash with Galway on June 30 (the same day London shocked Leitrim). This was a remarkable game, Mayo were within inches of going out, (and remember there is no back door safety net for minors at semi-final stage) sheer persistence got them over the line in extra time on a final score 5-08 to 2-11. The Connacht final against Roscommon was a great spectacle. Brilliant goals, superb defending, and skill levels to match. Mayo sauntered into a big lead but Roscommon clawed their way back and came agonisingly close to snatching a draw in the dying seconds, it would have been robbery had Mayo not won it. A Connacht minor final is not to be sniffed at. Mayo then gave Westmeath a right tanking in the quarter final in Tullamore winning by 2-13 to 0-8 points, the rest of the country were beginning to take note. A real test awaited in the semi final against Monaghan, many bookmakers’ favourites for the title. This was no question the performance of the year from the minors. They blitzed their northern opponents, scoring a whopping three goals and 19 points in the process. Talking to Barney Rock during and after this game, he was very impressed. The only negative from this game was the unfortunate injury to Cian Hanley who would agonisingly miss the final. The final pitted Mayo against more Ulster opponents in Tyrone, who were very lucky to beat Roscommon in their semi-final. Mayo played some brilliant football, urged on by the huge Mayo support. The full forward line of Darragh Doherty, Liam Irwin, and Tommy Conroy scored 2-09 of the 2-13 total. We were given the scare of our lives when Tyrone pulled a goal back in the dying moments but the Tommy Markham Cup was won for the first time since 1985. The celebrations in Croke Park after the final whistle will be something I will never forget.

A lot done, a lot more to do for Mayo

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Now that 2013 has almost gone to the history books it is time to reflect on the year that nearly was. The Mayo senior team played their first game against Leitrim in the FBD league on January 13. Little did we know back then what the year was about to unfold. Mayo’s National League campaign was not of the consistent variety and after a convincing win at home to Kerry on February 3 we became expectant again. That was followed by four consecutive losses to Tyrone, Dublin, Down, and Kildare. The Tyrone game was a crushing defeat, Stephen O’Neill’s last gasp penalty winning for the red hand. Mayo were given a taste of Stephen Cluxton’s ability in the league game in Croke Park in March, the Dubs convincing winners; Bernard Brogan was unmarkable the same night. Worrying for Mayo were the losses to Down and Kildare, two games they should have won. Mayo were now in real danger of being relegated and had to beat All- Ireland Champions Donegal in Castlebar and then travel away to Cork to try to complete a miraculous escape. What was of great concern was the lack of goal chances and goals, Keith Higgins’ goal against Tyrone the only attempt to hit the net in five matches. Michael Conroy bettered that stat with a soccer-style finish against Donegal in a game in which Barry Moran was in superb form. Mayo well and truly ground out a result in Cork, winning by the slimmest of Margins 0-11 to 0-10 to achieve their goal of staying in division one of the league. It was a complete bonus that they sneaked into a league semi-final and had another big game in Croker against the Dubs. Confidence may not have been too high after Dublin easily won the league semi-final by 2-16 to 0-16. Bernard Brogan was untouchable in the first league encounter, Paul Mannion the star of the semi-final scoring 1-04. It really was amazing Mayo got to a league semi final despite losing four games on the spin while staring relegation in the face. Two goals in eight matches had to be a very worrying stat for James Horan and his management.

The Kiltane victory was based on a solid backline

Kiltane are the 2013 Connacht Intermediate football champions after a very professional performance against Boyle of Roscommon last Sunday in Elvery's McHale Park. They were never really in danger in this game, albeit for a sloppy patch midway through the first half in which they conceded a goal and a point on the spin but that was as good as it got for Boyle. Kiltane are keeping the tradition going by being the third Mayo team in a row to win the Gene Byrne Cup. Little did they know the favours Davitt's and Charlestown did for them the two years previous by playing almost all of their games away from home resulting in the Mayo champs having three home games in this years provincial series. You cannot beat home advantage when you are entering the unknown. It is hard to believe this team could have been out of the championship if Drumcliff/ Rosses Point substitute Colin Ginty kept his head instead of fluffing his lines in the dying moments of the semi final when it looked easier to score. Upon such outcomes All-Irelands are won, most All-Ireland champions have a little bit of luck along the way and that most certainly was Kiltane’s. Their ambition now certainly has to be to claim more silverware in early 2014, a feat which Davitt’s and Charlestown failed to achieve.

Home of Connacht Rugby is an unlikely venue for World Cup

The likelihood of Connacht Rugby hosting a World Cup qualifying round in 2015 at its home in the Galway Sportsground is slim.

The final four showdown this weekend

It was a weekend for shocks and surprises last weekend as the two teams who have won the last three Moclair cups between them bowed out at the quarter-final stage. The biggest surprise of the weekend arguably was Breaffy’s victory over Ballaghaderreen in the first of Sunday’s games.

Mayo GAA Fixtures

Saturday August 31

Casey's Call

What a wonderful occasion last Sunday’s Connacht finals day was in McHale Park. I arrived in Castlebar at 11am and already could feel the buzz and anticipation as many supporters were parking miles out the Charlestown road at that early hour. The day was not as sunny as expected but it was very humid and extremely energy sapping for the players, and even the well prepared Mayo players who did not have to get out of second gear were down on all fours at the end gasping for air.

Three of the best from O'Connor seals it for Mayo

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Mayo 5-11

Massive crowd expected for historic clash

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Over one thousand visitors are expected to travel to Mayo this weekend from London through Ireland West Airport Knock ahead of the historic Connacht Final clash between Mayo and London.

Mayo look to avenge last year’s defeat

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This time 12 months ago, the Galway ladies side staged an ultimate snatch and grab raid when they overturned a ten point deficit with 15 minutes left to claim the Connacht title in McHale Park. They outscored Mayo by 3-5 to 0-2 in that final quarter of an hour, to avenge a defeat handed out to them in the division two league final a few months previously. This Sunday, both sides will meet again in the provincial decider, this time with the Tribeswomen having home advantage in Tuam Stadium for the 4pm throw-in.

 

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