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The Galway Ladies footballers edged Mayo by a single point, 0-21 to 1-17, at McHale Park, Castlebar, on Sunday, to bag their fourth Connacht title in succession.
The Galway minor footballers under the guidance of Clonbur's Stephen Joyce aim to collect the county's first Connacht minor title since 2007 when they face Sligo in Hyde Park (2pm) on Sunday.
On Sunday at 4pm the Mayo Ladies senior footballers will go looking to reclaim the Connacht Senior Championship from their southern neighbours after a few years of dominance in the province by Galway. Frank Browne is back in charge of Mayo this year after being the man who guided Mayo to the All Ireland final back in 2007 only for his tenure to end in controversial circumstances, before he could build on that success the next year.
Speaking on Mid West Radio this morning, Connacht GAA Council Secretary John Prenty outlined where most of the stand tickets for the big game went to. Prenty said that the capacity of the stand in Dr Hyde Park is 3,612. The competing counties were allocated 1,800 stand tickets, 1,000 tickets for player and sponsors of the three competing teams on the day including the minor final, 300 seats went on sale in Super Valu shops which is part of the agreement with the shops, 100 tickets for the Galway three in a row team that are being honoured on the day and there will be 48 invited guests of the Connacht Council.
There was plenty of shock on Wednesday evening when it was announced by the Connacht GAA Council that Hyde Park in Roscommon would be the venue for this year's Connacht Senior Football Championship final between Mayo and Sligo. All indications up to that point were that the game would be played in either Castlebar's Elverys MacHale Park or Galway's Pearse Stadium.
The Galway u-21 footballers will now face a highly-rated Roscommon outfit after defeating Mayo by 1-12 to 0-11 in McHale Park on Saturday evening.
I could not believe the crowd that turned up in Elverys McHale Park last Saturday evening, there was a lot more than the 13,500 recorded, I am guessing closer to 16,000. I do not imagine there was ever a bigger crowd for a National league game in Castlebar. Most championship matches would not attract such attention. What makes the support even more impressive was that the game was broadcast live on Setanta Sports and also that the Ireland and Wales game in the Six Nations would have meant a few would not have travelled.
A few weeks ago before the county final between Castlebar Mitchels and Ballintubber I envisaged a predicament that Cillian O’Connor could find himself in. I thought nothing of it at the time because I expected Castlebar to retain the Moclair Cup. O’Connor was at the final stages of the trials for the International Rules team, with his skill set and physical attributes I have no doubt he would have been on Paul Early's panel. When Ballintubber won the county final I immediately thought of O’Connor and the predicament, club versus country? It was simple; he was going nowhere and immediately pulled out of the Irish set up to give his full attention to his club.
Anytime you win a county senior title is a good time but there are certain times when it can be more favourable than others.
These are heady days indeed in Ballyhaunis GAA circles, the east Mayo outfit already have their hurling team in the Connacht Intermediate Championship final thanks to a 2-10 to 1-10 win over Roscommon champions Four Roads last Monday. This Sunday, their intermediate footballers have the chance to join them in the Connacht final when they take on Roscommon side St Croan’s in the home of Rossie football, Dr Hyde Park.