Search Results for 'Michael Forde'
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When Noel Connelly used to come face to face with Kevin Walsh in the white-heat of championship action in their playing days, Tuam Stadium was the battle ground. Next Sunday they'll renew their rivalry in Salthill. But Mayo's old torture chamber of Tuam Stadium is where Connelly has his fondest memory of getting one over on Galway. "I suppose the one that's more special for me is the Tuam one in 1997, when the hoodoo was there for so many years and there was so much talk of it. Back then going to Tuam and winning it was like nearly winning the championship outright. To get that winning feeling in Tuam after all the talk and stuff, that was special," Connelly said this week, when asked about his own playing memories against the Tribesmen.
It was only a matter of weeks ago that the curtain came down on the club scene in Mayo for 2012 and now on the second Sunday in January, the curtain is coming back up on the inter-county season for 2013. While the members of last year’s senior squad enjoyed their well deserved team holiday in Miami last week and the early part of this week, this Sunday in Ballinamore is going to be a very different experience from the sun and sand of South Beach.
Everyone expected that it would be Leitrim that came visiting to McHale Park on Sunday, June 24 in the Connacht semi-final. But it was only by the skin of their teeth that they got out of London with the win. The annual trip to Ruislip is becoming a tricker and tricker encounter as Mayo can attest to following last year’s extra time battle and it was something very similar last Sunday when a late Leitrim surge saw them go home 0-12 to 1-8 winners.
Everyone is still recovering from the great escape in Ruislip last Sunday, when Mayo were put to the pin of their collar by London in the Connacht Senior Championship. This Friday offers a welcome distraction in the form of the Connacht Junior Championship final in Charlestown which will throw in at 7.30pm. This evening’s game will offer Mayo the chance to dethrone the current All Ireland champions from the Yeats County, who will be under the guidance once again of their senior inter-county manager Kevin Walsh. Mayo for their part have John Kelly running the line for them, with Ray Connelly, Jarlath Cunningham and Vinny Gavin also on sideline duties. In the quarter final Mayo saw off the challenge of a tough Leitrim side after Mickey Moran’s side pushed into an early lead, while in the last four of the competition Roscommon were defeated in Ballyhaunis.
It’s a sort of homecoming on Saturday evening for Mayo manager James Horan and his captain Alan Dillon. Mayo will take on Offaly in their last challenge game ahead of the championship throw in on Sunday fortnight in Ruislip against London. The challenge game has been organised to mark the official opening of the new €1 million development by Ballintubber GAA Club which has redeveloped the pitch and installed an Astroturf pitch along with redevelopment of the resource centre. Mayo will face down against Offaly at 5pm, and the game will be proceeded by the Horan Cup final between Ballintubber and Kilcock from Kildare at 2pm. An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, is expected to be on hand to perform the official opening at 4pm.
The Mayo junior team will go in search of a place in the Connacht Junior Championship final this evening when they host Roscommon in the semi final of the competition in Ballyhaunis. John Kelly’s side will be facing into their second game in seven days’ after they saw off the challenge of Leitrim in a close fought encounter in Aghamore a week ago. Mayo had only two points to spare over a Leitrim side managed by former Mayo senior manager Mickey Moran in the east Mayo venue. Swinford’s Colin Dempsey was the main man for Mayo bagging a personal haul of 1-8 from Mayo’s total of 1-15 on the night.
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.
A weekend that promised a lot delivered very little for Mayo football followers, apart from more questions. On Saturday a very fancied u21 team went into battle against Roscommon in McHale Park in the preliminary round of the Connacht championship and were dumped out of the competition at the first hurdle. On paper Mayo had a team full of players who would have had designs on at least a Connacht title if not more. But when it came to the crunch, too many players did not show up and they were just passengers on they day when Roscommon won out by 0-11 to 0-9 in Castlebar.
It is a simple as can be tomorrow (Saturday, March 12) when this year's crop of Mayo u21s take to the field in the preliminary round of the Connacht u21 championship. Win and they are through to a semi-final against Leitrim the following week, lose and it is pack away the Mayo gear for another year, or maybe forever for a number of the players. Standing in the way of Ray Dempsey's men and progression in the championship are the near neighbours in primrose and blue, Roscommon. Dempsey took charge of the Mayo u21s last year for the first time after three very successful years as the manager of the minor team which saw him reach two All Ireland finals on the trot. But last year the wheels came unstuck in a ill tempered semi-final in Hyde Park on St Patrick’s Day, which Mayo lost by a single score following a helter skelter affair.