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It’s been a long wait and it's nearly over. Since Mayo last tasted competitive action almost every other county has been involved in championship action, with Sligo the only side to have not got their summer underway by the time Mayo throw in against Galway on Sunday. This will be the first proper test of the Holmes and Connelly management ticket in the white heat of championship action and they couldn’t have asked for a more traditional joust than a meeting with Galway in their own back yard.
The first weekend of the Mayo GAA senior championship had a little bit of everything including one side lining up their entire 15 players in their own half for the start of the second half of their game, a heroic struggle between Mayo men Aidan O’Shea and Colm Boyle against each other for the pride of the parish, the return of Cillian O’Connor to action for Ballintubber and late, late fight back from Kiltane to break the hearts of Shrule-Glencorrib who made the long trip to Bangor.
A two goal first half salvo from Aidan O’Shea inspired Breaffy to their first win in the Mayo GAA Senior Football League this season as they saw off local rivals Castlebar Mitchels in Munnelly Park in Castlebar on Sunday. Both sides lined out with out key players for this contest with Seamus O’Shea serving a one match suspension for Breaffy after being dismissed early in their loss to Ballintubber a fortnight ago, while for Castlebar Mitchels neither Tom Cunniffe or Patrick Durcan were available for selection.
Live coverage from Celtic Park where Mayo take on Derry in the National Football League
“Work hard, that was it, simple as that. We wanted fellas to work hard.” That was the mantra to his players before the game from Mayo joint manager Pat Holmes last Sunday after his and Noel Connelly’s side had seen off the efforts of NUIG in the opening round of the FBD League.
Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly got their senior management tenure off to a winning start in Elverys MacHale Park on Sunday. The fare on show wasn't anything that will be remembered for long, but it got a few miles in the legs of a a couple of new and some returning faces in green and red.
Goals win games and there was no recovering from the two goals they shipped inside the opening ten minutes for Castlebar Mitchels on Sunday in MacHale Park.
It's not to often that you see a team come out for the second half of a game in different coloured jerseys from the ones the started the contest in, but that's what happened in MacHale Park on Sunday afternoon. Both Castlebar Mitchels and Garrymore were allowed to start the county semi-final in their home red jerseys, despite the only defining difference between the strips, being the yellow piping on the county towns shirts.
There were 16 teams when it started out, but only four remain as the semi-finals of the Mayo GAA senior football championship are down for decision in Elverys MacHale Park on Sunday afternoon.
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.