Search Results for 'Ray Dempsey'
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Tony Duffy will be hoping that his stint in charge of the Mayo u21s is a bit more successful than the last man who sat in his seat, after moving up from three years in charge of the minor team. Duffy has taken over the side this year from Ray Dempsey, the same man he replaced at the u18 grade three seasons previously. Picking up u21 provincial titles was par for the course for Mayo under the Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes joint ticket in the latter part of the last decade, but for the past three seasons Mayo have not even reached a provincial final, being sent packing by Roscommon in each of the past three championships before the final.
In June 2012, PJ Loftus lost his battle with bowel cancer. PJ was an extremely popular and valued member of the Knockmore community and had been a dedicated servant to Knockmore and Mayo GAA for many years. To pay tribute to his father's memory and raise much needed funds for the Mayo/Roscommon Hospice, PJ’s son Alan has organised a charity match between the Knockmore senior GAA team and their soccer counterparts from Conn Rangers. The game will take place on St Stephen's Day at 1pm at the Knockmore GAA pitch. The Knockmore team will feature county stars Kevin McLoughlin and Shane McHale, alongside Alan himself, Aidan Kilcoyne, John Brogan, Declan Sweeney and the returning pair of Trevor Howley and Niall Canavan amongst others. The Conn Rangers senior soccer team who narrowly missed out on promotion to the Super League this year will be represented by Owen McNamara and Brian Hughes (who both featured on the Mayo Premier A league team of the year), along with Noel Butler, Darren Coleman and Joe Faughnan.
It has been a remarkable few years for Ballintubber, escaping with the intermediate title by the skin of their teeth in 2007 and going on to put together back to back senior titles in 2010 and 2011. This year, they are looking to make it three senior titles in a row. On Sunday in McHale Park, Crossmolina Deel Rovers will become the latest side to try to knock Peter Ford’s men off their lofty perch.
March may only be a few days old, but for one Mayo team it is do or die in the championship as soon as next Wednesday. Ray Dempsey’s u21 side will entertain Galway under lights in McHale Park at 7.30pm in the preliminary round of the competition. The Tribesmen are the defending All Ireland champions after beating Cavan in last year’s final. Many of this year’s crop of Mayo u21s will have had their own All Ireland final experience, being part of a Mayo minor side that went down to Armagh in the All Ireland minor final three years ago. Cillian O’Connor will be Mayo’s stand out man in attack, while Danny Kirby of whom there big things are expected will be another man to look out for on Wednesday night. If Mayo come out of next Wednesday’s game with a win, they will be in action the following Wednesday night against Roscommon in the Connacht semi-final.
When things are going well for a team every previous match or training session throughout the season is seen as having been a signpost towards success and glory. On the other hand when things are not going so well, we very often forget to scrutinise exactly what may be the reasons for failure. I have spent the last few evenings looking back on Crossmolina’s season identifying the little things that led to our current fight for survival in division 1A of the senior league. Last year we won the league at a canter, without losing a single game. This year we drew four games, lost a few, lost another by a couple of points to an opposition that were reduced to 14 men for the entire second half. We did manage to win a couple by the skin of our teeth but now find ourselves in a play off situation with Ballinrobe and Westport to see who is demoted to division 1B along with Burrishoole.
Mayo have two representatives in Anthony Tohill’s preliminary squad announced this week with Ballinrobe’s Donal Vaughan being rewarded for his impressive summer in the green and red with a selection. Joining him in the 31 man preliminary squad is Australian based Pearse Hanley who plays Australian Rules football for the Brisbane Lions. Hanley (22) played just one season for the Mayo senior football team in 2007 before he departed for the Lions. Hanley previously played for the Irish u17 International Rules team where he won the Ron Barassi medal for the best player at the grade. He has played 34 times for the Lions since making his debut in 2008.
The four sides left in the Treanlaur Catering Senior Football Championship have lifted the Moclair Cup a grand total of 72 times. Ballina Stephenites (36) and Castlebar Mitchels (27) have more than the lion’s share between. But that does not mean that those two sides will make it through their semi-finals over the weekend to set up a traditional classic pairing in the final. In fact the favourites to the make the final in a lot of people’s eyes will probably be the younger pretenders Knockmore and Ballintubber with their eight and one title respectively. While Castlebar won their first title in 1888 and Ballina in 1889, Knockmore did not climb the mountain for the first time until 1973 and Ballintubber did for their only time so far last season.
With dreams of Sam, put to one side for another year last weekend. It is back to the real heart of the GAA this weekend when the Mayo club championships thunder back into action at the quarter final stage. McHale Park on Saturday and Sunday is the place to be with a double header on the first day and the Sabbath day serving up a triple header of action in the county ground.
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.