Search Results for 'Robbie Hennelly'
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After this weekends final round of action in the group stages of the Mayo GAA Senior Football Championship we now know the eight sides who’ll be contesting the knock-out stages. Breaffy, Castlebar Mitchels, Ballintubber and Kiltane all won their groups and Knockmore, Ballina Stephenites, Aghamore and Garrymore joined them after finishing in second place in their respective groups.
The Mayo club championship finally gets under way at the weekend and I have no doubt the two most nervous spectators will be Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly especially as the games are on a week later than planned as it will give their county players a week less to get over any niggles or strains picked up to be fit in time to face Galway.
Ballintubber opened up their account in the Breaffy House Senior Football League with a nine point win over Breaffy in a West Mayo derby on Saturday evening. The senior county champions were short a number of their key men going into the game with Cillian O’Connor, Alan Dillon and Jason Gibbons all ruled out of the match due to injury. The hosts had a strong side out for this league opener but with 12 minutes gone on the clock, Breaffy had been reduced to 13 player after both Seamus and Aidan O’Shea were both shown straight red cards by referee Kevin Connelly who was left no choice in the matter by either player.
Heartbreaking is all that can be said to describe Mayo’s defeat in Park Ui Rinn last Sunday. After going 1-02 to no score down after 10 minutes it looked like the writing was on the wall for another hiding at the hands of League leaders and division one top scorers Cork.
If one incident defined how much more Dublin were up for this game that Mayo it was when early in the second half, Aidan O’Shea got in behind the Dublin defence. He stumbled but fed the ball to Mark Ronaldson, who pulled the trigger. But out of nowhere Denis Bastick got back to not only block the ball, but gather it and break clear. It was an outstanding feat of athleticism and brilliance by the Ballymun Kickhams man.
Elvery’s MacHale Park is the place to be this weekend, when the best eight senior club teams in the county do battle for a place in the semi-finals of this year’s club championship.
Last May between four and five thousand Mayo supporters descended on the Big Apple for the first round of the Connacht Championship, excited, anxious, expectant, is this going to be the year? Mayo supporters are a rare breed; they keep on supporting despite so many setbacks. I bet the New York GAA board and the pubs in Mid Manhattan wish Mayo had to travel every year. The performance levels grew as the tests became stiffer and Mayo found themselves in an All- Ireland semi final replay in Limerick above all places. I find this defeat particularly hard to take because we simply did not deserve to lose to Kerry. What is even more challenging to accept is that a team we were five points up against with three minutes left on the clock or a team we gave a hiding to by 16 points last year are going to be All- Ireland champions, will anything break for us to claim back the Holy Grail?
Last Sunday’s All-Ireland senior quarter final against Cork really had a bit of everything. The tone for the game was set up earlier in the week when Brian Cuthbert, the Cork manager, launched an attack on two of Mayo’s favourite sons, Kevin McLoughlin and Cillian O’Connor. This was then compounded by Cork selector Ronan McCarthy’s agreement with his manager when both players’ integrity was put into question and their ability to “foul tactically” and be very “streetwise” was used as a means of trying to give Cork an edge with the referee. McLoughlin and O’Connor are role models for youngsters all over the county and indeed country, and I feel the Cork management made a big mistake in naming them, particularly as they have a pretty much impeccable disciplinary record. The bottom line is you want your forwards tackling hard, and maybe if their own team were a little more “streetwise” against Kerry they would not have received such a hiding.
The first half of Sunday's All Ireland quarter final between Mayo and Cork, will have long faded into the memory bank by the time the Mayo's meeting with Kerry comes around, but the second half is one that the fat will be chewed over a lot in the next 21 days. The first half was a bitty and often ill tempered affair where Mayo struggled to break down, Cork's blanket defence and the sides went in level at eight points each. Mayo ran down closed off avenues and their foot passing into their full forward line was wasn't sticking as Cork smothered the Mayo attack like jam on a warm slice of bread.