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“At half time we said we’d nothing to lose and to just go out there and have a go” Mayo manger Frank Browne said in the immediate aftermath of his sides heart breaking All Ireland semi-final loss in Cavan on Saturday night.
Westmeath produced a determined display but still suffered a 2-10 to 1-11 All-Ireland Ladies SFC quarter-final defeat to Mayo at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Saturday.
It will be six weeks since Mayo last took to the field in competitive action in the Connacht final against Galway this weekend. The long lay off is nothing new for this bunch of ladies, who had a similar layoff after their league final defeat to Cork before their championship opener against the Tribeswomen. Going into both of those games Mayo were the underdogs, but on Saturday afternoon they are warm favourites to book their place in the last four of the All Ireland series against beaten Leinster finalists Westmeath.
This Sunday afternoon, MacHale Park will play host to the classic Connacht final pairing of Mayo and Galway in the Connacht Ladies Gaelic Football Championship. For Mayo they will be looking to turn over Galway at this stage for the first time in four years, while the Tribeswomen are on a "drive for five" in the province.
Mayo will have learned a lot from their league campaign this year, but the one lesson they will take away from Parnell Park on Saturday night is that if you don’t take the chances that come your way against a team like Cork, you’re not going to be going home with the silverware.
Tomorrow afternoon in Birr, Frank Browne's Mayo Ladies' side will be putting their 100 per cent league record on the line when they take on Kerry in the National League semi-final with a spot in the final up for grabs. It has been a seriously impressive league season so far for this side who have swept all before them in the group stages, picking up seven wins from seven games to top the division, finishing nine points in front of the four sides below them in the table who all finished on 12 points. That led to its own confusion and controversy with Armagh initially being told that they had made it into the last four only for it to emerge that it was Mayo's opponents Kerry who had qualified for the play-off spot.
The Mayo Ladies senior football team picked up their sixth win in the league last weekend when they saw off the challenge of Tyrone by nine points in Killyclogher, that win cemented their place at the top of the table six points ahead of second placed Dublin.
Mayo will go looking for their fourth win from four games in the league this Sunday. Having beaten Cork, Dublin and Galway so far in the league, it would be easy to feel they've got the hardest games out of the way already. But this Sunday they welcome to Swinford Amenity Park an Armagh side that are in as rich a vein of form as they are themselves. Armagh sit level on nine points from three games just like Mayo at the top of the table, and the ladies from the Orchard county are also in fine form.
The Mayo ladies' senior football team have got their season off to the perfect start with three wins from their opening three games. On paper it looked like the toughest of starts that Frank Browne's side could have had away to the defending All Ireland champions Cork, before Dublin came to Mayo the following week, and then a trip to Tuam to take on a Galway side that have claimed the last four Connacht titles. But Mayo have come out of those three games with three wins out of three and have set themselves up nicely for a crack at the league title.
For the second week in a row the Mayo ladies senior footballers will be facing the same opposition as their male counterparts, but unlike the men last weekend the Mayo ladies left Cork with the points in the bag thanks to a seven point win over the All Ireland champions.