Search Results for 'Tony Duffy'
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With just two league games under their belts for the 16 senior clubs in the county, the race for the Moclair Cup gets under way this weekend with eight games across the four groups in the Treanlaur Catering Mayo GAA senior football championship getting going to the whistle over Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.
As the first few days of the new year roll into life, the Mayo GAA season gets under way on Saturday with the Mayo u21s taking part in the Hastings Cup for the first time in a number of years. Mayo will be one of 12 teams taking part in the warm up competition for the 2014 u21 championship which will get under way in early spring. Mayo have been drawn in a group with Offaly, Longford, and Cavan, and will open their season on Saturday against Longford in Newtown Forbes at 1pm.
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.
What was to be expected of the Mayo senior footballers at the dawn of 2012? Progress was what people wanted to see. But how much realistic progress could people expect from James Horan’s side in year two of his project. Knocking out the All Ireland champions at the quarter final stage was a pretty big thing to progress on 12 months later. But that they did and some more.
I sent a brief text to Liam McHale and Kevin McStay last Sunday evening congratulating them on guiding St Brigid’s of Roscommon to a Connacht title. These two lads were brought in by the Roscommon club to launch a serious bid for All-Ireland, an honour which, understandably, placed and places them under huge pressure. Had they not managed to at least achieve a provincial title, they would have been perceived as failures. On the evidence of last Sunday, I believe they have a fantastic chance of going all the way with this team.
The Mayo GAA County Board are still waiting the report of referee Liam Devenney from the controversial Crossmolina Deel Rovers and Ballintubber game last weekend. The game, which was moved from Crossmolina to Ballina on Sunday morning when the pitch was deemed to be unplayable, saw Ballintubber fail to show up at the changed venue. Speaking to the Mayo Advertiser yesterday morning, Mayo GAA secretary Kevin O’Toole said that until the referee’s report is received no firm decision will be made. O’Toole told the Mayo Advertiser that, “We are awaiting the referees report on the game, we are expecting to have received it by Thursday (yesterday) or Friday. What will happen is that the CCC will review it and a decision made on it then. It will be open to an appeal then by either side. There have been some communications received from Ballintubber on the issue. Even though the result went up on the website, it’s not official until we receive the referee’s report, especially in circumstances like this.”
On the undercard of Sunday’s senior final is the meeting of two sides who have been beaten in three of the last four junior finals as they look to finally make the break up to intermediate football. Ardnaree were seen off last year by Islandeady and were also beaten in the final of three years ago by Kiltimagh. The Neale were last in the final in 2008 when Killala saw them off to claim the title.
Once in a while, it can be good to get things wrong. Not too often, but calling the result of Mayo's All Ireland minor quarter final against the defending All Ireland champions Tipperary at the start of the month was something that a lot of people called wrong. And were glad too. Tony Duffy's side put on a performance of class and determination in sweeping aside the Munster champions in Croke Park that day. It was as unexpected as it was refreshing, and exciting to see a Mayo side take to the turf in headquarters and play without any fear but total abandon and take to the game to a supposedly stronger side and put them to the sword. Their reward for that victory is a place in the All Ireland semi-final this Sunday against beaten Leinster finalists Meath for a place in next month’s All Ireland final.
The only silver lining that the Mayo minors could take out of their Connacht final defeat to Roscommon a little under three weeks ago was that they were going to get a second chance. If Tony Duffy’s side are going to take that second chance, they will have to seriously up their performance against the rising kings of underage football in Munster, Tipperary.