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Back when Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly took charge of the Mayo u21s for the first time in 2006, Keith Higgins was the man who they entrusted as their leader on the field. When the duo took the reins of the senior team this year it was the Ballyhaunis man they looked to again to be their battlefield commander. Higgins has been one of the finest defenders in the game over the best part of the last decade and he knows despite what others may say about the championship proper only beginning in August, it kicked off in earnest a long time ago. "If you're a Mayo player and you see the draw coming out and you see you've Galway in Salthill, that's where the championship starts no matter how good your record has been the last few years. That's championship stuff and that's what gets you going. You ask the Donegal boys and they'll say the same thing when they'd to play Tyrone in the first round at the end of May. They can't be thinking ahead to August. But August is where you want to be."
The Connacht branch of the Irish Rugby Football Union was formed on December 8, 1885 in Corless’ Burlington Dining Rooms, Andrew Street, and Church Lane, Dublin. The meeting took place after the first time Connacht played as a province in a match against Leinster. The clubs represented at the meeting were Ballinasloe, Castlebar, Galway Grammar School, Galway Town, Queen’s College Galway, and Ranelagh School, Athlone.
Congratulations to Ballintubber who clinched their third Moclair Cup in five years against last year’s county and Connacht champions, and their fiercest rivals Castlebar Mitchels. It is a marvellous achievement for a team that was playing intermediate football in 2007.
In the last number of weeks a few big GAA stories have escaped inches in my column because of the drama in the drawn All-Ireland semi final between Mayo and Kerry, the subsequent replay, and last but by no means least, the performance of the referee in that replay. I am putting that to bed now. You have to take your hat off to Jim McGuinness, his philosophies, and his way of thinking. He has his team so well fine tuned it borders on professionalism. He had a five day training camp prior to the Dublin game and the same again in the lead up to Sunday’s All-Ireland final. This all comes at a considerable cost, and along with some players being flown from Dublin to Donegal by helicopter for training it must mean some very generous individual or individuals are bank rolling it (that is of course if it is all true).
For the first time in the club’s history, County Galway Cricket Club has won the prestigious Munster Senior Cup.
Toyota Ireland has become the new official car sponsor to Cricket Ireland.
Gary Neville the ex Manchester United captain and England footballer and current leading Sky Sports pundit tried his hand at hurling as part of a stag group at Pure Skill in Galway at the weekend.
As Connacht enters a second year of Heineken Cup rugby, the new man at the administrative helm will be former cricket trouble-shooter Tom Sears.
Ireland’s greatest cricket player, Kevin O’Brien, will come to Mullingar Cricket Club on Sunday April 29 to hold a coaching session for the underage teams and to officially open the club’s cricket ground in St Finian’s College, Mullingar.
Ireland’s cricketing legend, all-rounder Trent Johnston is coming to Galway to visit the county club on Saturday between 12 and 1:30pm.