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Galway minor hurlers started the day off well last Sunday for the county in Semple Stadium, with a well merited 1-14 to 0-13 victory over Limerick in the All-Ireland quarter-final.
Murtt Connolly’s Mayo senior hurling side are looking to keep up their 100 per cent record in division 3B of the National Hurling League this Sunday. Mayo will host Donegal in McHale Park on Sunday at 2.30pm. So far this season wins over Roscommon, Fingal, and Louth have Mayo sitting pretty at the top of the table with three wins from three. Sunday’s opponents Donegal have one win from their three outings in the league, with their solitary win coming away to Monaghan in their second round game. Mayo’s last outing was a fortnight ago when they ground out a hard fought win over Louth in Dundalk. Connolly’s men will also have the services of dual player Keith Higgins back in harness for the game on Sunday after he returned from a holiday recently. In their last outing Kenny Feeney was the main man for Mayo, clipping over seven points, keeping up the good form he showed against Fingal in Mayo’s previous encounter. The goals came from Niall Murphy, Derek McDonnell, and Darren McTigue with Eoin Maddigan also prominent for Mayo. After Sunday’s game Mayo will have two games left in the league against Sligo and then away to Monaghan in a double header with the football team on the last day of action in the league stages of the competition. Mayo have their first outing in the Christy Ring Cup pencilled in for Saturday April 23 at home to Wicklow, and if they can keep up their good form of the early season through the latter stages of the league it will set them up nicely for their main competition of the year.
Sixteen GAA students from NUI Maynooth were presented with prestigious MBNA GAA scholarships by Bryan Kelly, Business Finance Officer with MBNA Ireland and Professor Tom Collins, President of NUI Maynooth earlier in the week.
Celebrated camogie duo Angela and Ann Downey received the Lifetime Achievement Award for their inter-county careers at The Irish Times/Irish Sports Council Sportswoman of the Year 2009 awards during the week at the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin.
Last week in this column I let off a bit of steam in relation to the GAA’s treatment of the lesser hurling counties in the country. As far as I was concerned unless you are a leading contender for Liam McCarthy honours you just don’t matter. Last weekend, the quarter-finals of the Nicky Rackard and Christy Ring cups were played and for the counties involved their season hung on the result. I mentioned about how shoddy the arrangements were for the draw for these quarter-finals. While the draw was being made for the qualifiers in the premier competition, the rest of the counties involved in their own championships, were left to hang on with no idea of who their opposition would be. What I didn’t mention though was my surprise that the knockout games in the Ring and Rackard cups would be on a home and away basis.
It all starts here on Sunday at 3pm local time (8pm at home), the All Ireland senior football championship in its celebratory 125th year gets under way with the footballers of Mayo taking to the field in Gaelic Park, roughly 3,047 miles from home in McHale Park, Castlebar.
Two Westmeath clubs go in search of a coveted place in a Leinster final this weekend. It has been a long and successful season already for the footballers of Garrycastle and Tubberclair but, without a doubt, all of their achievements up until now will pale into insignificance should either team win this weekend.