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Following Mayo's defeat to Roscommon in MacHale Park for the first time since 1986 in the FBD League on Sunday afternoon, it's all eyes on Mayo's next game against Kerry in the opening round of the National Football League on the first Sunday in February. Speaking after the Roscommon game, joint Mayo manager Pat Holmes said that his side have a few injury worries still to clean up ahead of the contest. “Injuries are clearing up and we're hoping that Keith Higgins would be back playing football next weekend. Aidan O'Shea is a wee bit away and Ger Cafferkey has a back strain, so were getting closer to a full panel. We're happy from that point of view” he said. As for the two most experienced outfield players in the panel Andy Moran and Alan Dillon, it will be a bit further into the Spring before we see them in green and red he said, “They will be more long term, they won't be playing football for the next month or so anyway.”
It is back to the cut and thrust of championship football for the final four sides in both the intermediate and junior championship this weekend. The action gets under way on Saturday evening with a junior championship double header in Mayo GAA headquarters, and Ardnaree and Lahardane meeting in the first semi-final at 5pm, with Cill Chomain and Louisburgh meeting in the second game at 6.30pm.
Ballina Town are on the look out for a new manager following the news that Brendan Kenny has decided to step down form the position of manager. Kenny who led Ballina Town to back to back Super League titles stood down this week following Ballina’s elimination from the FAI Junior Cup last weekend. He told the Mayo Advertiser this week that, “It’s been a great four years with the lads, but I think it was time to step away. It’s been all go in the Mayo League because your going all year round and I feel like I have brought them as far as I can. A big thing for me was retaining the Super League title, but I don’t have the energy to give it all the time you need anymore so I’m taking a step back. I’ve been there for four years now and the lads need a new fresh voice to push them on further, and it’s a great opportunity for a manager to come to a side who are the top of the tree in Mayo. The club has come on leaps and bounds over the last few years not just off the pitch, we have the new club house and the astro turf which is a great credit to all those involved and I’m pleased to have been involved in that.”
“It’s a cup competition in reality, you can’t afford to lose a game,” is how Mayo League manager Brendan Kenny sees Sunday’s game against the Roscommon side in the Oscar Traynor Trophy. Weather permitting, Kenny’s Mayo will host neighbours Roscommon on Sunday in Milebush Park at 2pm in their first game in this year’s Oscar Traynor Trophy. It will be the visitors’ second game in the competition this year after going down 3-1 to a Sligo/Leitrim side a few weeks ago, meaning it is do or die on Sunday for them.
Connacht return to the Galway Sportsground for the first time since December, targetting a much-needed victory against a Glasgow Warriors side missing its Scottish internationals.
Galway senior county champions Corofin will be favourites to see off Castlerea in the Connacht club championship semi-final in Hyde Park on Sunday at 2.30pm.
Often the best game on All-Ireland final Sunday is the minor contest, rather than the senior joust. Last year was no exception and Mayo and Tyrone played out a real thriller in Croke Park that had to go to a replay before Tyrone just about collected the silverware.
Often the best game on All-Ireland final Sunday is the minor contest, rather than the senior joust.