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The first weekend of the new year is coming up and for the 2013 Super League champions, Ballina Town there is no rest in store for them as they make the long trip to Kerry to take on Castleisland Celtic in the fifth round of the FAI Junior Cup final. Ballina Town manager Fergal Forde has had to deal with a number of key players bowing out of action during 2013, but it has not dimmed his ambitions for his side. “We’ve also had to deal with a couple of retirements since the end of the Mayo league season with Philip Devers retiring and Keith Duffy moving on, also have goalkeeper Emmett Payton gone now too. We’ve a good squad, but will have a very young bench going down there, but they are all good lads coming up from the under 18s and they are the future of the club.”
Castlebar Mitchell’s (aet) 3-13
People are being urged to support a fundraising celebrity soccer game on Friday evening which will benefit two local charities.
Castlebar Mitchels 3-13
Newly crowned Westmeath champions St Loman’s and experienced Roscommon kingpins St Brigid’s both got their respective provincial campaign off to a winning start last weekend. The Mullingar side had to fight hard for their one-point win over Carlow’s Old Leighlin while it was all too easy for St Brigid’s who were never tested by disappointing Sligo champions Tourlestrane.
It has been a remarkable decade of success for the hurlers of Portumna.
On bank holiday Monday at 2pm, Tooreen will be looking to see off the challenge of Four Roads from Roscommon and book their place in the Connacht Intermediate Club Hurling Championship final. Monday’s game in Athleague will see the blue devils look to keep up the form that saw them demolish Ballyhaunis in some style in the county final a fortnight ago.
It'll be hard to find a county final that will have as close of neighbors going toe-toe in it, and have two brothers lining up in opposite colours (Tommy O'Reilly for Breaffy and Eoghan O'Reilly for Castlebar), but that's what this years Mayo senior football championship final has in store in a fortnight's time. Breaffy booked their very first appearance int he final with a historic win over Charlestown, while Castlebar Mitchels overcame Knockmore, despite being without the services of their man-of-the-match from last weeks quarter-final win over Ballina Stephenites ,Barry Moran and losing Aidan Walsh early in the game through injury. Mitchels beat Breaffy comprehensively in the group stages of the championship back in early summer, but Declan O'Reilly's have inflicted a defeat on Pat Holmes' side this year with a win in the opening league game of the season.
On Sunday evening, Ardnaree and Cill Chomain will do battle for the right to bring the Pete McDonnell Cup home with them for the winter. For the men in green and gold, it will be their fourth junior final in five years and a chance to exercise the demons from those defeats. In 2009 Kiltimagh defeated them on their way to a day out in Croke Park in the All Ireland junior club final, while in 2011 it was Islandeady who came out on top in the county grounds and most dramatically last year, The Neale emerged victorious after a replay against Ardnaree after a Seán Ramsgrove goal deep in injury time in the replay forced the game into extra time where the south-Mayo men ended up winning by five points.