There are three separate Mayo teams in competitive action today, in three different codes at three different venues. It’s a real jam-packed weekend for the county, with the men’s footballers facing a crunch promotion decider against Clare tomorrow as well.
Today it’s hurling, camogie and women’s football that are in focus. Three extremely tough games they’re set to be too, with all three Mayo teams heading into these tests as outsiders.
The hurlers get the action underway for us today. Their match against Kildare throws in at MacHale Park at 2pm and it’s being streamed live on the Mayo GAA Facebook page.
While a win for either county would secure this year’s NHL Division 2B title and, with it, promotion to Division 2A, in reality Kildare come into this game in the stronger position. They’ve won all three games they’ve played to date and a draw is all they need from today’s match.
As the reigning Christy Ring Cup champions, the visitors will be strong fancied to come out on top at MacHale Park today. However, if our lads perform at the level they did in their opening two matches this year – before slumping to that heavy defeat to Donegal last time out – then they could be in with a shout of causing an upset.
Colm Gannon of the Mayo Advertiser explains the promotion permutations in his match preview – here.
Up the road at Markievicz Park at 3pm today, the county’s camogie team face an equally tough assignment. They’ve up against Cavan in the Camogie Leagues Division 4 semi-final and, like the hurlers, their opponents come into this match with a 100% record from the three games they’ve played to date.
The Breffni County are also the current holders of the Nancy Murray Cup – that’s the Championship competition we’re competing in this year – which merely underlines the quality of opposition Jimmy Lyons’ team is facing today.
But this Mayo team has heart and guts aplenty and the group have won many admirers – one of them is here at the keyboard typing this – with their stirring performance to date. We can take it for granted that they’ll give it their absolute best today and, when a team does that, it’s surprising where it can take them.
Colm Gannon has previewed this one too (that’s here) and today’s game is also being streamed live on Facebook, this time on the Mayo Camogie page.
Arguably the toughest test of the lot today faces the Mayo LGFA team who take on Dublin in the NFL Division One semi-final. That game – in front of a select few supporters, so the atmosphere in the ground should be lively – is being contested at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick, throwing in at 5.15pm.
Dublin’s women footballers, like the men, have laid waste to all opposition in recent years and, just like their male counterparts, they play with a relentless style that makes them extremely difficult to beat. It’s going to be really hard for Michael Moyles’ team to find a path to victory over them this evening.
That said, there’s been much to like about how the Mayo team are shaping up this year. The League matches played to date have been used wisely, with the focus mainly on experimentation and settling into a style of play, with everything geared towards the approaching Championship campaign.
In that respect, getting to the League semi-final this year has to be viewed as a bonus. And when you’re in bonus territory and can play with abandon, that’s not a bad place to be. It’s also great for this team to test themselves against the best so that they can get a true measure of where they’re at before the Championship gets going. If they manage to pull off a big shock in the process then so much the better.
Colm Gannon’s preview on the women’s match is here and the game is being streamed live by TG4 on their YouTube site – here. Seeing as it’s on YouTube, I’m going to embed the feed here on the blog so if you want to watch it live then all you need to do is rock up here at 5.15pm and hit play.
The very best of luck to all three Mayo teams in action today.