It’s not just that Gaddafi lad that has seen an alteration in his worldview over the past week: there we were seven days ago licking our chomps about our impending appearance in an All-Ireland semi-final for the first time in six years and now the most exciting thing from a #mayogaa perspective is this weekend’s resumption of the club championship. Oh well, there’s always next year, isn’t there?
But it is good to see the club action resuming: the club ‘champo’ up here (every word of note has to end in an ‘o’ in these parts) will be stuck in the deep freeze until the Dubs’ interest in the All-Ireland is at an end. That could, of course, happen as early as tomorrow (though I don’t think it will – I fancy the Dubs to have at least five points to spare on Donegal) but as far as I know the Dublin County Board haven’t taken the fatalistic viewpoint about their penultimate round chances that our lads did when they scheduled a round of club championship matches for this weekend.
That decision should, however, mean that the club championship in Mayo will be finished before this current cold, miserable weather (summer, I believe it’s called) gives way to even colder and more miserable conditions. The Dublin championship, meanwhile, is unlikely to be done with until well into October, which now appears all but certain to mean that there’ll be no Dublin representative in this year’s Leinster club championship.
There were two quarter-finals played at McHale Park today and the remaining two are due to be contested tomorrow. In this afternoon’s first match Knockmore, who were beaten by Castlebar Mitchels at the semi-final stage last year, booked their semi-final spot this year by getting the better of Ballaghadereen by 2-9 to 2-7. The North Mayo lads were cruising in this one until Andy Moran banged in two late goals but it wasn’t enough to save the day for the 2008 champions.
Today’s second game, between Ballina and Breaffy, ended in a 1-11 to 0-14 draw. Ballina were well on top early on, with an Evan Regan goal putting them six points clear and they were four up at the break. When they fell six behind again early in the second half, it looked as if Breaffy’s number was up but, with the O’Sheas to the fore, they stormed back into it and secured a draw with an injury-time point by Mathew Conroy.
The other two semi-finals are due to be played at McHale Park tomorrow, with defending champions Ballintubber laying their title on the line at 3pm when they face Shrule-Glencorrib (who they beat at the semi-final stage last year) while last year’s beaten finalists Castlebar Mitchels face Crossmolina at 4.30pm. Mayo GAA will, as they did today, be proving regular score updates on both matches via their excellent Twitter service.