Club championship action on this weekend

It’s a change of scene in the Mayo GAA world this coming weekend, with inter-county action taking a back seat while club championship activity takes centre-stage.  There are matches on in the Senior, Intermediate and Junior championships over the coming two days, with the action spread over both tomorrow and Sunday.

As one who has expressed hostile opinions in the past about club activity getting in the way of what’s going on at inter-county level, I have to say that I’ve come round to the view that it’s only right and proper to have club championship matches on in high summer. I know there’s the risk of county players getting decapitated by horny-headed club heroes but, to be honest, as many players are lost to injuries picked up at inter-county training as they are playing in club matches.

Sure, we could all be wincing before the weekend is out having learned that an important member of the county panel has been carted off to the sick bay but equally the same player could end up in the same place after one of the ultra-competitive Green v Red training matches. We’re actually in a good place – says he, furiously touching all wood within easy reach – as regards injuries this year so hopefully this run of luck will hold over the next few days.

The weekend’s schedule also means that those players who looked a bit short of full match fitness last Sunday – such as Barry Moran, Andy Moran, Alan Dillon and Jason Gibbons – should all get an hour’s blood and thunder action under their belts before the county team heads for Croke Park in a fortnight’s time. The closer this quartet are to full tilt, the stronger our hand will be at HQ.

The one gripe I still have on the club v. county thing is that different counties operate by different rules. The Dublin club championship, for example, appeared briefly over the horizon back in mid-May this year but then, after just one round of action, back it went into cold storage marked ‘Do Not Disturb’ until the Dubs’ involvement in the race for Sam is over. This is the kind of nonsense that forced my own club St. Vincents to play four club championship matches (three Dublin ones and the first round in Leinster) in just thirteen days last back-end and no doubt it’ll be the same crack again for whichever team comes out of Dublin this year. Up in Donegal, meanwhile, they’re not playing any club championship games at all this year until the jukebox has stopped playing Jimmy’s Winning Matches.

I know that the decision to complete all club championships in the same calendar year will help bash counties such as these into line. Some kind of compulsion, however, on counties to play championship games in June, July and possibly August as well will surely also be required if these plans are going to succeed in practice.

Anyway, back to this weekend’s fixtures, full details of which are (courtesy of Mayo GAA’s Facebook page) as follows:

Senior Championship

Group 1
Sun 2pm: Crossmolina v Ballintubber
Sun 2pm: Shrule/Glencorib v Castlebar Mitchels.

Group 2
Sat 7pm: Kiltane v Ballinrobe
Sat 7pm: Knockmore v Garrymore.

Group 3
Sat 7pm: Westport v Davitts
Sat 7pm: Charlestown Sarsfields v Ballaghaderreen.

Group 4
Sun 2pm: Aghamore v Claremorris
Sun 2pm: Breaffy v Ballina Stephenites.

Intermediate Championship

Group 1
Sat 7pm: Mayo Gaels v Tuar Mhic Eadaigh
Sat 7pm: Ballyhaunis v Burrishoole.

Group 2
Sun 2pm: The Neale v Killala
Sun 2pm: Bonniconlon v Hollymount/Carramore.

Group 3
Sat 7pm: Kilmaine v Moy Davitts
Sat 7pm: Swinford v Cill Chomain.

Group 4
Sat 7pm: Parke V Kiltimagh
Sat 7pm: Islandeady V Belmullet.

Junior Championship

Group 1
Sun 12pm: Knockmore v Ballcroy

Group 2
Sat 7pm: Balla v Kilfian
Sat 7pm: Lahardane v Ballina

Group 3
Sun 2pm: Charlestown v Kilmeena
Sun 2pm: CLG ACLA v Ballaghaderreen

Group 4
Sun 2pm: Ardagh V Ardnaree
Crossmolina V Ballintubber.

24 thoughts on “Club championship action on this weekend

  1. “Some kind of compulsion, however, on counties to play championship games in June, July and possibly August as well will surely also be required if these plans are going to succeed in practice.”

    That was in the Football Review Committees proposals that went to Ard Comhairle, but they voted it down I believe. If the top brass aren’t even supporting it, then it could be a long time before we see it happening.

  2. I don’t agree with u on this one W J,. Why should mayo play club games When we into quarter finals. This is not a level playing field for mayo .I know u say club games can be good for some players to get up to speed and. Is the same as a v b games .but I disagree as in club games u will always have some club trying to make a name for himself by taking out a county player . IF every other county had to play a club game every month in summer time to finish the championship then I would not have a problem .But why should Dublin or Donegal have a advantage on us

  3. Besides the quartet you mentioned WJ, I’d be very interested in how Freeman, Sweeney and Feeney get on with their three clubs this weekend.

    I’m more convinced than ever that our two great servants, Andy and Alan should not be starting but rather be be impact subs as potential markers tire and level the playing field the pair’s lesser pace these days.

    Jason will hopefully get back to his super NL form and starting the next day, and the jury is still out on Barry at the highest level, but I believe he has a role to play this year!

    I also believe Alan Freeman is our best starting full forward option and I’d have Mikey Sweeney starting in the otter corner. And again on the club front, I believe Mikey played the last round of the championship with a broken toe.

    The third forward I mentioned is Richie Feeney and he deserves a lot more than a second half run in New York!

    In my book these three should be much more in JH’s plans this year, and to borrow your words, ‘ the stronger our hand will be in HQ ‘ if they were.

    And hopefully Tom Cunniffe will also be available the next day!

  4. My feelings too Cloud 9.
    Having come through the last couple of matches relatively unscathed the last thing we need now is injuries from the club scene.
    We are now left with 3 fences to jump in the shape of 3 must win matches so we need to be fully focussing on each of those as they arise.
    We don’t get to attempt the 3rd fence if we don’t clear the first & second.
    Standards increase from here & if the boss appreciates that then we stand as good a chance as any of going where we want to go.
    And yes you are right to mention Tom Cunniffe & Richie Feeney … it’s about the overall good from here …. otherwise we could end up just short again.

  5. This is a bad idea, was it not a club game that cillian dislicated his shoulder? Fingers crossed everyone.

  6. The same clown thats goes out to injure a county player will then sit in the stand in Croker complaining if his county team is not winning…..

  7. What about the lads who have trained hard since January and are not involved in the county setup?Do they deserve to be f**ked around with games getting cancelled because of Mayo,s progression?Clubs are finding it hard enough to hold onto players without waiting months and months for championship games.

  8. The county players want to play for their clubs and it’s good for them
    To get more game time and be ready for the 1/4 finals. Injuries happen in county training all the time and even if some player does get injured this weekend mayo have the players and cover and to deal with it.

    Let it not be forgotten that it’s the grassroots of the GAA involved in their clubs who nurture and bring county players through. Clubs have suffered enough and the more game time the better for all players.

  9. I recall seeing in Killarney at the last training session that Kerry had before one of their All-Ireland wins – Micko having a serious go at Pat Spillane for pulling out of a tackle.

    I believe in the philosophy that you can’t wrap athletes in cotton wool. The less committed you are to a tackle, the greater danger of getting injured and athletes, like warriors need hard training and physical contact as often as possible. Just like they need proper rest and recovery time.

    I believe there is more to be gained overall from letting club championship matches go ahead up to two weeks before the next big county game. I also believe that there has to be competitive A v B games in training to keep contact levels, tackling and competition for places at a high tempo.

  10. simple solution, 6 months for inter county football and 6 months for club. that will eliminate all the burn out.

  11. Completely agree with Ming! Don’t mess with our ‘ordinary’ club players.
    If we want a model of success look no further than Kilkenny who have no time whatever for wrapping anyone in cotton wool. As regards players going out to ‘do’ a county player………most county players are fairly hardy bucks and are generally well able to look after themselves.

  12. It’s not all about the boys Mayo v Kerry in Nenagh tomorrow at 4 bells! Yes it’s an All Ireland final! Under 14 girls. Best of luck to them!

  13. I think the score line flattered Dublin to be honest. The reason i say that is because after 60 minutes of football Meath had only scored 8 points against one of the most open teams in the competition. Dublin played good but not as good as the score line suggests.

  14. Just look at the ref decision he was so poor, he gave Dublin all the breaks, but meath it so easy for Dublin, so Dublin still not tested this. Year, but it

  15. Who would want to be the reff that officiates a Dublin game in which they are bet,??

  16. I d say if the ref played with Meath Dublin would still have won. They could easily have won by 25 to 30 points eased up in last 15 mins. Rock missed a sitter and Meath got goal in next attack. Dublin were as they have been for quite a while, excellent, so credit where its due. Having said that Im delighted dubs are winning their games by so much. It makes them seem invincible but no team is unbeatable and any team can have an off day. Looking forward to a Dublin v Donegal semi. Now that really would be an interesting clash of styles. Expected Donegal to win today. They mean business this year and just watch Jimmys reaction at the end. He was absolutely delighted. Winning 3 out of 4 ulster titles is some achievement so credit to them also. As for us, we just have to concentrate on our quarter final and not worry about other side of the draw. Over the last two years we have matched Dublin better than anyone else and theres nothing to suggest that we cant match them this year as well. Hopefully they all emerged unscathed from club matches. Last point has it been confirmed whether we play quarter final on Saturday or sunday.

  17. Any thoughts on today’s finals …IMO dublin look unbeatable it pains me to say it

  18. I wouldn’t be as impressed with Dublin as some other posters. Granted they put up a big scoreline but as I said in an earlier post in 60 minutes of football Meath had only managed to score 8 points.8 points against a team who play the most open style of football.The scoreline in my opinion shows how weak Meath was today instead of how great Dublin were.I actually thought Dublin looked very average in the first half .

  19. Last team to lead Dublin at half time in a championship match – Mayo
    Last team to get within a point of Dublin at full time – Mayo
    Forget what most of the pundits are saying at the moment, most of them are robbing a living and have no more insight into things then we do “Dublin won by alot, Dublin are good” “Donegal won an all ireland recently and have won Ulster, so I’ll write that they are good as well”. Its the Dublin players that would tell ya the toughest opposition they have faced is Mayo, if only we had finished the job. Our biggest threat to facing them again in a final lies in Kerry in the semi but if we dont show them much respect and play our game we’ll be fine
    Cuthbert is out of his depth in Cork and unless we lose our heads completely it’ll be us v Kerry in the semi with Dublin joining the winners in the final.

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