Club championship action resumes this weekend

Photo: @MayoGAA

Pope or no Pope, the action in the Senior and Intermediate club championships resumes this weekend. With the tap unexpectedly turned off for us at inter-county level before the end of June, I think it’s no exaggeration to claim that the club championships within the county this year are the most eagerly awaited in ages. Here’s a quick run-down of what’s in store this weekend.

In the SFC the second round of group matches take place, with games spread over Saturday and Sunday.

In Group 1 Aghamore have the unenviable task of hosting the three-in-a-row Moclair Cup champions. They play Castlebar Mitchels in Aghamore at 6pm on Saturday. Ballina Stephenites face Ballaghaderreen at James Stephens Park on Sunday at 2pm. As the table below confirms, Mitchels and Ballaghaderreen are leading the way in this group after the first round of games so wins for both will see them through to the knockout stage with a match to spare.

In Group 2 both second round matches this weekend take place at 4pm on Saturday. Garrymore and Charlestown Sarsfields won their respective opening round games and their meeting at Garrymore affords them both the opportunity to seize control of the group and claim a quarter-final place. Knockmore hosts Bohola Moy Davitts in the other game.

In Group 3 it’s Westport and Claremorris who lead the way and both have the chance this weekend to lock down their places in the knockout stage. Westport host Hollymount/Carramore at 4pm on Saturday while at 6pm that evening Claremorris entertain Crossmolina.

In Group 4 the meeting of table-toppers Ballintubber and Breaffy is arguably the tie of the weekend. This heavyweight clash throws in at Ballintubber at 6pm on Sunday. Ahead of that, Kiltane host Davitts on Saturday at 4pm, with both clubs looking to get off the mark in the group.

Onto the Intermediate championship, where the following second round of group matches take place this weekend (home team listed first):

  • Group 1: Kiltimagh v Mayo Gaels, Saturday 4pm; Belmullet v Ballyhaunis, Saturday 6pm
  • Group 2: Swinford v Bonniconlon, Saturday 6pm; Burrishoole v Islandeady, Sunday 4pm
  • Group 3: The Neale v Ballinrobe, Sunday 3pm; Ardnaree v Castlebar Mitchels B, Sunday 3pm
  • Group 4: Lahardane MacHales v Parke/Keelogues/Crimlin, Sunday 2pm; Louisburgh v Shrule/Glencorrib, Sunday 3pm

Keep an eye on @MayoGAA for details of any last-minute changes to times or venues for these games and also for blow-by-blow score updates from the various fixtures.

The other football story today involving the county – which isn’t, of course, a Mayo GAA one at all but is instead one that relates to the Mayo LGFA – is the decision made on Tuesday night to expel Carnacon from the Mayo LGFA senior football championship. It’s a decision that will, if upheld, mean that the reigning county, provincial and All-Ireland champions will not be given the right to defend their titles this year.

Whatever the rights and wrongs were about the walkout from the county team earlier this summer, it’s impossible to see how a club team can justifiably suffer collective punishment of the most draconian kind for the actions of some of its players at county level. A report on the issue by Edwin McGreal in the Mayo News (here) provides some useful background to the affair and it also confirms that Carnacon intend to appeal this decision to the Connacht Council.

53 thoughts on “Club championship action resumes this weekend

  1. I cannot see how the Carnacon players withdrawal could constitute “bringing the game [or the Association] into disrepute”. Can somebody explain why it brings anything into disrepute? I always saw this rule on “disrepute” as a rule which enables a Board to get somebody they do not like even if they do not break any other rule in the book. And saying that the other players [four?] left for personal reasons is copping out. The statement issued by the players opting out said that they were leaving for player welfare issues which were personal to the players concerned. So no difference between the Carnacon eight and the other four. And what about the two selectors? Is Denise McDonagh from Carnacon? I think not but I believe Michael MacHale is.
    Also what is this report I heard coming from twitter about Mayo withdrawing from the Ted Webb Cup? Surely not true!

  2. @Andy D,… To state publicly that ‘Player Welfare Issues’ was the reason why the Carnacon withdrew it’s player’s and selector from playing for Mayo is ‘Arguably’ bringing the game into disrepute.. Unless ‘Carnacon’ can show these ‘Issue’s’ to be real….. Remarkable and incredible that so many Carnacon players were involved in the league and the Connacht Final prior to these issues arising…. Remarkable and Incredible that no actual details of these alleged Player Welfare issues have been elaborated on!… Do these Facts constitute ‘Bringing the game into disrepute?’.. It’s up to anyone interested to form an opinion, it’s subjective…

  3. Agree leantimes. Full story will not come until the initial issue is resolved. What is annoying are the keyboard warriors jumping to Carnacon’s defence and instantly attacking the county board as been draconian, We don’t know the story but almost all delegates voted to expel them. Surely that tells us something?

  4. I see they’re going to build a Centre Of Excellence beside Lough Lannagh in Castlebar. The will be 3 pitches there anyway.

  5. Leantimes and Puckout, I agree absolutely. Bear in mind that Leahy was brought in by the previous manager last year towards the start of the championship and their subsequent run to the All Ireland final.. The players credited Leahy with getting them physically prepared and coached and, went so far as to say that he was a huge reason of them getting there. And now?
    Also, I wonder why no actual details of these alleged Player Welfare issues have been elaborated on? Maybe there are no Player Welfare issues at all? If there are, they were not uncovered in the investigation. If there are, they were not voiced to management through the avenues open to any player, not via any member of the county board executive nor via the senior county team liaison officer.
    The appeals process will be relatively quick and I’d say the confidentiality clauses will fall by the wayside then. We’ll know the full story soon enough.

  6. Fantastic news,
    The County Board and Mayo Co. Co. in partnership to develop a Mayo Gaa training centre on 27 acres at Lough Lannagh village.
    A Sporting Hub they are calling it. Already there tennis, swiming and boxing.
    That’s a very positive news story when there’s so much doom and gloom around.

  7. Get Michael Ring behind this and it will be up and running with plenty of grants in no time

  8. Does anyone not worry a bit that only 3 weeks ago the county chairman was in the papers telling us all how money is tight and there will have to be cutbacks and now we’re being told that they’re going to develop a multi million euro sports campus. It’s a great idea and I’m all for pulling on the green and red jersey to get behind it, but I’m just stumped as to where the money is going to come from given our current fundraising capabilities.

  9. With Mayo co council also involved I would expect significant funding from the sports council as it seems the development is part of a sports hub.Never get a better chance with Ml Ring having a bit of power at moment.

  10. It looks like a great idea and has the potential to be a serious facility. Still would like to see a commercial director appointed as a prerequisite and a fundraising model that guarantees no further financial burdens imposed on the clubs within the county.

  11. This is a much better location than Craggagh in fairness. Castlebar is the central point in the county. I saw on Facebook that total cost would be 5 million. Mayo GAA would probably have to fork out half of that which is a fair chunk of fundraising.

  12. As I live and breath, reports coming out of tonight’s CB meeting that a commercial director is going to be appointed. Hat tip to one and all. Hope Niall McGarry still has that €10k laying about..

  13. Sounds like a modest enough Centre of Excellence with three pitches but the figure of 5 mill does not seem modest for that size of development. Allowing for two mill for the associated buildings [and two mill should build quite a lot, even in these times] one mill each for pitches seems way over the top unless the ground is really difficult. And if it is that difficult it is unlikely to yield top quality pitches either, regardless of cost. AS it seems to be a Council driven project I’m not too sure about the idea as in my experience a lot of council driven projects finish up half assed.

  14. Now Andy,
    the county council are very good when to comes to releasing the lakes of water on the side of the road each winter so lets be charitable!! Only kidding of course, but they still do ok. I think this new development will be very good as long as theres an allweather pitch. Who pays? I dont know but I can tell you that there are 5 multibillion euro companies operating in Mayo that could be asked to help out.Maybe even their name on the front of the jersey? Crumbs off the table springs to mind.
    As far as a commercial director being appointed, its absolutely the only way forward and if you want an analogy of this appointment, its the same as buying a tractor to carry the round bales instead of carrying them on your back.
    And do it very soon,so we can leave the biscuit tin at home next May when Mayo play New York and instead raise funds in a professional manner.
    I think a couple of big steps has been taken forward today, well done Mayo.

  15. Great news on the commercial director. I reckon we should have a campaign to get either Willie Joe or Liam appointed!!.

  16. AndyD, 5million is reasonable enough when you think about what’s involved, all weather pitches are not cheap, club house including facilities (I’m sure a gym will be included, access roads, car parks, drainage, water, etc all have to be paid for, you would be surprised how quickly it adds up. Better to do it right the first time than skimp on the cost and be left with an inferior complex.
    I’m sure there are savings to be made in annual costs to be considered. No more renting facilities from Mitchell’s, insurance costs will drop as everything will be under one roof, logistics/travel costs will be reduced. Then there is huge potential for making money from renting facilities to visiting teams and clubs in winter months.
    Dave, I’m sure multinationals have been approached in the past in Mayo and other Counties. They are not interested as there is nothing in it for them. Intel are not involved with Kildare, there are alot bigger companies then AIG in Dublin, Cork has it’s fair share of big foreign companies, as have Galway. I wouldn’t be waiting for one of these companies to sponsor anytime soon.

  17. From my experience Local Authorities roles at this level is as facilitators. Firstly they are usually approached by a number of stakeholders with a plan. One role LA do on behalf of the state is acquire lands in strategically important locations so maybe they have this ground already. possibly zoned land as part of the county development plan. They would get in experts to do a cost benefit analysis and look at such things as infrastructure (power, broadband, sewerage, transport, location, impact, etc.,). They would use their own design teams, engineers, architect to come up with a preliminary design, scope of works or brief for consultant and contractor, instructions to tenders, standard conditions of engagement, indemnity, insurance, H&S questionnaire, request for tenders. Facilitate planning through Part 8 process. Appoint consultant engineer to act as clients representative. Facilitate the tendering, advert on the European journal, engagement and design and funding process and this is long before anyone is even awarded the contract. So it good the LA are on board as they will ensure it gets the best start possible with public consultation in that you can view the designs, plans, etc. We could do worse than get Tom Parsons to project manage after this (joking). Now what happens after that.. who knows. The architects who I have never been the biggest fans of could draw something that looks shocking and cost twice what it was projected to be to build.. sorry architects just threw yee under the bus there. So this is why its important that people view these plans and make comment. If enough of people complain about a design or have input then these changes will be taken on board

  18. I see Paddy Tally has left Galway to become manager of Down. In a way it’s depressing that traditional good footballing counties like Galway and Down should seek to bring in such defensive coaches in an effort to be successful. That’s why I am worried about Poacher being linked with Mayo. While he did extremely well defensively with Carlow they scored very little and got huge numbers behind the ball I don’t think we would like that style up here. Good news on the Lough Lannagh site. Anything that can help us is welcome. Not such good news with the ladies. Still don’t fully know what was behind Carnacon walkout because they won’t tell us but have to say I admired the ladies who stayed on and represented their county. Carnacon club say all they want to do is play football. I think that’s what we all wanted them to do.

  19. AndyD, you are way off the mark with the price of the pitches at €1 million each! You should nearly be getting 2 pitches complete with perimeter fencing, goals, ball catchers, dug outs and lighting for €1 million. Plus, modern day pitch construction means you can build an all weather pitch on a bog and get nearly 12 months of the year out of it. The Center of Excellence in Bekan was built on terribly soft ground and yet the pitches are in use all year round. With top quality materials, including drainage and subsoil, and proper construction techniques using root zone and top dressing sands you will build a pitch anywhere.
    MayoMad, you are right about the potential to earn income from the use of the centre but I am not so sure the savings you mentioned will be all that great. Rent to Mitchels? They use the dressing rooms in MacHale Park and train on the “top pitch” which is owned by the county board, not Mitchels. A reduction in logistics/travel costs? There is no difference between travelling to MacHale Park and travelling to Lough Lannagh.
    Anyway, it is great news and will hopefully deflect from the negative press re the Ladies and SR’s backroom team.

  20. Putting a deadline on Stephen to get a backroom is far from a vote of confidence. Looking to be more and more on shakier ground. The dog’s on the street know what the bigger story is here

  21. Mayomad , AIG was the bank that was too big to fail and the US government had to bail it out. Not too many bigger companies in Dublin to be fair ( google and facebook ) . Your point though that the multinationals are not exactly falling over themselves to sponsor GAA is a good one.

  22. If the reports from last nights county board meeting are correct then the Mike Connelly deserves a lot of credit for the two announcements yesterday. Appointing the correct person to the role along with properly funding and supporting them is vital. Mayo GAA rank 5th in the country as a sports brand, Dublin GAA, Leinster, Munster and Ulster Rugby being the top 4 in that order. The correct person can tap into a huge market domestically and I would be confident that none of the above brands have a diaspora to match ours.

  23. Ger Bohan – you’re getting closer and closer to shit-stirring with every post you’ve written on this issue over the last few weeks. Enough is enough: either put up – based on what’s in the public domain on this – or shut up.

  24. Regarding the multi nationals within the county being reluctant to support the county, have they ever been approached professionally with a proper sales pitch? Given we haven’t had a commercial director to date, I would highly doubt that a slick, well put together powerpoint presentation by a competent person showcasing the national and global power of the Mayo GAA brand was shown in any boardrooms across the county.
    A Prunty all weather pitch costs roughly €150k, add in another €50/60k for lighting, fencing etc. A full size 3G pitch such as the one Castlebar are building costs €850k roughly.

  25. Willie Joe I clearly ‘put up’ what you quoted yourself from the Mayo News.

    My views are that I would like a change and it appears that the County Board are not averse to this.

    I therefore can’t see what I have said wrong, but then again maybe only one view is allowed.

  26. Liam a Commercial Manager was planned for 2 years ago. It’s a repeat announcement. An old political trick. If delivered it is very welcome

  27. Anyone on this post going to talk about the football this weekend or just bicker about the county board and the decisions made? Westport-Hollymount should be a cracker but can see Westport edging it. Breaffy, Kiltane, Crosmolina, Knockmore and Belmullet (intermediate) all to get wins too for a tasty accumulator.

  28. Ger – what you put up was an allegation about “the dogs on the street” knowing what “the bigger story” is, which definitely wasn’t in any report I linked to. What exactly do you mean by that? Come out and say it directly – with something to substantiate what you’re saying – or else give it a rest. And if you truly think only one view is allowed here then you really have to get out a bit more!

  29. Commercial director white flag? Excellent news if it is going to happen, and what a mouthwatering challenge. I don’t recall it being announced two years ago, merely deferred (though not dismissed). If a hire is due to take place, I hope now that it’s properly resourced and remunerated and that whoever takes the position is given the freedom and scope for creativity to do their job without constraint or interference. And equally importantly I hope they are supported in their endeavours from within the county in terms of the work that needs to be done it’s a big undertaking.

    The point you make about the presentation is definitely a basic one; this isn’t rocket science but relationship building is hugely important as is trust, so there is some groundwork to be done. Personality too will go a long way too in terms of selling the proposition which is why it’s so important to get the right person for the job. Liam I think you’d be perfect … just saying like … 😉

    I’ve heard (on the old rumour mill which we know to be highly reliable) there is set to be a noteworthy injection of private funding to the Castlebar project; which if true, means that we might just have turned a corner. I think it’s an excellent proposition in theory and a good example of collaboration, but would like to see the detail too.

    Looking forward to seeing some putting up as well, the dogs on the street in this part of the country are all on holidays …

  30. My predictions:

    Aughamore v Castlebar: Got to go with Castlebar with all that experience and know how…Aughamore will make it tough for them though.

    Ballina v Ballaghaderreen: Ballina improving. And Tracey in form..home venue also a plus. Ballina.

    Garrymore v Charlestown: Charlestown beat Garry in the Michael Walsh cup but championship a different kettle of fish plus Garry are tough beat at home…Garrymore.

    Knockmore v Bohola: Tough one to call so going for the draw

    Westport v Hollymount/Carramore: Westport the up and coming club. Holly struggling this year but always have one big performance…going to stick my next out here and go for a shock…Holly/Carra just.

    Claremorris v Crossmolina: Cross in free fall so I can only see one winner here, the home side.

    Kiltane v Davitts: Kiltaine to make home advantage count.

    Ballintubber v Breaffy: Big big game….Breaffy need to make a mark and I don’t know if Diamuid O Connor is back yet? Draw game.

  31. Thank you Liam. I’m not great with getting my point across but you do it very well. Power point display to the multinationals and have a man that knows his facts and figures regarding Mayo do the talking. If Mayo Inc. act in a professional manner and do things the right way, they will get corporate funding, and no more biscuit tins please. It’s good to see this weeks proposals and plans.

  32. Pebblesmeller,
    You would be correct in saying I am way off the mark suggesting a price of 1 mill per pitch if that is what I said. But what I said was that 1 mill per pitch is way over the top. Somebody else quoted a Prunty pitch as at €150k. A Prunty pitch can cost anywhere from €150 k upwards to about €300k depending on the site. One thing I do know is that Prunty will not do a half assed job regardless of price and if conditions [weather etc] are not right will pull plant until they are.
    Actually a bog is one of the best sites one can get for a Prunty pitch if you have an outlet for the drainage. When drained bog will retain a springiness with the sand surface that makes it a pleasure to play on in all weathers whereas a mineral soil with a sand surface can get rockhard in dry weather as this summer. That has its longterm effect on the joints such as ankles, knees and hips. An example is Ballinamore in Leitrim where a mate of mine was involved in the development on a boggy site. They did not have a reliable drainage outlet so are pumping all the water off the site. [Main pitch, training pitch and surrounds]. I do not know the cost of this but am told it is reasonable. Tourmakeady played a Connacht Club Final there maybe ten years ago on a horribly wet weekend and the surface was perfect.
    If you are building on a mineral soil and there is a heavy clay content in the soil it is very difficult to get satisfactory drainage regardless how many drains you put in as lateral movement of water is poor. So is there good natural drainage in the Lough Lannagh site? That is the question.

  33. Regarding corporate funding and commercial directors etc. there is a huge amount of administrative work to be done in order to have all the legal boxes ticked, and this is before you can ever approach a corporate or state body for funding. I assume that some of this may already be in place within Mayo GAA but you never know. Constitutions, executive structures detailing roles and responsibilities, trustees etc. This is before you even go down the route of revenue and making all corporate donations tax deductible etc, which you will definitely need if you are hitting companies for big funding. These companies are corporate entities, not charities and they want bang for their buck. Some of the CEO’s might not give two shites about Mayo but if their company gains positive exposure (and loads of Twitter followers!) by being associated with Mayo well that’s good for them. When you approach the big boys you absolutely must have all your ducks in a row, otherwise prepare to get laughed out of their boardroom.
    The fund raising efforts in New York in 2014 were embarrassing, paying $20 to go in to a bar you were going in to anyway, being told to go up to the top floor where you were met by equally confused Mayo supporters wandering around looking for the function! No function, no food, not even finger food, no music, no nothing! People back then criticized Horan for not allowing his players mingle at these fundraising events, I think he knew better!
    However, that was then and this is now. A lot of balls have gone over the bar (or wide?) since then and we are all wiser. Yesterdays announcement is a very positive one and while we are all quick to stick the boot in to the county board when they err, we must also we as quick to praise them when they pull a stroke like this.

  34. Maybe I am slow on the uptake – and this is highly possible – but it is not clear to me from the Mayo News article referenced by Willie Joe above that the Mayo Co. Board gave SR a deadline of 31st August to name his backroom team (as the article mentions in its first line).

    The subject of whether they did give a deadline or not is immaterial to me but I like to see fair and logical reporting.

    The writer of the article says that “MAYO manager Stephen Rochford has been given a deadline of Friday, August 31 by the Mayo GAA Board to come up with names for his backroom team for the 2019 season”. That information was obtained from the County Board chairman, apparently.

    The Chairman had one meeting with SR two weeks ago. Another was then planned for ‘Friday of next week’ to ‘review his situation and the plans for going forward for next year’. By then Connelly believes that Stephen Rochford will have finalised his management team.

    I don’t see in the substance and body of the article where the County Board gave him a deadline of 31st August to name his backroom team.

    I just wanted to point out the inconsistency (and not really wanting to make an issue).

  35. But the dogs on the street, Swallow Swoops. What about the dogs on the street and the bigger story they know?.

  36. I’m a bit disappointed with the heading to this thread as club championships resumed LAST week with the junior quarter finals. So to make up for that Willie joe let there be a thread for the junior semi finals which are scheduled for the weekend of 15/16 sept.

  37. That goes to show, Lionel, that there’s no pleasing some people in this world! I’ll add that request to my list of unpaid tasks so.

  38. Rhyne Collins is an interesting one to check in on tomorrow with Castlebar. Likely will line out at full back.

  39. Yew Tree I agree with all your predictions on the Mayo senior but I think Breaffy might have the slight edge on the Tober. Westport will beat Carra Holly on a dry day and Knockmore at home in the Championship will not go down easily

  40. A commercial director because the business on running the county board has got too large sounds like the best reason to run with this. Maybe now finally a professional approach or at least a start in the right direction. This should not been seen in a negative way on the officers who have fulfilled the role in the past. At some point the whole show just gets too big and that is always a positive thing.

  41. Lifts paw from over eye…..looks out, no-one around, puts paw back. Goes back to sleep. Snooze. Snarfle. Ruff!

  42. Very surprised to see Kilmaine knocked out in junior quarter finals.
    I’m not too far away from there myself and they’re a strong team.
    Thought they would go straight back up last year

  43. I thought we are here to talk about the club football scene not the Mayo commercial manager and the dogs on the street

  44. Very solid predictions by Yew tree.
    I went to the Westport Hollymount game Saturday. Westport dug out a win against a battle hardened Hollymount. Great open game of football with hard hits and some quality scores. Everything you want to see and love about the club championship. Darren Coen caused havoc all day kicking 10 points. Westport couldn’t get to grips with him. He had 8 points kicked before Horan changed his marker. Which highlights Horans weakness as a manager. He’s too slow on the line. Darren Coen when he’s on it is defo county standard. I’ve seen him have off games too. Seems to be very hot/cold.
    Made the short journey to Clogher then after, it was a cagey game of chess with both teams afraid to make mistakes. Can’t see Tubber or Breaffy touching Mitchells. James Minogue was having a fine game on Cillian before being black carded. Does anyone his age? Looked the part. As far as the game was concerned was a disappointment. A bad advertisement for Mayo club football.
    Was anyone at Moy Davitts game heard from twitter that Brian Reape shot the lights out against Knockmore. Surely worth a look at in the spring.

  45. I was at the Ballina Ballaghaderreen game today. The rain was quite heavy at times which made things difficult for forwards especially.

    No young players really stood out as definite county standard if I’m honest. Ciaran Treacy was being marked by David Drake and didn’t get a kick all game. Seamus Cunniffe was full back marking Evan Regan. Evan got 1-1 from play and could have had more if he showed a bit of composure. Mikey Murray did well in midfield for Ballina and could be worth a look next year. Cian Hanley started off well driving forward from deep but drifted out of the game in the 2nd half. Akram was involved in most of Ballagh’s good play and set up their 1st goal. I still feel he’s a long way to go for a starting position in the county half back line however.

    Kuba Callaghan came off the bench with 5 minutes left. He got his first possession in the wing forward position, burned his marker and carried the ball in as far as the goals. The ball got recycled across and that’s where the 2nd goal came from. He’s well built as well as fast so I look forward to seeing him with the U20s next year.

    Andy got 2 crucial points in the last 15 minutes as well.

  46. Wide Ball I was at that game too and agree there was no real standout performance, though I did think Drake did very well on Treacy. Felt there were a couple of occasions when Evan could have laid the ball off sooner rather than carrying it into trouble but there were also times when he didn’t have the support he needed. He took his goal very well. I thought Conor Forde did well for Ballina, particularly in the first half though he is small and slight. Padraig O’Hora when he came on showed well too and took a few big hits! Cian Hanley was relatively anonymous throughout I felt and Sharoize Akram came into it a bit more in the second half, particularly setting up that goal (which was a great strike!) but he didn’t particularly stand out either. Felt Ballina could have still nicked it had their decision-making up front been a bit better.

    There was a point awarded to Ballina in the first half that looked a mile wide from where I was standing and there were a few objections on and off the field at the time but it didn’t seem to have been a major talking point even at half time.

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