Club championship round-up


While us supporters were still getting our heads around another All-Ireland final day tragedy, county players were returning back to their clubs and joining forces once more with their hard-working club comrades. Last weekend had it all – the Senior and Intermediate groups were being tidied up while the weekend also was host to county finals and relegation play-offs, making it one jam-packed weekend of sport.

Myself and John Brennan of  the Mayo News attended the Garrymore v. Claremorris match, a game that seemed a dead duck. Claremorris were in the wooden spoon position going into it, losing two out of two, and Garrymore knew that a draw or better would be enough to guarantee them passage to the quarter-finals.

We thought we would have to get the calculators out towards the end. Fourteen-man Claremorris had Garrymore on the ropes and were four points to the good as the clock ticked down. Breaffy had beaten Davitts by six points but, as it stood, Davitts were just going to sneak that second place spot.

Up stepped forward Garrymore forward Jimmy Killeen who grabbed two vital last minute points in succession to add to his 2-5 tally. Those two points proved vital as it gave Garrymore a precious draw which was enough to see them through.

Both games had some high scoring individuals on their respective teams. Jimmy Killeen wasn’t the only talent on show as James Shaugnessy of Claremorris chalked up 1-6. Breaffy’s Liam Irwin grabbed himself seven points with a couple from placed kicks. Mark Higgins subsequently stated in this week’s Western People that Liam was the “best player on a field littered with county stars” so surely it’s only a matter of time before ‘The Bear’ pulls on the shirt at senior inter-county level. It was also great to hear that Rob Hennelly had a more characteristic performance, pulling off a double save late on to keep out Davitts’ Ronan McNamara.

Castlebar Mitchels and Crossmolina both advanced from Group 3. The county champions made it three from three and will be very hard to beat as we roll into the latter stages of this competition. Neil Douglas pointed ten scores, half of which came from frees. Mayo and Ballina’s Evan Regan was also successful from placed balls, firing over four.

Any doubt over Crossmolina’s chances of qualifying were answered fairly early on in their encounter as they rushed to a 2-2 to no score in the opening fifteen minutes against Ballinrobe. Two exciting prospects in both teams were on the scoresheet. Fionan Duffy nailed 1-7 to the board while ‘Robe’s Kevin Quinn knocked in the visitors’ two goals. Quinn, by the way, followed up his goal rush for NUIG on Tuesday netting another goal for his college intermediate team.

Top spot was still up for grabs in Group 4 as Knockmore faced Ballaghaderreen. Much like Garrymore’s draw, it was two late points that propelled Knockmore to leapfrog their opponents.

Andy Moran has rolled back the years for Mayo this year and he wasn’t about to stop on Saturday. Cheekily flicking the ball into the net from a high ball in wasn’t enough for our Andy, he had to have a punt at goal from a sideline ball which fired into the roof of the net too.

His outrageous goals weren’t, though, enough for the away side. though, With four points sailing over the bar from the boots of Peter Naughton and Keith Ruttledge respectively, Knockmore jumped the queue, meaning Ballaghaderreen had to be content with a second place finish.

Sean Gaughan and Shane Lyndsey were on hand to secure safety for Kiltane but one man’s delight is another mans misery. Ballyhaunis, despite their best efforts, are now left to face the relegation battle.

Ballintubber had a shaky start to their championship hopes, occurring a loss on the opening day. However, when you have a team littered with O’Connors, Mayo stars past and present, senior and minor, you normally fare out well in the end.

The boys from the ‘Tubber had the delight of facing an Aghamore team reduced to fourteen men for the final thirty minutes and they took this to their full advantage. 1-8 from Cillian, (you’ll be shocked to know six came from frees and the other two from ‘45s: we should really let him take placed kicks for Mayo!) and another goal from brother Diarmuid gave them an eight-point win. Defeat wasn’t so sour for Aghamore who fell into second place with Mayo senior panellist Alan Freeman obtaining four points from his day out.

2-2 from Kevin Feerick and five points from Darren Coen wasn’t enough to for Hollymount-Carramore to secure safety in their group as they fell to Charlestown. Colm Maye was on top form for Sarsfields, notching 1-5 for his team.

Moy Davitts will be entering the latter stages of the Intermediate championship on a high as their talisman Brian Reape scored 2-5 in their convincing winning over Swinford. Belmullet made sure of their top seed status following a win over Burrishoole.

This Saturday, Breaffy play Crossmolina and Knockmore face Aghamore in MacHale Park, while on Sunday Mitchels face Ballaghaderreen followed by Ballintubber against Garrymore at the same venue.

There are some crackers of games in the mix there. It would be hard to look past Breaffy, Mitchels and Ballintubber, with Knockmore maybe having the slight edge over Aghamore as they ground out a final day win unlike their opposition.

Claremorris face Ballyhaunis while Holly-Carra take on Ballinrobe both at noon on Sunday. Ballyhaunis and Ballinrobe both ended empty-handed from their group stage matches and if Holly-Carra and Claremorris both put on performances like last weekend, it should be enough to see them safe.

In the Intermediate championship, Beal an Mhuirtead take on Shrule/Glencorrib, Islandeady are up against Burrishoole, Kiltimagh have The Neale while Sunday’s only game sees Westport take on Bohola Moy Davitts.

Kiltimagh, Westport and Beal an Mhuirtead all look strong favourites this year for Intermediate and have really hit the ground running in their respective campaigns, with three wins from the three games. They should be all in with a great shout for semi-final spots.

Islandeady found it tough on the last day against Kilmaine and nearly lost out on their place to Parke/Keelogues/Crimlin. Their tie against Burrishoole should be a mouth-watering contest and no doubt the Burrishoole boys will be up for a hard, tough encounter.

The Intermediate relegation final also takes place between Tourmakeady and Kilmaine. This is really any one’s game.

Tourmakeady had a shocking group stage but against Ardnaree last Sunday they were a different outfit altogether and pushed them very close, losing out by only two points in the end. Kilmaine’s group stage wasn’t much better but their aforementioned performance against Islandeady in the last round of matches in their group shows that when push comes to shove, they can really put in a solid shift. It’s too hard to call but it will be a delight to cover as both teams will be just ready for war.

Mitchels were crowned Minor ‘A’ champions on Sunday following a seven-point win over Sarsfield Shamrocks. That game was followed by an absolute peach of a Junior final contested between Balla and Louisburgh. Ten points to nine was the final score and two points late on from Kevin Gibbons pushed Louisburgh to a fourth Junior title, their first sine 1994.

Carnacon ladies found themselves in the Connacht final after they brushed off Kilkerrin- Clonberne. I was covering a soccer game in Partry at the time and someone genuinely said in passing that Cora Staunton was having an off-day. Maybe 2-8 is an off day when you are sizing up the score with the scorer in this instance.

If anyone has her scoring statistics since she started playing football I’d like to see them because the total surely must be in the hundreds of thousands at this stage. Behind every great footballer is a great team, and Carnacon have the likes of Sharon and Michelle McGing, Fiona McHale, Martha Carter, Amy Dowling, Erina Flannery, Doireann Hughes. You could, in truth, name the whole squad and pinpoint that every player is as valuable as the last.

Burrishoole were unlucky in their quest for Intermediate Connacht glory as they were beaten by Padraig Pearses on a scoreline of 1-9 to 1-7. It was a game they really could have won as only a point separated the sides for majority of the closing stages. Still, credit to the girls who put in a monster of a performance throughout.

Reading the local papers during the week was a big ask, especially when they’ve covered twenty-odd pages of Gaelic Games alone. You think you’re finished with GAA for the year following the final whistle in Croke Park and then remember you have all this to look forward to. It’s a delight as a reporter and a fan, maybe the players might have a different opinion but that’s another discussion for another day. Last weekend was jam-packed and this weekend is not going to be any different. After all, club comes first so they say!

57 thoughts on “Club championship round-up

  1. Great to read this all consolidated Darragh.

    Good to see some of the young guns staking a claim for the Senior County Jersey too – from what I’ve seen of Irwin he’ll be there soon enough.
    Fionán Duffy for Crossmolina is another, and there are others on that under 21 panel from last year that we’re likely to see emerge.

    We certainly seem to need some prolific scorers to add to our Forward lines.

  2. This is great work. Is this going to be a regular contribution i.e. providing such indepth detail on the club games? If it is, it’s great!
    Good to hear some of the younger players shooting the lights out. Duffy, Irwin, Reape etc. They will be needed next year and in the future.

  3. Thanks Darragh.
    The u21 forwards scored 5-21 then. Impressive.
    Yes Cora Staunton has to be the highest scoring player of all time. I think she might be even most standard deviations above the norm of any sport.

  4. When the club matches were on last weekend I was thinking how little I know about club football in the county, and how I would love to keep more up to date with it if I could.

    Loved this article and would be delighted to see more updates like this in the future.

  5. Croydon Mayo Mayo News website always a good reference for club football in the county.

  6. Yes FDBinashui, you’re on the right thread, but the wrong track. ??You know, the present set up with the Mayo Senior ‘Management Team’ reminds me of the old saying, ‘A camel is a horse designed by a committee’. We appear to have too many people involved in the decision making and selection process.??I was an avid supporter of Stephen for the job, and I still am. However, he needs to be managing and stamping his authority, and not allow himself to be manipulated. ??There were warning signs when in one of his first interviews, he stated that he was waiting to see how many of the previous players would be returning for 2016. No Stephen, you tell the players who will be on the panel, not the other way round. If he seizes control for next year, then he could give the up and coming generation the chance they deserve. Here’s hoping.

  7. Funny enough the best cure for an All Ireland hangover (as a fan anyway) is watching club football. Hope to get to two games this weekend.

    Now in a short while we have the 2017 draw…can you believe it? RTE 2 @ 9:30pm

  8. Darragh. Excellent report. Keep it up. Like you said I dont have time to go through the papers and really need a summary like you have done here. Was at the Kilmaine Mayo Gaels game as a semi-neutral. I thought the crowd was very quiet and Kilmaine lacked any real zest. Not something you would normally accuse them off! If they are not careful they may struggle against the Gaeltacht men. Disappointed to see 3 south teams in the senior relegation. Holly Carra proves that the league is not really that much.

  9. Don’t worry about Stephen,he will do whatever needs to be done to get us over the line,but I think you needto understand that these players are amateur,who do it for the love of the game,if you think that you can just order them to do what you want,I feel you will have a very small panel

  10. Nephinbeg maybe I’ll wait until the next posting by someone to respond to you. I’ve really no idea which specific posting of mine you are responding to, but if you want me to address the points you make then please do try to keep it to the thread I’ve posted it on rather than randomly following me around the place and posting where ever. It would just make a whole lot more sense.

  11. Great roundup Darragh, thanks very much for that. I am looking forward to watching Knockmore and Aghamore. This could be a cracker. Breaffy and Cross will be well worth watching and either one could come through here.

  12. Was going to watch the draw until I saw that mole man and heard that wanker brolly was going to be on it. Fuck RTE, hope tom parsons knocks the poisonous little toad out.

  13. Brolly talking shite again. He must not have seen AOS set up the goal of the year for Leeroy. Claiming 20% of our squad not serious. What is he on about???. At least Johnny Cooper said it was only a bounce of a ball between them and he would not agree with these comments by pundits paid just to say something.

  14. Looking forward to 2017 already. Very impressed by Tom Parsons. He comes across very well and is hugely optimistic. Brollys comments on Aidan O Shea were wrong. He had a good game in the replay as far as I can judge. And if he got fair play we would have got a few more frees.
    Very confident about our chances next year ……….for the very first time in my life.

  15. Thanks for that round-up Darragh. I watched the Aghamore vs Ballintubber game live on as I live in Dublin and it was absolutely brilliant! Even an interview with COC afterwards! Does anyone know will they be covering the quarter-finals and semi-finals?

  16. Balls of a draw for Mayo, if I’m being honest. Sligo, Galway and (probably) Roscommon. Couldn’t have asked for harder or longer.
    One big thing though. If they are to lose in Connacht next year, they are far better off do it against Galway. Time to regroup like this year. Losing in a Connacht final would be disastrous.
    Of course, it’d just simpler not to lose at all!

  17. Great to see your optimism R Brigade. Lose an All Ireland by one point after 160 minutes of football against a team that’s won 4 of the last 6. How do you think Sligo/ NY-Galway and the Rossies must be feeling?

  18. I think it’s a great championship draw for Mayo – Sligo followed hopefully by Galway and Roscommon, if they don’t slip up, in the final. We need a tough draw to prepare us properly for the quarter-finals. We know only too well what has happened when we skate easily through Connacht!

  19. Nephinbeg. A manager can not tell any player you are on the panel. A Manager can invite Players into a panel and hope then that if the invitation is accepted, the player has the discipline and commitment required. Then the Manager after giving the player time can decide if that player good enough to stay on

  20. Difficult job for SR to integrate new players into this team as it has so many stars and celebrities. But the U21s need game time in FBD and league and then championship to show if they can deliver on their potential at senior level.

  21. Right, Nephinbeg – that’s enough of that kind of talk. House rules don’t allow for trash-talking players and management and you’ve overstepped the mark clearly there. I’ve no problem with a debate about where we go from here and how we can improve next year but not one framed in the way you’re trying to. If you want to continue hurling insults in all directions then I’m afraid you’ll need to find a new platform to do this on as I’m not prepared to let you do so here.

  22. Amazing how people are influenced by what a so called expert says on TV. Utter trash from Brolly on TV again last night but at this stage you just gotta laugh. He did however state he thinks Mayo can win the All Ireland next year.

    A question….IF NY were to beat Sligo would Mayo need to head over the Bronx?

  23. Was wondering exactly the same yew_tree.
    Considering how close Ros were to being beaten last year, it’s not outside the realms of possibility.

    And well done Darragh, loved that round up.
    Living outside of Ireland, it’s great to get an insight to the club game in Mayo. Particularly seeing how our younger lads are getting on with their clubs.

  24. Really hope that the Mayo players are taking note of this campaign from Brolly. Surely this will only fire them up to go on and prove him wrong.

  25. Great draw to focus the minds. Would rather be playing Galway in a semi as it will have us up to match speed for the final. Managment and players wont slip up and be as flat footed against Galway again. We’ll be a full year further down the road tactics wise, so expect for revenge to be served cold to Galway. Would’nt discount Leitrim being in the final either. All in all we’ll be back in Croker next August aslong as Rochford and vast majority of squad stick around.

  26. If New York get something around two more decent senior club standard players as starters they will have quite a competitive team. They had last year some experienced intercounty players with height and strength which is a help on that tight pitch.
    The mark might help them next year as they will be familiar with that short pitch.

  27. When the mark is introduced there will be no high fielding done at midfield again. Expect the ball to be broken a lot more to a man on the ground. The draw is a good one for Mayo. Cannot see a down side to it. I am right in saying the game against Sligo will be in a Mayo venue. Always a big advantage to have a game under your belt before playing a semi final. I would be worried if we had to do the semi final from a cold start. A game in Salthill should be a great motivation for this bunch of players if we progress that far. All other teams will be in competition by the time our first game comes around. Hope we do not loose any of our current squad over the winter.

  28. Wasn’t at the Knockmore game last weekend. I’ll miss this one too. However from what I hear Knockmore were no great shakes and will have to ‘up it’ big time to beat Aghamore who are a good up and coming side with a nice few underage titles.

  29. Mayo v Sligo – unsure of the venue. We met in 2012 and 2015 in Connacht finals and both were played in Hyde Park. I think when we play Sligo in a final it has to be neutral ground?

    Anyway last time we played Sligo in a quarter final was 2010 in Markievicz Park (who can forget that day) so if it is Sligo, the game will be in MacHale Park.

  30. Yeah, i think Mayo v Sligo would be in Mchale.

    Lord knows where Mayo v New York would be.

    Then off to Pearse stadium v Galway.

    Mayo v Roscommon final would be in Mchale.

    Mayo v Leitrim/London final not sure where that would be. Possibly Pearse stadium?

    Anyway the Rossies got another handy draw. A few years in a row now that they have Leitrim/Sligo to beat to reach the final. They always seem to avoid Mayo/Galway in their half of the draw these last few years.

  31. I don’t think it’s a good draw. First preference would have been to avoid Ros/Gal until a final.

    Next preference would have been to play Ros in a semi rather than Galway. Roscommon will be gunning to erase the memories of the 2016 final and will prefer going in as big underdogs against Mayo, provided we beat Galway.

    This is as tough a draw as we could have got. If we win Connacht we have to beat Sligo, Galway and Roscommon whereas beating Leitrim and one of the above would have been alot more attractive.

    I don’t buy into this ‘going in cold’. Mayo are around he clock a long time..they are well accustomed to not having to produce a big performance until

    Not anymore. Sligo are no pushovers. Galway will improve from 2016 when they were very impressive in Connacht. Ros can only get better. The latter have some excellent forwards, if they click they can be very dangerous.

    2017 will be tough. Even more a reason why the players in our squad with high mileage, should be rested as far into next spring as possible. Yes, it could mean is struggling in the league but so what.

    A very big concern for Mayo next season will be burnout. Rochford & co will know this and I’m sure are already planning things on a player by player basis.

    Let’s also not expect too much from the u21/22 lads…it’s a big big ask to break into a senior team. We’ll be doing really well if we get two new lads really pushing for starting places. Others will be pushing current players making it a very competitive squad; never a bad thing. Keeps complacency at bay.

  32. I think the deal is New York and London play their first game at home, any subsequent games after that are to be at Connacht venues.

    Good draw for us I think, don’t want to go through Connacht untested,better off playing as good an opposition as possible.

    The way Tom Parsons was smiling after Brolly’s spiel would lead me to believe the team sees him for what he it, a clown. We probably take him too seriously although he does get far too much air time.

    I’m glad Johnny Cooper thinks Carlow of Wexford will be a tough test! Dublin must be gone backwards!

  33. I don’t want to be seeing Higgins, Boyle, Vaughan, Keegan, SOS, AOS, parsons, McLoughlin, Disrmuid, Cillian, DOC all playing in the FBD or even rounds 1 & 2 of the league. Maybe a few of them but if much rather see Harrison, Cafferkey, Coen, Durcan plus other defenders the management was to see together with a new face in the middle or Gibbons…with Loftus, Irwin, Reape, Freeman, Duffy plus other forwards management want to consider getting much more game time in Jan, Feb, March.

    Naturally, management will be limited in terms of time as when bedding in new players it’s important that they get to play alongside more established lads. Players need to get used to playing together..develop an understanding/relationship.

  34. Disgracefully Sligo v Mayo will be in McHale. Sligo had choice of venue for the 2015 connnacht final as the home team. They chose Salthill and were overruled by connacht council who brought it to Roscommon…but the kicker is they still treated it as a Sligo home game….go figure.

    Sligo will have to beat 2 Div 1 and one Div 2 team for a connacht title….if that doesn’t tell you how screwed up the overall championship system is nothing will. Mayo could have won an All Irelnad this year by beating one Div 1 team.

  35. Are you trolling Mayonaze? What makes you think the other teams in Connacht have progressed? Sligo are division 3, Galway ambushed us, gave the Rossies a trimming then got hammered by Tipperary. The Rossies scraped by NY, struggled against Leitrim, annihilated by Galway and then trimmed by Clare.
    We lost to Galway after being caught cold and then lost an All Ireland replay by 1 point to what’s being called the greatest team in the last 25 years.
    Every county watching those two games got a chill down their spines knowing they’re not within an asses roar of either team physicality wise.
    Give over with your negative scare mongering.

  36. @Liam

    You are right Sligo are Div 3 – so were Tipperary and when i was looking at comments on this site prior to that match you’d swear they were something well beyond that. In truth ye SHOULD have no problem with Sligo and ye know that….especially in McHale. In Markevicks I’d give us 1 in 4 chance – in McHale it is more like 1 in 10.

    Given Rossies struggles with NY last year you can’t take anything for granted there either. The London’s and NYs are wildly unpredictable these days…Horan needed Extra time in London a few years back with many of today’s players. Anywya it all seems very long way off.

  37. Mayoaze, I too would like to see many of of ‘Veterans’ rested for a number of matchs, until early March at least . It would no doubt benefit Mayo in the long term… However it’s hard to see Kevin Mcloughin missing to many matchs, he missed a few last spring having played something like 50 of the previous 53 competitive Mayo played… Paddy Durcan in today’s Independent talked about himself having to improve more to keep the Jersey. (congratulations to Paddy, Opel player of the month).. With the current crop of successful U21s, a few are going to have to get a try out for the seniors… . But that itself, brings its pressure’s on the established player’s,.. Player’s will not want to relinquish the jersey even for league matches… I think it took Stephen Rochford and his management team some time to put their mark on the team this year, I’d say July.. Now there are reasons for this delay in getting to grips with the entire panel,.. They inherited a team that had it’s own ‘Trauma’ “in moving against the previous management late last year , the move was not unamous, but the team went with ‘Majority Rule’ and stuck together to their credit..but I think it gave Stephen Rochford some unnecessary teething problems in taking over the team… By now and into the future, the management should have gotten to grips with the team, They have shown that they are prepared to make changes and take risks, most of which worked,..We are all well aware of the change that didn’t work .!… But now they need to be ruthless, no player is entitled to play on reputation, when a better player maybe less well known or a player in better form is kept on the sidelines!.. I. wouldn’t go along with Brolly last night, saying that AOS should have been withdrawn early in the second half of the All Ireland replay, because who would we replace him with, who was as good or better?….. But I do think that many occasions AOS should have been taken off in league matches during the year, or maybe dropped to the bench… . By playing someone else in his position, the management could develop a player able to take over if Aiden was not coming up to the mark…. I would say the same thing about every player, competition for places in absolutely nessarly… . Management should have done more in terms of risk taking and changes during the league,… I think we paid a price for that V Galway,. and some below par performances after Galway as well… What player’s might be missing depends also on how and who the eventual Mayo Club champions do in Connacht and the All Ireland series…Onwards and upwards, Tom Parsons and Paddy Durcan have both articulated the need for individuals and the team to keep improving,.. The same must go for everyone on the Mayo panel and Management, plenty to improve on!

  38. Take any team for granted at your peril. Mayo could loose to anyone with that attitude. Luckily our players don’t see it that way. Mayo bring our A game and we can beat anyone. Unearthing a few fresh faces who can be brought into games at vital times are what is needed. A Matthew Ruane, Liam Irwin, Conor Loftus all need runs in the spring.

  39. Correct me if I’m wrong but, even if New York managed to beat Sligo, which they could very well do (very nearly bet Roscommon last year only for the ref to save them) Sligo will be playing us? New York v Sligo is a preliminary match. London is a different story, quarter final.

  40. I stand corrected but I figure the reason Mayo v Sligo will be in McHale Park is because the last time they met (other than a Connacht final 2012,2015) was in 2010 and in Sligo. Therefore it’s a home game for Mayo this time. Are all Connacht finals involving Sligo not played in a neutral venue nowadays???? Or am I dreaming?

  41. I would go along with that line Mick. I have to laugh at people paying attention to any football pundit on TV. Once again folks for the record, their job is entertainment so just let them get on with it. Don’t get this mixed up with Inter county football and football management. What is said on the TV and media does not matter in the greater scheme of things. They are chosen for their entertainment value only with football as a backdrop for the show. If they knew anything about football Dublin would have won the All Ireland by 10 points plus the first day pulling up, and Tyrone would have been their opponents on the 18th of September, so give it a break.

  42. Liam,

    Can you give an example of where I was ‘scare mongering’? What did I say that would scare anyone!? You owe me an answer to this and to your weak accusation that I was trolling.

    Can you tell me how the draw for our Connacht championship could have been any more difficult? The only thing would have been an away tie in the final, if we get there.

    I could easily suggest that opinions like yours, which clearly underestimate the challenge of Galway are akin to what was being spouted here last May/June… And we all know what happened when Galway arrived in McHale Pk. They beat us fair and square. Call it an ambush of you like, but the fact is we lost.

    Do you also disagree with my opinion that Roscommon can’t but improve? It’s clear now that theirs was an unhappy camp during the summer. The split in management is testament to that. They will be better next summer. Hardly ‘scare mongering’ words eh?? You are also completely wrong to say that Roscommon ‘struggled’ to beat Leitrim. I was in Carrick that day and the result was over before HT.

    Galway absolutely underestimated Tipp and were caught out badly. I expect they’ll learn from that and Galway in general are improving. I expect them to gain promotion from Div 2 this season.

    In a recent comment but on another thread I said that Mayo players are as good as any other county. I also believe this squad is good enough to win an All Ireland. Fine tuning is required.

  43. I agree with leantimes I wouldn’t drop O Shea in a final unless we had a better player to bring In. He struggles with his fitness so he probably needs game time in the league as well but maybe yeah he would benefit from a break I think we should give youth a chance in the Fbd and through the league with a sprinkling of experience in the team as well. If we stay up great if we get relegated so what as long as we find a few good Footballers that wlll add to the team/panel it’s all about the championship really

  44. I would agree with Mayonaze. We could not have a tougher draw. It means that we will be aiming to peak in August September but that we will have to be strong early in the campaign which is not ideal. While we have been winning Connaught up to this year we have a few games especially against Roscommon which were close. Anyone saying that getting relegated to Div 2 is no big deal are forgetting damage done to the confidence of the panel. Donegal were relegated and we blew them away in Croake Park that year

    I think it is important to introduce new blood if they are playing well and worth their place but we need to in Div 1

  45. I would not underestimate Galway in Salthill. Even forgetting the fact that they actually beat us in Castlebar only a few months ago, people forget that the game the year before that in Salthill was very competitive and only for a crazy blunder from the Galway keeper which led to an own goal in the 2nd half, that game would have gone right down to the wire. Yet we still have people saying we will breeze through Connacht. Not that it matters much at the end of the day because you can lose in Connacht and still end up in an All-Ireland final.

  46. Agree with Mayonaze. Draw could not be tougher. Would love to swap Mayo’s place in the draw with that of Roscommon.

    Also as somebody said above the last time we played Sligo in a game that was not a final it was at their place. Has to be Castlebar now. Our last 2 meetings with them were finals and both played at a neutral venue if memory serves me right.

    Cantini, “disgracefully” you say about it in Mchale Park, but i mean when would Mayo be entitled to a home game v Sligo in not now. When is the last time we actually played Sligo in Castlebar?. Have we played them away at their place since? Yes i think.

  47. I watched the championship draw last night and I reckon that Joe brollys comments can be somewhat attributed to Kieran Shannons article last week. He seemed to question Aido’s dedication away from the bright lights during the season and his temperament on the big days… I don’t agree with brolly on a lot of things and he seemingly has an agenda against some of our players but Aido has played over 280 minutes in 4 championship games for us against Dublin zone the last two years and correct me if I’m wrong, but he has failed to score from play. We need more out of him and i hope in 2017 rochford and his team revitalise Aido and a few more. We will be thereabouts again if that happens.

    Well done to the above report on the club championship. Brilliant round up. I was at the Ballintubber-Aughamore game. Jason Gibbons was fantastic. He caught and distributed the ball brilliantly. Other players to impress was obviously Cillian, Michael Plunkett and Aughamores Alan Freeman, Kenny Feeney and Fergal Boland. I still feel Freeman has a lot to offer in a Mayo jersey. The lad is so talented. I’d love to see him get a run of at least 10 games to build his confidence and take it from there!

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