Connacht club Championship fixtures

The club Championship action within the county is over and so now, with the clocks having gone back and the cloaking darkness of the long winter nights back with us, the focus turns towards the provincial campaigns facing the various county champions. Time, then, for a quick overview on what’s facing our local standard-bearers on that front over the next few weeks.

Let’s start with women’s football, as the provincial action is already underway in earnest there.

One of our LGFA county champions – Junior winners, Ballyhaunis – have already been beaten and so their provincial campaign is at an end. They lost to Galway’s Salthill/Knocknacarra in the Connacht LGFA JFC quarter-final the Sunday before last.

Charlestown Sarsfields have also seen action at provincial level, this time in the Connacht LGFA Intermediate Championship. Last Sunday they got the better of Boyle in the semi-final and next they’re up against Kiltubrid of Leitrim in the Connacht IFC title decider. That game is fixed for St Croan’s GAA club in Ballintober, Roscommon, on Saturday week (12th November) where the throw-in will be 1pm.

Recently crowned Mayo Senior champions Burrishoole are already qualified for the Connacht SFC final too. They won their provincial semi-final last weekend, beating Leitrim’s Glencar/Manorhamilton, and they now face Kelkerrin/Clonberne of Galway in the final. That Connacht final has been fixed for Fr O’Hara Park, Charlestown, on Sunday week (13th November) where the throw-in will be 1pm.

Tooreen’s defence of their Connacht Intermediate hurling title has already got underway as well, as they beat Four Roads of Roscommon last weekend in the quarter-final. Next up for them is a Connacht IHC semi-final clash against St Gabriel’s of London this coming Sunday. Like their last outing, this one is fixed for Athleague and throw-in there on Sunday will be 1pm.

Tickets for the game are available to purchase here. The game is also being streamed live by Connacht GAA (€10) and details on that are here.

Onto the men’s football, in which the three Connacht Championships get underway either the weekend after next or the weekend after that. Full details of all provincial football ties are here.

At Junior level, Islandeady’s provincial campaign starts at the semi-final stage on the weekend of 19th/20th November. On Sunday week, Galway’s Clifden meet Carrigallen of Leitrim in the Connacht JFC quarter-final and Islandeady then face the winners of that one in the semis the following weekend. If it’s Clifden, it’s a Galway venue and if it’s Carrigallen it’ll be played at a Mayo venue.

Ballyhaunis will be representing the county in the Connacht Intermediate football Championship and, like Islandeady, they have to wait and see whom they’re up against at the semi-final stage on the weekend of 19th/20th November. It’ll either be St Molaise Gaels of Sligo or Galway’s Dunmore who play the weekend after next. Whichever of them it is, that semi-final will be played at MacHale Park.

That’s also the venue for Westport’s first outing in the Connacht Senior football Championship. They’re in at the deep end too, as they face Galway champions Moycullen at the quarter-final stage on Sunday 13th November (throw-in 1.30pm). The winners there go on to meet Strokestown of Roscommon in the semi-final the following weekend.

88 thoughts on “Connacht club Championship fixtures

  1. My Mayo team 2023
    Rob Hennelly, Jack Coyne, David McBrien, Brendan Harrison, Paddy Durcan, Padraig O’Hora, Oisin Mullin, Jordan Flynn, Matthew Ruane, Lee Keegan, Ryan O’Donoghue, Jack Carney, Conor McStay, Tommy Conroy, Paul Towey

    (Depending on Brendan and Tommy recovering from injuries. Lee to be given free role in half forward line and potential sweeper and let the man enjoy his football instead of being stuck at corner back. Team is very interchangeable with Lee going to defence, Jack to midfield and Ryan and Conor switching between Centre Half Forward and Corner Forward)

    Rory Byrne, Rory Brickendon,Donnacha McHugh, Sam Callinan, Eoghan Mcgloughlin, Aidan O’Shea, Diarmuid O’Connor, Enda Hession, Conor Diskin, Cillian O’Connor, Justin Healy

    (2 players in each position of the field. Rory and Donnacha covering full back line, Aidan can cover Midfield and Full Forward, Diarmuid covering anywhere, Eoghan and Enda covering both Wing Back and Wing Forward. Diskin should be tried at wing forward as he has he is so hard to stop with his strength and pace and could also cover full forward. Justin should also be given a go as an inside forward, could make hay when there isnt 2/3 men marking him all the time like at club level. Cillian as an impact sub)

    Extended panel to pick from (obviously not all will be on it)
    Bryan O’Flaherty, Jack Livingstone, Sean Morahan, Niall Mcmanamon, Ruairi Keane, Oisin Tunney, Michael Plunkett, Stephen Coen, Fenton Kelly, Paul Lambert, Sharoize Akram, Aaron McDonnell, Mikey Murray, James McCormack, Nathan Moran,Dylan Thornton, Connell Dempsey, Frank Irwin, Kevin Mcgloughlin, Jason Doherty, Darren McHale, Conor Loftus, Fionn McDonagh, Oisin Mcgloughlin, Keelan McDonnell, Mark Moran, Cian Hanley, Pearce Ruthledge Ethan Gibbons, Darragh Keaveney, Dylan Prendergast, James Carr, Evan Regan, Colm Moran, Aidan Orme, Kuba Callaghan, Ronan Carolan

  2. Mayo4698. Cant argue to much with your starting 15, but for me, a fit Cillian must start, No question

  3. I think you could probably argue for a few more to be starting than just a fully fit Cillian. His brother for one.

    I like the team from a “freshening things up” perspective but I’m not sure it should or will be as fresh come championship. On the other end of the scale, it would be great to see Harrison back. I like the idea of a free role for Keegan but I think he’s needed more as a corner back these days. Overall, I’m not sure about a lot of the calls… the likes of the Knockmore lads (McLoughlin, Orme, McHale) being relegated to the extended panel, I think all 3 will play a significant part as starters or impact subs. I think Orme has a year or two on the likes of McStay in terms of making an impact on the starting 15.

  4. @Mayo4698 – It has a nice balance to the starting team but as @Third Man In pointed out it is hard to see it come championship. Only 1 back over 6 foot tall and only 1 forward over 6 foot tall, we would struggle big time in middle of the park.

  5. Paul Towey you’d figure is up a few %. Possibly he will go well on good ground.
    Having good forwards is one thing but as a team we need to improve on playing into their strengths. Give them good ball in good positions. Setting them up facing goal, giving them a layoff outlet or pass from a layoff. Things we’ve struggled with.

  6. DOC iwould be my 1st man down on the team sheet.
    I don’t think Conor McStay did himself any favours in the county semifinal or final. His performances were very disappointing. Look, if you’re not a standout at club then there’s not much chance at the next level up. Personally, I’d have Boland before Loftus every day of the week too, but that’s just my opinion which counts for nowt. I’d be shocked if Boland was let go. I’d love to see Brendan Harrison back but I’d be afraid that too many serious injuries will have taken it’s toll. James McCormack and David McBrien are the lad that I’d like to see brought through this season.

  7. @4698.alot of work put into that post and gets the mind going. I’d be hoping Carr and orme are higher up than the extended panel.

  8. Best of luck to all Mayo teams in rhe connacht club championship.. hopefully there will be a couple of connacht titles won. Ballyhaunis in the intermediate would be my pick..Charlestown in the womens intermediate also..i cant see Westport getting past Moycullen..they just wont get the scores.
    Not sure WJ if Galway hurling was restructured last year with more senior clubs dropping to intermediate. There was talk of it anyway. If so Tooreen might find it hard to retain their title..

  9. A fully fit Cillian would walk onto this team instead of McStay but injuries may have caught up with him, Hope I’m wrong. Id also have Boland in there but rumours are he’s not on panel. Diarmuid will prob be on the team anyway. As for extended panel thats just a list of players that could make the 26, the full panel or would be outside the panel.

  10. Yep that comes in next year alright Jr, but won’t last long

    It won’t last long, but as it stands Tooreen have it much easier in Connacht for the time being, but the Cork/Tipp champions will be now be much stronger coming out of Munster going forward and the Kerry chship seems to be the highest standard its ever been, and in this year’s campaign Doora/Barefield won’t be weak either and Richie Hogan’s club also won in Kilkenny. I think Tooreen actually play the Ulster winners this year though if they get through Connacht, which is surely very winnable… anything can happen in a final then..

    Agree with Lahanman, can’t see Westport beating Moycullen (who I think could well win the All Ireland) but Haunis have a roaring chance, Dunmore have been very nervy in matches in Galway and nearly fell over the line in the end. The junior is always hard to know but Clifden would be Galway’s best winners in a while – they’re a funny one in that on a given season they could have a huge squad available and others they might struggle to nearly field a team! Definitely the former this year but the Mayo junior chship does generally have good winners

  11. I would have Fergal Boland on the Mayo starting team for 2023 .He is a nippy cornerforward and can score with any foot .He also has experience which is beneficial.

  12. This isn’t going to be a big rebuild job. There is a lot of lads that have been introduced over the last 2-3 seasons that should be established Mayo players for the next decade. My team would look something like this:
    Keegan O’Hora Hession
    Durcan Mullin E McLoughlin
    Ruane Flynn
    Carney DOC Ryan OD
    Towey Cillian Tommy Conroy

    GK: Livingston/Byrne
    Def: S Coen, Callinan, McBrien, Harrison (if he can recover fully to pre-injury form), Mchugh, Jack Coyne, plunkett, and maybe a wildcard option for 2023 is also Sean Morahan if he can continue his rapid upward trajectory.

    MF: Aidan – could have a massive role to play as a sub for 20-25 high impact minutes in big games. Not many other options after Aidan really. Obvious Lack of depth here and if there are injuries they will a slot in a makeshift option like carney or Mullin. Maybe Bob Tuohy as a longer term prospect.

    Orme, Irwin, Oisin McL, Carr, Kevin Mc should all be there for sure. After that it’s getting thin. You have loftus and Bryan Walsh who don’t get much love on this forum but they are not bad players either. Unproven guys like Ethan Gibbons, Mcstay, Mark Moran, maybe Diskin. They will surely look at Dylan Prendergast. Then there is the young 18 yo players like Clarke and Hurley and Duffy from the minors. More likely to be u20 for those lads in 2023 though.
    I’d love to see Colm Moran brought in if he’s around. He can score easier than most players in Mayo club football and is an ideal age to make a quick impact.

  13. I cant understand how people seem to be writing off Michael Plunkett. He was shaping up to be one of our star players last year before his injury….

  14. Micky3, I’d tend to agree with you, think starting team will be very similar to the one you named come championship. One exception would be Plunkett in half forwards line if he returns in similar from he was in prior to injury, in that case ROD to ff line with Towey as backup

  15. Castlebar beat Westport well in the Under 17 Semi final replay today by 3-14 to 3-5, stand out player was Callum Filan for Castlebar at full forward , he scored 2 -5 , 2 -4 of it from play.Wonder was there a reason why he didnt make the Mayo County Minor squad this year.
    Ryan Gibbons played well also kicking 6 points 4 from play, Darragh Hoban was the best player for Westport scoring 2 -2.
    Mitchels play Claremorris now in the Final.

  16. I dunno, like if yer thinkin Michael Plunkett wing forward and Paul Towey only as a backup?
    Michael Plunkett is a solid wing back but I think a little short of what is needed for us to Sam.
    Oisin I understand as a wing forward as he can break lines with his pace.

  17. One thing worth remembering is that Mayo will play at least 11 and possibly as many as 15 games before the AL Quater final next year such is the way the inter county seaon is scheduled..And that is in a short period of about 4/5months or so. It will be about hitting form at the right time and grooming some key but older players such as COC Leeroy AOS etc to be primed for the business end of things. It will keep us supporters busy at least…

  18. For me Michael plunkett is comfortably in the top 26 players in Mayo and will be getting plenty of game time next season. Not exactly sure where, he’s a bit of a utility player really, can play in several positions. I still think he could make a good wing forward.

  19. Blond964 and Sam og. It was certainly an eye-catching result for Mitchells U17s and a final against Claremorris should be a cracker with the Hurleys and Mortimer on board among others. Definitely one to attend I reckon.

  20. Well done Tooreen. Despite losing their captain and inspirational player Shane Boland early in the game they got the better of St.Gabriel’s, London and will now play in another Connacht final.

  21. How are we going getting those injuries from last year cleared up.
    Is ROD 100%, how is progress with Tommy Conroy.

  22. I know Moycullen are favourites to beat Westport and give the AI a real shot. I must confess I’ve looked at their lineup and it’s impressive but I haven’t seen them play. Have any of you seen them and if so could you give us a bit of a rundown on them to put us in the picture.

  23. They are well managed and well coached by ex Roscommon player Don Connellan. Very good on the line. In the Galway semi final they placed No.3 Sean Kelly at centre forward on All Star John Daly, one of the best kick passers in the game and Mountbellew Moyloughs best player. It was a master stroke as Kelly tied him up and it upset their game plan completely. They also have Owen Gallagher the ex Antrim player and a Doctor in Galway, MOTM in County final and a serious engine. Other than that been impressed with Cooke and Tom Clarke(Mayo) in midfield, no frills hardworking player.

  24. @Mickey3, pretty much my exact thoughts on what lies ahead for us. A lot of players brought in over the last 2-3 years and the hope for me is that’s were we’ll see the gains. If McStay can kick 3 or 4 of them on, then it could be a different team, with familiar faces. The hope for me is that this improvement will come in the forwards obviously, there are a few there (Orme, Carney, Carr etc and maybe a new face or two) who could benefit from the freedom / confidence that McStay might give them.

  25. Moycullen are very good. Cooke at midfield is top class and Connelly in corner forward is hugely dangerous – Westport need to nullify these two players’ influence on the game. Obviously Sean Kelly is very good but for me he is not as dangerous as the other two. Westport have the advantage that they have no out-and-out star players that are performing like the Moycullen boys and so have this surprise element. Oisin, Fionn, Killian, Lambert, Kevin K, could end up being overlooked by Moycullen.

  26. Thanks @Big Mike and @GBXI. Good to have views of people that have seen them. Sounds like a big job for Westport, but you never know.

  27. I see the U17 A final is now fixed for Sat evening @6pm in Bekan, and not McHale Park between Castlebar and Claremorris. Should be a good game of football with talented players on both sides. Mitchel’s will fancy their chances after their comprehensive win on Saturday and strong league and championship form in the controversial semi replay against Westport, which has left Claremorris waiting 7 weeks for a game on the other side of the draw..

  28. Despite only being up senior a relatively short time Moycullen have become a very seasoned team, and that’s despite losing a few of their older players since the first title in 2020. Connellan rotated the squad very well this year and they approached each game on its own merits. Funnily enough they were far from convincing against the “poorer” sides they played this year but stepped it up hugely to beat all of Corofin, Tuam and Mountbellew comfortably. Their only real blemish was the county final – they were actually poor enough, and the aforementioned Cooke and Conneely had quieter games – but finals can be funny. All about the result at the end of the day

    They’ve a fairly star studded team – even outside of the marquee names, Tom Clarke has become a very solid player for them, Cian Deane and Corcoran starred at county underage for them in recent years and Neil Mulcahy kept Clifford scoreless in the Sigerson final. Wynne would still have plenty to offer Galway, he was probably the best club defender in the county this year. Niall Walsh – another transferee – will likely start after struggling with injury. They got a few players in their early 20s back involved also (who played on the junior winning team last year without full commitment) after focusing on rugby/basketball the last few seasons.

    I’d add Owen Gallagher to GBXI’s list, in fact he has probably been their MVP since his transfer in 2020. Conneely was quiet enough by his standards in a few games this year but is always a handful

    The only thing I’d say is that there is probably more to come from Westport.. I wouldn’t given Knockmore or the old Btubber side a prayer in a game like this as they’re solid rather than spectacular sides who are well equipped to always beat the sides below them, but rarely punch above their weight against bigger hitters (like Castlebar did so well with Corofin). Westport are young and fresh and do have a better bench then Moycullen imo so they won’t be without a chance. That said no-one knows how teams react to winning a landmark county title. I suspect Westport would have rathered another week to prepare for this or else the Leitrim/Sligo champions in round one. And Moycullen have played better opposition for the most part

  29. I see on the Croke Park transfer list that Colm Morans transfer back to Westport has been approved. Not sure if that means he can play this weekend

  30. Not sure how it works Looking Forward, in essence isn’t this the same competition?

    Probably a moot point anyway, in that he’ll hardly start but I suppose would be a bench option

    The big question is whether his brother starts.. Lambert has to be knocking heavily on the door

  31. I know this is off topic but I am all for good news stories.
    Credit to Monaghans Gary Mohan for having his mullet shaved off to raise money for a local special needs charity.
    It must have taken half a day to shear him!

  32. Connacht U20 championship draw done tonight

    Quarter final

    Roscommon v Sligo

    Semi finals

    Roscommon/Sligo v Mayo
    Leitrim v Galway

  33. Is the u20s old school straight knock out with provincial champions making up the all Ireland semis?

  34. @FrostTHammer yes straight knock out and the Connacht champions face the Munster champions in the All-Ireland semi finals.

    Before the championship there will be a U20 development league which i think is played January/February.

  35. GAA letting Dublin have Croke Park for Divison 2 League games next Spring this was the perfect time to send them back to Parnell Park,while every other county has to fund there own Home ground.Media or County Boards not even highlighting it.

  36. @1969, you have a very good point… Dublin don’t even pay for the cutting of the grass at the Carbon Neutral Sea Gull sanctuary…the GAA has two farms just to keep it resurfaced…I’m sure it will be also used for virtually every championship game possible as well for the Dub’s, and let the mighty Dub’s take the field first just incase anyone else should warm up at the Hill…Borris Johnson had an idea that he called ‘levelling up’ before he hit the high road, it was as meaningless as most things he said, but at least he gave the idea some lip service…. The power’s that be in the GAA (with the very close association of several politicians) won’t even give the Idea of a level playing field for all counties lip service… Fair play is the essence of all Sport.

  37. There is a lot of hype about Moycullen this weekend. Not many giving Westport a chance. It would be some kick in the arse for them if Westport won

  38. I’m not sure I agree that there’s been lots of hype about Moycullen.
    Not here in Galway anyway.
    They are obviously a decent side but I’d give Westport a very decent chance of winning.
    Salthill should have won the Galway final.
    I’ve seen Moycullen twice this year in person and they were no great shakes either day. 50-50 game in my opinion. Dunmore Ballyhaunis has the makings of a cracker next weekend in the intermediate club.

  39. I would agree Galwayman, not seen anything bigging up Moycullen, bar the bookies odds, but club odds in bookies can be very erratic.
    Westport and Moycullen both have lots of intercounty experience be it underage or senior so it’s a 50/50 for me as well.

  40. I don’t agree that it’s 50/50 myself – Moycullen are rightful favourites imo – but the “not many giving Westport a chance” is hyperbole in the extreme

    I’ve seen most of Moycullen’s games this year and Westport’s knockout ones

    Westport are better than salthill though imo, and salthill should have beat Moycullen. On the flip side Moycullen beat mountbellew and Corofin well, who are both better than Westport, so it’s all on the day

    Westport in my view are far better equipped than knockmore and btubber before them to actually make an impression outside of the mayo chship.

    There’s not a “lot of hype” around Moycullen, they literally only became favourites for the county title after winning their semi.

    Haunis and Dunmore will indeed be a cracker potentially, Dunmore made extreme heavy weather of winning in Galway while haunis are getting better with every game. Haunis to sneak it

    As for junior, kilmeena chose the right year to win mayo anyway.. I’ll go out on a limb and say some Fossa team down south might have a fair chance. Handy forward or two apparently

  41. Moycullen absolutely all over them should even be a bigger lead .. even without Cooke there’s a huge gulf out there so far

    Kevin Keane literally the only outlet up front

  42. Westport so poor it’s frightening, apart from the obvious difference like superior strength and conditioning , how can any team playing at this standard kick three shots into the keepers hands in the first 20mins .

  43. Kilkelly kicking frees off the ground from 25 yards out? The first one he barely cleared the crossbar height and the next one he hit the post.
    It’s the middle of winter. Kick the bloody ball over the bar from your hands, you aren’t Shane Walsh.
    Then they left another very very kickable free slightly right of centre 30 m out to the young left footer Dawson who is only 18, the youngest player on the team, who missed it. Surely any right footed free taker worth his salt would take that free.
    Westport aren’t getting the most out of their most talented players. Moran looks threatening when he gets the ball, as does Oisin McLoughlin but they arent on it enough. Keane is somewhat effective but not a natural forward.
    Mcdonagh and Brickenden very disappointing so far. I think both these lads are fortunate enough to survive Kevin mcstays reported cull of existing Mayo panelists in recent weeks.
    Eoghan McLaughlin doesn’t look fit unsurprisingly I suppose but they need him to step up in a big way to have a chance.

  44. All is forgiven knockmore, can’t recall a worse performance from a mayo team in a Connacht game… I hope for their sake they’ve been on the drink solid the last two weeks

    When Moycullen are giving mark Lydon a token few minutes to get a standing ovation from the crowd you know things are bad – surprised they didn’t wheel out Paul Clancy while they’re at it

    The gas thing is Moycullen actually did plenty of daft things too – and handed Westport a few scores – but the gulf is so astronomical it doesn’t matter a jot.

    Sean Kelly is an absolute class act and dessie conneely was outstanding also. With Cooke and McLaughlin to come back they’ll give the all Ireland some rattle

  45. Absolutely awful from Westport. Castlebar the only Mayo team to represent the county well at senior level in the last 10 years.

    Moycullen were good, Conneely class, but the shooting and decision making from Westport just shocking. Keegan should have been on Dessie from the start. Keegan was superb in the 2nd half by the way Those two frees mentioned in a post above were just unforgivable. Did someone say Fionn Mc is on the county panel? That can’t be right.

    Sean Kelly is a strange player. Very effective link man but also so awkward on the ball. Not much of a scoring threat either. His brothers were very good today.

  46. Eoghan could be the ideal replacement for Molloy next year. He’s a bit raw as a footballer but an absolutely phenomenal athlete and pace to burn

    I’m progressively more bemused every time I watch Gallagher as to how he was so underused by Galway this year

    The standard of the mayo chship has fallen off a cliff. Castlebar of a few years ago would win every game absolutely pulling up these days

  47. It was an off day for Westport who were very poor today. Kick outs, shots at goal, free taking and some of their passing was well below par.

    As poor as they were they cut through moycullen very easily on several occasions in the second half. The old, ” poor finishing on display ” story was in evidence again.

    I think another team would have racked up a high score against moycullen today, but Westport didn’t even give them a proper challenge.

    I don’t even think Westport will be too disappointed with the outcome as they’ll no themselves, it was a poor performance.

  48. Agreed Ciaran about the Mayo club champ. It’s much more open now but I’ve seen a lot of games the past 3 years and the standard is much poorer than before. Hopefully it doesn’t have an effect on the county team.

  49. Moycullen didnt have to lift it Revellino as Westport are so bad. I thought they were average against Salthill too but Salthill would hammer Westport. Expect them to win Connacht but an All Ireland is a trickier proposition.

  50. Anyone who didn’t realise how far off the top Mayo football is – should realise it now. Nearly Half that Westport team have been in Mayo panels over last few years – they didnt look like county standard players today.
    One thing I have noticed with Mayo teams over last 18 months or so is a complete lack of forward plans. When players get the ball out the field – first instinct is a safe hand pass across the field – followed by another etc.
    There is no intensity to the forward play, no one looking to break tackles, no fast ball into forwards and when it dies go in – no support players. The only bit of good play we saw was when Westport got the goal. A good fast ball into the forward and good support play off the shoulder. That’s what we need.

  51. Absolutely GBXI it’s worrying alright

    I’m convinced wel be looking back in a few seasons and wondering how James Horan made two finals in a row with this crop. Outside Keegan there wasn’t anyone related to county standard in sky blue out there today.. the fact they have a few on the panel is not a good look for mayo

    Thought salthill had a fortuitous enough run to final chesney and caught Moycullen on an off day..i felt at the time if they won it could be a winnable enough tie for the mayo winner.. but as buff Egan would say – “that was a bad statement by me” 😀 they would have bet Westport handy today

    As I said above Moycullen actually did plenty of daft things today, they actually have a bit of improving to do. McLaughlin took part in the warm up though and Cooke will be available from here on, so that in itself will be huge for them

  52. Ciaran – that’s an interesting point about James Horan. With the criticism he got over the last few years from a lot of Mayo supporters you’d swear he cost us 2 All Irelands. There certainly aren’t a dozen club players out there ready to start for Mayo next year.

    Our county team is relatively young on average, due in part to JH’s rebuilding work, so we’ll see if McStay an co can get a better tune out of them. However, it won’t be an easy job.

  53. Would the tying up of fringe county players and them not getting games at county or club level most the year be a factor in club standard slipping in more recent years? The club players miss out on exposure to players who training at county level as well then.

  54. Gizmobobs – surely Moycullen would have the same issue? Connelly, Gallagher and Paul Kelly were on the Galway panel but saw little or no game time. There could be another one or two I’m not aware of.

  55. I wouldnt read too much into todays game either in terms of impact on Mayo long term. Especially if it’s true there was a stage last weekend for the Westport lads. Corofin were winning everything at club level a few years ago and Galway were useless at the same time.
    There is a poor correlation between club success and intercounty success for many reasons.
    I’m more interested in individual players.
    Keegan was probably the best Westport player today. Eoghan McLoughlin is a long term Mayo player too he’s proven himself enough times and was probably in our top 5 players last summer in the championship. Just needs to get himself fit.
    After that’s it gets interesting. The next player I’d have from Westport is actually Mark Moran. His best for mayo albeit a small sample size, is much better than anything we have ever seen from Brickenden or Mcdonagh. He needs to learn how to tackle from Donie Buckley though. He’s quite creative with the ball in hand and crucially had more pace over the first 10 yards or so than say mcdonagh who is more of a workhorse.
    Oisin McLaughlin deserves a few months in the Mayo panel training to see if he can improve. He has some useful traits like good pace and decent skills. Paul lambert is a good baller but might be a touch small.
    Like I said earlier, the jury is out on Brickenden and Mcdonagh.
    No one else at the required level for Mayo in Westport. They missed Colm Moran a lot today as a forward that can actually score.
    MoyCullen will be happy. Connelly was good but he is pretty small and I could see him blanked out easily enough at the very highest level by the top defenders.
    For top level IC now it’s all about pace, raw pace. If a player is anyway slow, they need not apply unless they are an absolutely special talent besides.

  56. At the end of the day, Westport would have not been ready for this game after huge celebrations. They were damn right.
    They will be the only first senior title team.
    Westport can push for a Connaught when they have the likes of Colm Moran, Eoghan McLoughlin, Joe Grady. The current young lads another year on.
    Westport looked leggy yesterday and we know that that is not normally the case with Westport.
    Also they setup like 1997 with a pretty orthodox formation. So they were wide open at the back.
    Mayo club football is not that bad.

  57. Believe me there was massive celebrations in Moycullen too 😀 as much as we might like to believe so after yesterday, I can very much confirm they weren’t tucked up early every night after the county final!

    Others have pointed it out but there is definitely a huge standard drop in the Mayo club championship the past few seasons. I’m well involved in the Galway scene and comparing the two paints a sobering picture

    A Galway man was one of the more prominent players for his club in Mayo who got knocked out (just about) of the quarters – he wouldn’t get near his home club starting 15 anymore, who lost at the same stage in Galway.

    7 of the quarter finalists in Galway this year (St Michaels being the odd one out – they came through an easy group) are all better than Westport, Oughterard who ended up somehow in the relegation group would give them a right good game of it (they gave Moycullen plenty of it this year), however Westport should indeed improve going forward – but I don’t see them ever matching the top Galway sides.

    The 3 lads missing for them named in the post above arguably aren’t collectively as good as Peter Cooke, James McLaughlin and Cian Deane. Cooke would make any county team in Ireland, while McLaughlin was tipped by many to start at midfield against Mayo last year until his injury. He’s one of the brightest talents to come through Galway for some time. Deane was a good Galway underage player the last few seasons

    Monivea got relegated yesterday, they bet Salthill last year and had a player of the year nominee in their ranks. St James with Paul Conroy and Johnny Duane in their side just about survived. Oughterard – who won the All Ireland intermediate three years ago – were the other team in the mix. Put the latter two sides in Mayo and they would have made the quarters this year

    That’s just the way of it. Demographics dictate that in the future there’s unlikely to be much depth at all in Mayo outside of Ballina, Westport, Castlebar and Claremorris, (maybe Breaffy) – you’ll get an odd team coming with a golden generation but rural teams and smaller towns will definitely struggle with player retention going forward. Put simply I don’t see the club championship improving much standard-wise any time soon sadly

    This isn’t to say the Galway scene is anything overly exceptional, more to highlight there are potential issues down the line with competitiveness in Mayo. Next Sunday is dangerous enough for Moycullen tbh – they should probably win by a few but the Roscommon winners are always competitive in recent seasons.

  58. Jesus we might as well give it all up and concentrate on saving turf here in Mayo instead of football the way you are talking Ciaran.
    Galway have had population demographic advantages over Mayo since Michael Davitt was running around the place. We are the 21st most populated county in Ireland and have been for about 100 years now.
    Galway had a good year in 2022, bet Mayo by one solitary point in Castlebar and landed a nice handy run to the All Ireland final against a bunch of non all Ireland contenders.
    Dublin would have beaten them by 7 or 8 points if they played them in my opinion. I thought they were a long way off Kerry in the all Ireland final and at no stage, not even for one minute, did they look like winning the game. Their two most important players are nearly 30 years old (Walsh and Comer) and another key man in Conroy must be 35 years old now?
    Yeah they are a solid side. But don’t tell me Mayo aren’t well capable of beating them next year with a new manager bounce and plenty of good young players refreshed and back from injury. To suggest that no Mayo club team would feature in the top 7 clubs in Galway is just hyperbole that can never really be proven anyway.
    There is about 35 gaa clubs in Mayo well capable of producing intercounty players. We have seen talented players come from clubs like Kilmaine, Ardagh, Kilmeena, The Neale in recent years, clubs that wouldn’t be traditional producers of intercounty players. There is an array of talent in Mayo from ages 14-17 in particular with some exceptional prospects in the pipeline. At one stage in the summer Mayo played 12 matches at u14, u15 and u16 level against a range of county teams over a single weekend, both A and B sides and won 11 of the games (most of them easily) losing just narrowly to Kerry in an u16 game. There was clubs from across the entire county represented in those games.
    The goalkeeper and MOTM in the Mayo junior A final this year would walk onto the Galway senior panel next year and quite possibly would start for them.
    Let’s just wait till Galway actually win something before we start pumping them up to be some kind of unbeatable juggernaut.

  59. Am okayyy…. I wasnt actually comparing the two county teams but you go ahead and jump to conclusions bringing the county stuff into it

    Some of us actually focus on club football this time of the year, I couldn’t give a hoot about the county stuff until February again. So many Mayo fans are absolutely county football obsessed

    FWIW – I think Galway will have a comedown next year and are still way off Dublin and Kerry, but there’s no denying they have a healthy club scene

    Mayonze summed it up well on the other thread, and his comment won’t be popular no doubt, but he’s correct and there is a serious amount of denial with regard to the club scene in Mayo.
    I saw each of the following live a few times along with Westport this year and there is honestly no way they would beat any of Claregalway/Tuam/Corofin – the losing quarter finalists in Galway – at the moment, so it absolutely isn’t hyperbole. Spiddal and Oughterard who ended up in the relegation gave Moycullen a much better game this year, although in fairness Westport would beat both, all things being equal. Those two teams would make quarters in Mayo though. The current Castlebar side wouldn’t come within 10 points of their peak team of a few years ago, yet won the league in Mayo and were a kick of the ball from beating Westport. They’ll come again though and they may just be Mayo’s best hope of any national glory in the near future. They carried the flag very well in the 10s… the only team to do so since Ballina in 05 or whenever it was

    Now this may all end up never having an impact on the county team but just looking at the club scene only, its poor in Mayo at the minute

  60. And Mayo aren’t the only county either whose club scene is struggling at present.. the Cork football chship has gone very poor recently, and I’m shocked at the standard of some knockout games – never mind group games – in Dublin

    Hopefully things turn around in the Mayo Championship in the next few seasons

  61. My post had plenty of focus on club football. The people who are only county obsessed are not on here from July to January.
    I think the Mayo club scene has more depth than Galway. While the top clubs in Galway are indeed strong, there is still a lot of intermediate and junior teams in Galway that are weak enough. Many Mayo intermediate clubs would hold their own in a lot of senior club championships around the country. One of the great cliches of this time of year got its annual airing at the weekend “the Kerry junior champions would beat most senior clubs in Ireland”.
    Nonsense of course, but if it was true Kilmeena must be something else entirely as they beat a Kerry junior championship winning team in Croke park a few months ago.
    This blog is driven by interest in the intercounty team too. That’s where the bulk of the engagement comes. It’s pretty quiet here recently. I’m always on the lookout as an interested watcher of club football in Mayo for lads who might step up to the higher level. I firmly believe there will always be enough players in Mayo to have a very competitive senior county team any given year. It’s arguable that our club scene was at its weakest over the last 15 years or so while our county team was at an all time high.
    While castlebar were good as you rightly pointed out, they had maybe only ever one guaranteed starter for Mayo even at their best. A bit like corofin actually.
    The depth of clubs in Mayo mean there will always be players to step up for the senior team from unexpected sources. Clubs like parke, Balla, Mayo Gaels, claremorris, Ballyhaunis, louisburgh will start contributing lads to Mayo senior panels sooner or later too. It’s almost like a weight of numbers thing. I don’t believe Galway has the same depth of clubs as us even if their top sides might well be stronger.

  62. That’s a fair post Mikey, to be fair you clearly have a wide interest in the club game and Mayo GAA as a whole, its those who have limited interest in the club scene and just knock opinions like mine out of sensitivity and defensive-ness that I take slight issue with. I’m only giving my honest take

    By the way I do agree with you in terms of the depth of Mayo clubs, my own point was more in relation to the respective senior championships. Galway’s is very strong right now (hasn’t always been by any stretch), while Mayo’s is weaker at present, however the gap between the intermediate sides in Galway vs Moycullen, is larger than the same one in Mayo.

    There’s 3 potential All Ireland contending sides in Galway, 4 very good sides, and then 5 or 6 decent teams with the remaining senior teams more solid rather than spectacular. In Mayo the top sides are at the ‘decent’ level at this moment in time. Castlebar were All Ireland contending a few years ago, Btubber and Breaffy very good in that era, and Ballagh over certain seasons.
    However in Galway there is a fair drop-off to intermediate right now. St james and Oughterard who ended up in the senior relegation would beat the Mayo teams in the senior relegation comfortably, however they would also walk Galway intermediate at the moment. Whereas there’s absolutely nothing between Kilmeena/BMD/Hollymount and Balla/Mayo gaels by comparison. So while senior is strong in Galway there’s a dropoff after about the 16th/17th best team, whereas in Mayo the 9th best team isn’t a whole lot better than the 20th best team. Now the caveat is that Mayo is a 100% footballing county in fairness so this might explain somewhat their much better standard junior chship

    But its the standard drop in the senior championship in Mayo that really concerns me I have to say

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Islandeady and Bhaunis bet the two Galway teams this weekend though, there isn’t a big gap at intermediate and junior level at all

  63. Interesting debate. A couple of views and thoughts to put in the mix.
    1. I think the elite club standard is rather high when thinking of teans that can win the club All Ireland. They are like div3 County teams.
    2. Mayo competitive clubs for the senior title, probably just as many as heyday of Cross Ballina, Knockmore?
    3. I think Galway has more of the two or three elite teams but Mayo has a wider depth?
    4. I think at club and county are in a transition. I think there are quality players coming through. Look at Moy Davitts, Knockmore, Claremorris, Castlebar, Crossmolina, Kilmeena. These clubs have the underage to improve their quality and depth.

  64. Good post JP

    “I think Galway has more of the two or three elite teams but Mayo has a wider depth?”

    Yep I think this is spot on

    I wonder is the high standard of the top teams in Galway a by-product of the great Corofin team? As a result everyone else had to raise their level and now we’re seeing three or four insanely athletic/conditioned, well coached sides – who are well able to kick quality scores also. That said Corofin – in their heyday – actually faced a lot of their main competition within Galway itself and against Castlebar

    Remember Mountbellew could well have been a fit Michael Day away – and Salthill were probably a lucky Moycullen goal away – from being Westport’s opponents yesterday

  65. Yes. Club oerformances seem to have little or no bearing on the County situation.

    I think this year was Galway’s first appearance in an AI final in 21 years. Meanwhile back at the ranch Corofin were collecting club AI’s by the bucketful.

    As someone mentioned, the mayo clubs have not been to finals too often recently and yet we have consistently appeared in the final slug for Sam over the past decade.

    We seem to be better equipped at getting things together at county level rather than at club level.

  66. Some of the elite Galway teams now have a huge pick. Someone posted recently Claregalway won Minor A and B? That’s a serious depth coming down the track.
    Mayo at club and county is about our mid tier clubs pushing on. That raises standards. At senior and intermediate. Junior, the reality is we will need amalgamations in time to keep it strong.

  67. Interesting debate and all I can add is the depth of players coming down the tracks in certain areas of Galway is amazing compared to when I grew up there in the 80s. The bigger the pick the more likely that the intercounty set up can unearth more players of that calibre. If its managed correctly and coached well which it appears to be it could be a far better next 20 years for Galway in comparison to the period since the 2001 All Ireland win to the improvement shown at last in 2022.

  68. Mikey said” I thought they were a long way off Kerry in the all-Ireland final and at no stage, not even for one minute, did they look like winning the game”.

    At 14-12 to Galway after 47 minutes the game was there to be won but we didn’t have the composure to press them instead conceding soft turnovers gifting possession to the Kingdom. Leen the Examiner editor said we were unable due to inexperience and individual errors on the ball to “turn the nut”. Oisin McConville noted the turnovers in that period allowed Kerry to compose. I would not agree therefore that we never looked like winning the game.

    In the Mayo-Kerry match which I attended Mayo had also the chance to test the Kerry team but much like Westport yesterday kicked lots of wides early in the 2nd half and balls into the goalies hands and allowed David Moran to get a grip around midfield and we left as Kerry were easing to victory. Kerry are not unbeatable by any stretch.

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