Derry match switched to Ballina

Our opening NFL match against Derry on the 2nd of February has, according to this report in the Mayo News, been switched from the building site known as McHale Park to James Stephens Park in Ballina.  The decision is no great surprise, I suppose, given that the redevelopment work at Castlebar is far from complete and I guess it could also mean that our other home games (against Westmeath, the Dubs and Tyrone) get shifted northwards.  In this regard, Sean Feeney says in that report that the decision about whether or not to hold the Westmeath game, which is scheduled for the 8th of March, at county HQ “depends on weather conditions”. I never knew they had better weather in Ballina than they have in Castlebar: I thought the weather was shite all over the county in March.  But, like Bev and the forty-one grand, you learn something new every day.

If McHale Park is out of action totally for this year’s NFL then maybe the time is right to reinstitute that old practice of hawking league matches around the county.  What about playing the Westmeath match in Charlestown, sending the Dubs down to Belmullet (just for the crack – that’d keep Joe Duffy going for a week) and dispatching Tyrone to Ballinrobe where we could take them on under the lights?  Any better ideas, anyone?

Before I go, here’s a new blog, which could be of interest to you: onthecuffe is penned by another Mayoman and he says he’ll be writing about football, politics and whatever you’re having yourself.  He already has a few posts under his belt so you might want to wander over there and have a look for yourself. One for the bookmarks, I think.

19 thoughts on “Derry match switched to Ballina

  1. Hi Willie Joe

    Happy New Year to you from all at Club Mayo Dublin.

    Pleased to inform you that Club Mayo has now signed up with Facebook and anybody interested can keep up with all the latest news by searching under “Groups” for “Club Mayo Dublin” or by logging in and going to

    We hope it will be a good way for Mayo supporters to keep in contact with each other.

  2. Many happy returns to you guys at Club Mayo Dublin. I think you can all be proud of the sterling work you’ve done since the club was formally launched almost a year ago and you’re providing a very valuable service for all us Dublin-based Mayo GAA nutters. Keep up the good work!

    I have to confess that the one bit of the Web 2.0 world that has passed me by is the whole Bebo/Facebook/LinkedIn thingy but plugging into it does sound like a good idea.

  3. A quick question thats a little off topic.

    Is there any way you can sign-up or follow your blog? As in, have you the facility to send email alerts to a list when you post something new?

    Keep up the good work!

  4. Dunno, AbbeyGael – I know you can see if there are new posts if you use an RSS reader but apart from that I’m not sure. Leave it with me and I’ll get back to you – this kind of stuff isn’t my strong point but I am looking at some developments in that area.

  5. Delighted to see that Ballina gets a game, I know it will be a bit futher for me to travel to, but it will give the other parts of the county a chance to see the men of Green and Red. Now if it was Belmullet or Drum then I,d make a weekend out of it and visit the old homestead!

  6. I think it’s good to move the matches round a bit – I’ll be coming down from Dublin for it so there’s not much between the two venues. I was just checking when we last used Ballina as a home venue: it was back in 2005, when we played Donegal and Cork there. We won both of those matches too so it might not be a bad idea to have it as a home venue, at least part of the time!

  7. I think all of the grounds around the county should be looked at in terms of hosting the Home matches….(Obviously only the towns/grounds that are fit for inter-county matches of course!!).

    What harm is there with an influx of a few thousand people on a sunday afternoon? I’m sure in the “current climate”, many of the shops/pubs/hotels/chippers/restaurants (the list goes on!) in any of the towns around the county would be glad of it!

  8. Im delighted…best league games I was ever at were in ballina.I remember back in probably 90/91 we played the Rossie there….something like 10 thousand showed up…the place was packed…rossies stormed ahead…..willie joe played FF….we stormed back at them and Noel Durkan kicked the winning score from out near the clubhouse with the last kick of the game….a magical memory!!

  9. That was the 19th of November 1989, Ted – here’s the details from the archive (too far back for any easily accessible online reports, I’m afraid):

    Mayo 1-12 Roscommon 1-11 (Ballina, 19/11/1989). MAYO: G Irwin; D Flanagan, P Forde, D Kearney; M Collins (0-1), P Holmes, J Finn; S Maher, TJ Kilgallon; R Dempsey, WJ Padden (0-2), N Durcan (0-4); M Fitzmaurice (1-1), L McHale (0-1), K McStay (0-3). Subs: M Carney for Dempsey, A McGarry for Holmes, A Finnerty for Fitzmaurice.

    My own favourite memory of a match in Ballina was a little further back: we beat Galway by 3-9 to 1-9 in a league game there played in November 1985. The team was really flying after that summer’s exploits and there was a big crowd at every league match. We completely dominated the game and I remember TJ Kilgallon storming through with that long, loping run of his and burying the ball low into the corner of the Galway net.

  10. fair play WJ although im not surprised. Im pretty sure Padden was FF that day despite him being named on the ’40.I remember it because i was so surprised as was everyone in the crowd. Ballina was where I first saw Kieran Mc making what i think was his debut appearance for the seniors…a sexy cross in from the left wing…only one result…GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Willie Joe from what I can see from the archive the last team to beat Mayo in Ballina were Kerry in 1993/94.

    Galway and Leitrim drew with us there and we won all other matches since.

    Not a bad record.

  12. It would have to be Kerry though, wouldn’t it? Fourteen years is a good unbeaten run all the same, it almost qualifies Ballina as a bit of a fortress for us!

  13. Ah well now isn’t it great to see that the park holds such fond memories for the rest of ye, I wouldn’t have missed any of those league games from around ’95 onwards, based abroad now so I’ll be missing them from here on in for a while.

    The weather is always better in Ballina WJ 🙂

  14. The Kerry league game in 93-94, was standing behind the goal at the scoreboard end, Kerry were kicking into that end, remeber seeing Cahill getting twisted inside out by a sallow skinned man, scored a peach of a goal against us – Maurice Ftiz I’m nearly sure it was and I think the first time I’d seen him play.

  15. Just checked the Irish Times archive report on the game, Stephenite, and you’re right about Maurice Fitzgerald. He scored 1-5 for Kerry in that game, four of those points coming from frees. Despite this, the Times’ reporter (Paddy Downey) said that Kevin Cahill “lost no stature in his dedicated duel” with Fitz.

  16. I’m hoping that young Ger Cafferkey is the new Kevin Cahill, we need that no.3 jersey filled by a consistent and proven player

  17. AbbeyGael: just to follow up on your comment from a few days back, my tecchie Jedi Master TJ has now set up the facility to subscribe to the blog via email. If you scroll down the right-hand panel, you’ll find the options on how to subscribe down at the bottom.

  18. Sorry lads. I can’t get the thing to work properly.

    AbbeyGael: As a temporary stopgap, you could try using FeedMyInbox

    I haven’t used it myself and don’t know how well it works, but I saw some recommendations for it when I was doing my research.

  19. I’ve just tried it now and it seems to work. Give it a lash AbbeyGael and see how you get on.

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