Galway may have made heavy weather of it over in London the weekend before last but they had no such problems against Sligo at Markievicz Park this afternoon. They surged clear of the Magpies in the second half of today’s Connacht Championship semi-final, winning at the finish by 3-11 to 0-7.
Sligo – lining out this year, for the first time in ages, in their traditional white and black strip – were well in the match at half-time, as they only trailed then by 0-5 to 0-3. Two goals inside a minute, from Liam Silke and Johnny Heaney, pushed the Tribesmen clear early in the second half, though, and they had thirteen points to spare over the Yeats County by the end.
I wasn’t at Markievicz Park myself today but instead caught the match of the day up at Páirc Esler in Newry. We decided on a whim this morning to head north for this one and we were rewarded by getting to witness a real ding-dong Ulster Championship tussle between Armagh and Down.
Armagh eventually won it by just a single point after extra-time in a match where fortunes swayed back and forth all afternoon. Ulster so often – with some justification – gets a bad rap for the dourness of its contests but today’s game was a real belter and was well worth the short spin up from the capital to see it.
Back in Connacht, meanwhile, with Galway now safely berthed in the final – for the fourth year in a row – the battle for provincial honours is down to a three-cornered one. It’s been Galway and Roscommon who’ve battled it out for possession of the Nestor Cup for each of the past three years so it’s now up to us next Saturday evening to see what we can do to upset that particular cosy arrangement.
There’ll be plenty of build-up, needless to say, to Saturday’s Connacht SFC semi-final against Roscommon here on the blog, including a match preview episode of the Mayo News football podcast. Stay tuned for all that over the coming days.
Play the Mayo GAA Lotto this week to be in with a chance to win two tickets for the Roscommon match. There’s €13,500 in the jackpot for tomorrow night’s draw – play the Lotto here.