Juicy Junior final on tomorrow

Photo: Mayo GAA TV (via Facebook)

The first of this year’s club finals within the county takes place tomorrow afternoon. MacHale Park is the venue and the Junior football title is the prize on offer, with Achill and Balla facing off for possession of the Pete McDonnell Cup.

Tomorrow’s decider throws in at 3pm. The curtain-raiser at MacHale Park is the county Minor A final between Westport and Parke, in what is a first ever MFC final appearance for the latter. That game gets underway at 1pm.

Both matches will be streamed live tomorrow by Mayo GAA TV (details here). It costs €5 for match-day access to this excellent service.

Balla come into tomorrow’s decider as strong 1/2 favourites. They won three from three in the group stages and then got the better of Cill Chomain in the quarter-final before accounting for Killala in the semis.

Balla have demonstrated a keen eye for goals on their march to the final. They’ve hit the net on seven occasions in the five matches they’ve played and while they didn’t manage to do so in the semi-final against Killala the seventeen points racked up in that game was more than enough to win the day.

Achill made heavier work of it in the group stages. They finished level in their group with Kilmovee and Ardagh, having lost to the latter in their final group game. Points difference saw them through to the knockout stages, though, but the runners-up spot they claimed pitted them against Kilmaine in the quarters.

That quarter-final 2-9 to 0-9 win over Kilmaine marked the Islanders out as possible title winners. In the semi-final they got the better of Kilmeena by four points. Their run through the knockout stages to the final has been greatly aided by meanness at the back where they’ve avoided conceding any goals.

The Mayo News football podcast got a taste of the build-up in both clubs this week, with Rob Murphy testing the temperature in Balla while Edwin McGreal did the honours over in Achill. If you haven’t yet listened to the podcast it’s well worth doing so – it’s available here.

There’ll be another podcast episode, needless to say, covering the action at MacHale Park tomorrow in what promises to be a keenly-fought JFC decider. Best of luck to the both clubs in tomorrow’s final.

13 thoughts on “Juicy Junior final on tomorrow

  1. Good luck to both teams and officials in the Junior final and hopefully the best team wins. There is nothing as bad as the feeling that the gods/ref or whoever did not favor one side or the other, esp. the ref.
    Maybe I am coming late to the Caisel Gaels/Ballyvary issue with the JP McManus money issue but I think it is incredibly meanspirited to refuse those clubs their share. It certainly was not in the spirit in which the money was donated, ie to promote the games. I am pretty sure that those clubs would not exist if it were not for the willingness of a small few, perhaps only one originally, to devote their time to promoting hurling. Caiseal Gaels are not too far from my home country and I can say with certainty that hurling was far from the minds of locals in my young days.
    The reason why hurling clubs exist separate from their parent football clubs [e.g. Castlebar Mitchels Football / Hurling Clubs] is to allow players from neighbouring clubs to play hurling. Example: If Castlebar Mitchels Hurling did not exist separate from Castlebar Mitchels Football a Breaffy or Ballintubber hurler could not play hurling for Mitchels. As it is they can. To give Castlebar Mitchels a double share and refuse Ballyvary is pure nonsense. OK, I suppose the reason is that Ballyvary do not have an adult team but this is designed to ensure that they never do. Afterall, the difference giving the money to both Ballyvary and Caiseal Gaels would make to other clubs is, according to my quick calculations (and please make allowances for the hour), less than €100. To those clubs it could make an enormous difference. Refusing it could make an even more enormous difference.
    It is no wonder Mayo generate more publicity than most counties with this kind of approach. I would not be surprised if JP asked for his cheque to be returned.

  2. I expect a Westport win in the minors. And it’s up to balla for the junior. If they play to their best they should win.

  3. Listened to the Junior final podcast last evening, WJ and it was brilliant. I especially liked the reference to the Scanlon Cup. It really was an incredible competition, intense rivalry and the standard was very high. One of the coaches of the Achill team, Sean Grealis, co wrote a brilliant book on the history of the Sanlon Cup. Sean starred in many a Scanlon Cup game himself. I would to wish Sean and the team the very best of luck today. Acaill Abu!

  4. The minor A final was a cracking game. Great 2nd half from Parke KC when it looked like Westport would walk away with it. Rory Brickenden, Pat Lambert and Mark Moran were the top performers for Westport. Jack McLoughlin was best for Parke.

  5. Well done Balla, and Wesport, two best teams won,some good players on both sides, should be a great night in both towns tonight.Mayo tv is great for the exiles, and fans who can’t get to games, Well done to all involved,

  6. Well done Rory Brickkenden, my man of match in minor final. Just missed out on starting team for Mayo u20 this year and will have big part to play in 2019. Peter Carty also impressed today as well as others mentioned above…Westport producing young lads in conveyor belt fashion, like many of Dublin clubs. All good for Mayo football, and judging by berformance of Parke, under age football ready to make a comeback. Lee Keegan no doubt influential in instilling ambition in these young guys

  7. I know its their first ever A minor title but Westport are setting the tone at underage and really are an example to other towns in the county. Ballina need to get their shop in order and be back where they ought to be. You’d hope that what Westport have done should drive on Mitchells and Stephenites and inspire Claremorris, Ballagh…Swinford and Ballinrobe too.

  8. In the main County boards people are ok, essentially they are us, except they are willing to give up unreal mental time and hours to the job, a lot do it for the power it gives them, that is OK-why do we manage teams? We all think we can do a job, it’s surely better than sitting in a pub or at a laptop criticising others? That said, that brand of people don’t lend themselves well to (1) outside criticism, a siege mentality grows up understandably against the pub “posse” and (2) decent PR management. The daft decision not to give JP’s free money to the two feeder hurling clubs is a PR disaster, I’m certain it is correct within the rules but even in the spirit of the thing, it is DAFT. The Mayo GAA just need a fella they can ask about common sense, outside their walls. Generally, they do a good job!

  9. Good post Martin
    To be honest when you see some of the stuff said anout the CB you would think they are on a mission to destroy Mayo Football.
    I am sure things can be done better but overall even if you look at the past 5 Managerial appointments you most of them resulted in the best candidate getting the job. Assuming Horan is appointed the same would apply to this appointment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *