This coming weekend, at last, allows everyone to draw breath after five hectic weekends of Championship action.
But that’s just the Senior team. Two other Mayo teams are in action this Saturday and, for both of them, these are crunch games.
The ladies have an All-Ireland Championship round-robin clash with Donegal – aside from anything else, this is a timely warmer-upper ahead of Saturday week’s totemic SFC meeting between the counties – on Saturday afternoon. That game throws in at the lovely O’Connor Park in Tullamore at 1.30pm.
A bit like the lads, it’s all up for grabs going into this Mayo/Donegal LGFA showdown, only in this instance it’s the Mayo ladies who have the upper hand going into the contest. They beat Tyrone in their opening round-robin game a few weeks back and Tyrone then beat Donegal last weekend.
The margin of victory in both games was three points, which means we currently lead Group 4 on points difference: we’re on +3, Tyrone are on 0 and Donegal -3.
This means that Donegal need to beat us to keep alive their hopes of reaching the knockout stages, as two of the three sides in the group go through. If they manage to do this, then their margin of victory will determine whether or not it’s us or Tyrone who also qualify.
If it’s less than three points we go through, if it’s more than three Tyrone do. I’ve no idea at all, I must confess, what happens in the event that Donegal have exactly three points to spare over us.
From our perspective, though, it’s quite simple – avoid defeat and we’re through for sure. As I said, it’s the inverse of the situation facing the lads.
Forty miles or so further north that afternoon, the Mayo Minors are in action and this one is a knockout fixture. Their All-Ireland MFC quarter-final against Dublin throws in at Pearse Park in Longford at 3pm.
The match forms part of a triple-bill at the venue, with the Minor game followed at 5pm by the All-Ireland U20 semi-final against Galway. Then, at 7pm, the All-Ireland MFC quarter-final between Galway and Kildare throws in. That’s a cracking line-up, a veritable afternoon’s festival of underage football.
The Dublin Minors were, of course, narrowly beaten – after extra-time – by Kildare in the Leinster final a few weeks back. When you consider that our provincial final against Galway went to extra-time as well you’d have to think that both our quarter-final and Galway’s against Kildare are likely to be very evenly contested fixtures.
Somebody asked in the comments if I was going to put up a live feed on the blog of our Minor match. The answer is I will if I can, though it does depend on what I’m doing here on the day and, of course, I’ll only be able to do this if it’s streamed like the Connacht MFC final was.
I’ll keep an eye out for details on this and so should you – if anyone has any positive news on this, please shout in the comments and I’ll sort it from there.
The best of luck both to the ladies and the Minors in their respective matches this weekend.