Loads of action this weekend

Saturday night sees the long-awaited start of the National Football League – in which we open the defence of the title we won at Croke Park last March – but our Round 1 opener against Donegal at MacCumhaill Park in Ballybofey that evening isn’t the only Mayo-related action on this weekend.

Far from it. In fact, there are no fewer than three Mayo GAA matches – two football and one hurling – to choose from on Saturday. Then, on Sunday, the ladies begin their 2020 League campaign.

Let’s deal with the hurling match first. Our lads are operating in the rarified atmosphere of Division 2A once again this year, where this season that once-great hurling county Offaly are now sadly plying their trade.

With Antrim, Kerry, Meath and Wicklow also in this Division it’s likely to be a tough spring campaign for us. Round 1 is a home fixture against Kerry and that game throws in at MacHale Park on Saturday at 2pm.

At the same time over at Páirc Seán MacDiarmada in Carrick-on-Shannon, meanwhile, the county’s U20 footballers are up against Louth in the final of the Leo Murphy Cup. This is the pre-Championship development tournament we’ve been slotted into this year – last year it was the Philly McGuinness Cup – and we made it to the final thanks to draws against Roscommon and Donegal as well as a win over Derry.

The Wee County’s campaign began with a 2-14 to 1-6 loss away to Down but they then beat Tyrone at home by 1-7 to 0-7 the following weekend. A dramatic 1-12 to 1-10 victory away to Antrim last weekend, combined with Down’s draw with Tyrone, put Louth through to Saturday’s decider against our lads.

With the team named for Saturday night’s NFL opener against Donegal, there’s no need to dwell for too long on the match here. Season ticket holder? Just bring it along and get it scanned at the designated turnstiles. Ref for Saturday night? That’d be the experienced Meath official, David Coldrick.

Onto Sunday and the opening round of the LGFA NFL, in which the Mayo ladies are, like the lads, up against Donegal in Round 1. It’s a home match for the ladies, in their de facto home venue at Swinford Amenity Park. That game throws in at 2.30pm on Sunday.

Ahead of the weekend’s action there’s a fair bit of coverage that may be of interest. Some of it is general GAA stuff but there are a few articles relating to us as well.

John Fogarty in the Irish Examiner has a few interesting pieces. One is about the new football rules and how they’re set to be interpreted by refs (here), another sets out a team-by-team guide of the eight counties competing in Division One this year (here) while he also has a feature piece with Diarmuid O’Connor (here).

Three other pieces in the Irish Examiner are worth a look. Alan Foley has an article listing the players Donegal are missing on Saturday night (here), Cliona Foley speaks with Mayo LGFA manager Peter Leahy who bemoans the loss of several players to the AFL this spring (here) and Mike Finnerty has a piece on the plans new County Board Chairman Liam Moffatt laid out at the first County Board meeting since his election (here).

Over at the Mayo News, meanwhile, Mike Finnerty’s match preview is here. In the same paper, the piece by Edwin McGreal about the importance of our experienced players, that was discussed at some length on our League preview episode of the podcast, is here.

Have you listened to this bumper podcast episode yet, by the way? Oh, for shame – you can do so here. It’ll make a perfect companion for the drive north.

There’s sure to be a large Mayo following at MacCumhaill Park the next night. There’ll be plenty of flags there too, I bet. The grassroots group who major in match-day flags and banners – the Mayo Independent Supporters Club (MISC) – have plans for the new season and you can read that piece here.

A bit of sad news, I’m afraid, to end up. For years now I’ve been able to run prediction mini-league competitions, for both League and Championship, thanks to the platform provided by the Facetheball.com site. This site is, sadly, no more which means that the prediction competitions also have to bite the dust.

As this happens, I’d like to record my personal thanks to Peter at Facetheball for making the site available for so many years – eleven in all – during which time he gave all those of us who took part in the many competitions such enjoyment year after year. It was fun while it lasted and, looking back now, it lasted for a long time. Thanks for making that happen, Peter.

17 thoughts on “Loads of action this weekend

  1. Thanks for the prediction update, WJ. It was a ton of fun last year, my inaugural and final!

    If given a choice between it and this blog, the right one survives!!!

  2. Michael Murphy has an interview with the Irish news indicating he’s likely to play Saturday. Of course county teams have players well oiled up on what to say so will be interesting to see what team they name. Worth noting too Donegal usually don’t publish their team until the day of the game .

  3. Good start to the weekend with resolution of funding issue. It appears that both sides saw sense and that Mayo football is what is important, so well done to all concerned.

  4. Great to see that the row with Tim O’Leary and the Foundation is over. Logically it had to end but, as we see Carnacon players still absent from the Mayo Ladies team, logic sometimes has little to do with GAA affairs.
    Hopefully its onwards and upwards from here on in Mayo GAA circles for 2020.

  5. Great news regarding the funding resolution. If they can all pull together now, it could be a game changer for Mayo GAA. Well done to all involved

  6. A good start for Liam Moffatt as chairman to get this dispute settled quickly. We need the kind of funding that these overseas funding groups are capable of supplying.

  7. Happy with the development players getting a run in Ballybofey esp Ryan O Donoghue. I don’t see any left footed players lining out in the forwards for frees. Hopefully wrong on that. Carr is excellent on his weaker left from play and may work or Diarmaid with outside of the boot but the percentages may be too low to risk that.
    Like some other posters I’d like to see another Goalie developed as Clarke is probably 36 or 37, may be his last year.. would be very lucky to get 2 more years commitment out of him. No obvious alternative to Robbie emerging so we’d be thin on reinforcements there. Clarke may be in for reliability this time with so many newbies playing as the best shot stopper around and dropped to try others as we strengthen outfield. If they both got injured we’d be in bother experience wise.
    Any sign of Eoin O Donoghue, showed star potential a few years back.

  8. EOD is still there. He was man of the match a couple of weeks ago for nuig losing to ucc where he gave Sean O’Shea a roasting. Excellent display of kick passing from him. Should see him in the next couple of rounds, but would think he’s regarded as part of the senior group as apposed to the experimental team tonight.

  9. Is there anyway to get in contact with the MISC? Im not on twitter and they dont seem to have a fb page. Thanks!

  10. @WJ Thanks,
    Just wanted to know which terrace they plan on gathering on for the different games.We have a decent crowd that travel together and have a lot of flags aswell. Thank again!

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