The weekend of club championship action has come and gone and it looks if it has done so without any members of the county panel getting injured. Most of the panel – with one high-profile exception – turned out for their respective clubs on what was the final round of action before the knockout stages of the different championships get underway. I’m not 100% sure of when this will happen but I can only assume that it’ll be after our involvement at inter-county level is over.
That high-profile exception I mentioned was Kevin McLoughlin, who, according to this piece in the Connaught Telegraph, sat out Knockmore’s Group 2 clash with Garrymore following an instruction by James Horan to his players that they should only line out for their clubs if the match in question was one where a positive result was needed to secure qualification to the play-offs or to avoid demotion. Knockmore were already through and so Kevin Mc didn’t tog but so too were Breaffy and the three O’Sheas all played as did Andy Moran and Richie Feeney for the already-qualified Ballaghaderreen and Castlebar Mitchels respectively.
Performance of the weekend must surely go to Ballinrobe’s Donal Vaughan. Named to start at midfield against Kiltane, Donie was instead switched to full-forward where he made proverbial hay, banging in 2-3 as the South Mayo club prevailed in Bangor on a 2-12 to 1-12 scoreline. According to the match report in the Mayo News (paper and digital versions), James Horan was at that game on Saturday evening so will have been able to judge for himself if that’s a rabbit he might consider pulling out of the hat at some stage at Croke Park.
The same paper also reports that Tom Cunniffe didn’t play at the weekend and that the Mitchels man is now a “major doubt” for the All-Ireland quarter-final as he continues his slow recovery from an Achilles injury. There’s better news concerning Tom Parsons, though, who played the full hour at midfield for Charlestown against Ballaghadereen, scoring a goal in the process. Jason Gibbons also got valuable game time under his belt for Ballintubber but that wasn’t the only belt involving him as he picked up a minor facial injury in his side’s trouncing of Crossmolina.
A summary of the weekend’s results and what it means for play-off qualification and relegation trouble is here.