It’s the most open – and enthralling – Mayo SFC in years and the race for the Moclair Cup is now down to the final four. With all the big guns of recent years out of the running, there’s no clear favourite heading into this weekend’s semi-finals, with all four remaining contenders having realistic hopes of claiming the silverware.
Ballina Stephenites are still the most successful club team in the county but their most recent county title – their 36th – was won way back in 2007. After several years in the doldrums it was only last season that they showed any serious signs of being able to compete properly at this level again. Can they now push on and reclaim what they would see as their natural place in the order of things?
Breaffy might have something to say about that. While they’ve yet to win their first county title at Senior level they’ve been knocking hard on the door in recent years, losing finals in 2013, 2015 and again in 2018. They went down decisively enough – both times to near neighbours Castlebar Mitchels – in those first two final appearances but then came up agonisingly short, by just a single point, to Ballintubber in 2018. Could this finally be their year?
Knockmore also have final experience this decade, though like Breaffy it was of the losing variety. They made it to the decider in 2016 but, as Breaffy had done twelve months previously, they lost heavily to a Mitchels team that would go on to complete a Moclair three-in-a-row the following year. Ray Dempsey’s fearless young side have plenty going for them and their elimination of champions Ballintubber last Sunday shows they can mix it with any team in the county right now. Can they go all the way this time?
Westport have won many admirers this summer. Their speedy playing style has been a joy to watch and topping the so-called Group of Death marked them out as a team with serious potential. Like Knockmore’s win over Ballintubber last Saturday, Westport’s group stage victory over Castlebar – which resulted in Mitchels’ elimination – was a serious statement of intent. The Covies have been spoken about for some time as the coming club team in Mayo: is this the year when it’s finally going to happen for them?
Choices, choices. I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m finding it very hard to pick a likely winner from that quartet. I’m going to have to press you, though, and leave you with this question: which of the four do you think will do it?
Who'll claim the Moclair Cup this year?
- Ballina Stephenites (29%, 223 Votes)
- Knockmore (26%, 194 Votes)
- Westport (23%, 173 Votes)
- Breaffy (22%, 167 Votes)
Total Voters: 757
11 thoughts on “Poll: who’ll land Moclair?”
I’ve gone for Stephenites. Well balanced side with experience across every line. Great to see north Mayo so well represented in the final stages.
Our review of last weeks games,. All twelve games covered. Preview show coming Thursday.
I believe any one of the 4 teams can win the cup this year. It will all come down to the inches and where ever they can be found. I believe that Ballina have demonstrated the best teamwork of the 4. But their biggest challenge was against Knockmore to date, and that was a game they could/should have lost. Breaffy were very lucky against Westport but in fairness to them they are different this year, and they have finally got the monkey off their backs. Westport often look like a team that could beat any team. They also remind me of a cog wheel with some teeth missing here and there. One quarter they are capable of brilliant football and are more that capable of a cricket score and this can be followed by very average fare in the next quarter without any score. I would not be happy with some of their defenders on a one to one basis. Make no mistake, they are real contenders. That leaves Knockmore. This is the Championship and Knockmore can rise to any challenge and nobody would back against a Knockmore team with Dempsey on the sideline.
On this poll Breaffy are the outsiders at 19%. In contrast Paddy Power has them favourites at 6/4. The rest of the field are all available at twice that price, 3/1 or slightly higher.
Why is that?
I have gone for Breaffy. I expect them to win this one.
Seems I’m late for the poll but for what its worth I’ll give a very hesitant vote for Breaffy.
I’m surprised that there has been no mention of David Brady’s very sensible comments on the silliness of the spectator lockout from stadia which pushes a lot of people into the few, sometimes very few, pubs which are open. If he said something silly there would be lots of comment. The entire pub lockdown is nonsense. The only reason pubs serving food are allowed open is that the authorities could not put a defining line on what is a restaurant.
I think it will be a Breaffy Knockmore final. Ballina are favourites against Knockmore but derby games like that take on a life of their own. Even thought they are both young evenly matched teams I fancy Knockmore to beat the townies. If Breaffy get their act together and tighten up at the back they should have enough for Westport. So a Breaffy V Knockmore final for me with Breaffy shading it but long way to go yet and a lot of ball to be played.
I’ve removed that final sentence from your post, AndyD – it was off topic, badly wide of the mark and well beyond what’s acceptable to post here. We’ll leave it there.
I certainly hope Westport win and translate potential into victory. They have been and are, the most exciting team in Mayo – especially up-front. However they need to add a bit more mental toughness to their armoury, in order to stand up to the ‘intimidation’ prevalent in club football.
Ballina will win it out.