This coming Sunday the Mayo SFC final is set to be contested, with Breaffy and Knockmore vying for possession of the Moclair Cup. The decider takes place at MacHale Park (throw-in 3.35pm) and it’ll be broadcast live on TG4.
Breaffy are warm favourites to claim their first Senior county title, in large part because of all that big match experience they’ve garnered from coming so close to the prize in recent years.
That experience has stood them in good stead this summer. After the one-point loss to Westport in the first group stage match, they went to Castlebar the following weekend knowing they had to get a result against a team they’ve found it very hard to beat in recent years. They duly got the win they needed.
Then, up against fancied Ballaghaderreen in the quarters, Breaffy absorbed what last year’s finalists threw at them before opening up against their 14-man opponents after the break and blowing them away. Against Westport in the semis, their experience once again came to the fore as they controlled a game played in poor weather to see out a two-point win.
Knockmore, by contrast, bring a wealth of youthful enthusiasm to the contest. A callow side they may well be but they’re a team that play with great desire and purpose, working hard to defend in numbers, then breaking at speed and shooting on sight once they get within range.
They’re not all greenhorns either. Shane McHale, a solid presence at midfield, has significant experience at inter-county level and, of course, they’ve also got the irrepressible Kevin McLoughlin knitting it all together for them all over the field.
Knockmore showed their mettle in the quarters when they put Ballintubber to the sword with calm efficiency. Their ability to learn on the job was then demonstrated in the semi-finals when they overturned their group stage defeat to Ballina Stephenites. Knockmore came out all guns blazing in that meeting the weekend before last and, although Stephenites did manage to summon a second half comeback, Ray Dempsey’s charges were more than capable of fending them off to claim their place in the final.
It’s set to be a fascinating decider, one that really could go either way. Personally I find it hard to tip a winner in this one, even if, when pushed on the Peil Adore podcast last week, I gave a tentative nod in Knockmore’s direction.
What about the rest of you, though – who do you think will win the county final this coming weekend?
Who'll win the county final?
- Knockmore (58%, 525 Votes)
- Breaffy (42%, 381 Votes)
Total Voters: 906