As we make our way through the gloom of November, the GAA pickings are slim enough in these short days and ever lengthening nights. But the club scene – driven to the margins by the demands of inter-county action for much of the year – is a veritable hive of activity at the moment and two clubs from the county scored notable successes in championship matches over the weekend.
Charlestown should never, of course, have found themselves plying their trade at Intermediate level but they’ve certainly made the most of their shock demotion from the top tier, which occurred just two years after their third ever senior county title win in 2009. Having bounced back to senior at their first attempt this year, Sarsfields now have their eyes on a possible All-Ireland title, having dispatched Sligo’s Bunninadden in Saturday’s provincial decider on a 0-14 to 0-8 scoreline. I’ve no idea who they’re likely to face in the All-Ireland semi-final early in the New Year but you’d have to fancy them to have a right good lash at landing a national title at this stage.
Meanwhile, senior champions Ballaghaderreen were in action today when they faced Sligo champions Curry in the Connacht semi-final at McHale Park. This one was evenly enough matched up until half-time but Ballagh took more or less complete control in the second half and with their opponents reduced to fourteen men the Mayo champions went on to record a convincing 1-15 to 1-7 win, with Barry Regan contributing 0-8 of that total. A video analysis of today’s match by Emmet Ryan of Action81.com is available here.
Although Ballagh now find themselves just three matches away from possible All-Ireland glory, their next test is a very big one as they’re set to face defending Connacht champions St Brigid’s in the provincial decider. The Rossie lads got the better of Galway champs Salthill-Knocknacarra by a comfortable enough margin of 0-15 to 0-8 at Pearse Stadium today. The Connacht final between Ballaghadereen and St Brigid’s has been scheduled for Sunday fortnight (25th) at McHale Park.
Finally, congrats to that grande dame of Mayo ladies football, the peerless Cora Staunton, who on Saturday evening picked up her eighth All-Star award. A fantastic achievement by the finest ladies footballer of her generation, well done to her.