Mayo GAA confirmed earlier on today that next Saturday’s crunch Christy Ring Cup clash with Derry next Saturday will be played at MacHale Park. The official announcement on this is here.
In that announcement, Saturday’s game – which throws in at Castlebar at 1pm – has been styled as a Ring Cup semi-final. In competition terms that’s not strictly speaking correct, as it is instead a Round 5 fixture, but in practice it is, because whichever team wins the game goes forward to the final against already-qualified Kildare.
The decision by Mayo GAA to reverse course and allow the hurlers to play this game at MacHale Park is obviously very welcome. There was widespread support for the case put forward by the Hurling Board last week and plenty of anger too about the County Board’s decision to fix the two games for Ballina. There was, of course, plenty of troll-fed OTT stuff on social media about this issue as well but that kind of bile is, needless to say, par for the course where it comes to Mayo GAA nowadays.
With the hurlers now given the green light to play on the redeveloped pitch at MacHale Park, all they need is a winning performance against the Oakleafers next Saturday. Here’s hoping that’s what they get and the best of luck to them then.