The kids are, at last, back at school, the nights are beginning to draw in with alarming rapidity and the leaves are starting to carpet the ground. Summer’s at an end and the lowering temperatures are evidence of that. On the club Championship front, however, we’re set for sizzling conditions over the weekend, with semi-final action taking place at Senior, Intermediate and Junior levels.
The race for the Moclair Cup is wide open this year. Breaffy may be the bookies’ favourites but, as you can see for yourselves, they’re the outsiders in the poll that’s been running here on the site. You could, to be honest, make a plausible case for any of the remaining four teams still standing as we head into the semi-finals.
All those who were asked for their pre-match predictions on the preview edition of the Mayo News football podcast were cautious in the extreme in expressing their views about how the games might pan out.
If you haven’t yet got to to it, by the way, the podcast is well worth a listen. Regular contributors Mike Finnerty, Edwin McGreal and Ger Flanagan – who is himself a protagonist in this weekend’s action, as he’s co-captain of Balla – are once again in flying form, while guest stars John Maughan and Martin Carney positively salivate about what’s in prospect in the two Senior semi-final ties, with Martin’s description of the two Moran lads from Westport a moment of podcast gold. You can catch the podcast on SoundCloud here or on the panel on the right here on the blog.
As has happened in previous years, the Senior and Intermediate semi-finals will be played off as MacHale Park double-headers, with an IFC match paired each of the two days with an SFC one.
The fun gets going tomorrow evening, with the Intermediate semi-final between Hollymount/Carramore and Kiltimagh throwing in at 5.30pm. That’s followed at 7.15pm by the Senior semi-final between Breaffy and Westport.
On Sunday afternoon, the curtain-raiser is the IFC semi-final between Ballinrobe and Balla, which throws in at 2pm. Then, at 3.45pm, it’s Ballina Stephenites against Knockmore in the second SFC semi-final.
Both double-headers will be streamed live by Mayo GAA TV. The Cáirde Mhaigheo deal is still in operation (more details on that here), otherwise a weekend pass covering all four games costs €15 (passes for individual games cost €5 each) – details on that here.
Away from the weekend’s glamour ties, there are other important matches on this weekend and some of these are being streamed as well.
In the JFC semi-finals, Cill Chomain take on Kilmaine tomorrow at James Stephens Park, Ballina (throw-in 4pm). That game is being streamed by Cill Chomain on their Facebook page – details here.
On Sunday the second JFC semi-final will take place at Islandeady, where Kilmeena face Shrule/Glencorrib (throw-in 1pm). That one is being streamed via Facebook by Shrule/Glencorrib (details here), with audio commentary streamed by Kilmeena (details here).
The Senior relegation final between Claremorris and Moy Davitts is also being streamed (by Claremorris – I’ve no further details, I’m afraid, on that). This match takes place on Sunday at Gilmartin Park, Kiltimagh where throw-in is 1pm.
Finally, the Intermediate relegation final between Islandeady and Swinford takes place tomorrow at Parke (throw-in 4pm). Both clubs will provide score updates via their respective Twitter accounts.
UPDATE: Mayo GAA have now published the match programmes for this weekend’s games. Here they are (in pdf form):
- Claremorris v Bohola Moy Davitts
- Breaffy v Westport
- Ballina Stephenites v Knockmore
- Swinford v Islandeady
- Hollymount/Carramore v Kiltimagh
- Balla v Ballinrobe
- Cill Chomain v Kilmaine
- Kilmeena v Shrule/Glencorrib