The weekend’s action

It was a weekend off for the county’s senior footballers, as next weekend will be too, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t any action of interest taking place, and some which did even involved members of the senior panel.

First up there was some U21 activity, with Tony Duffy and his colleagues taking the opportunity to get a few challenge matches in ahead of the county’s forthcoming U21 Connacht semi-final against either Galway or Sligo in a month’s time.

On Friday night his charges took on Donegal where they narrowly lost out by 0-9 to 0-8. I’ve no idea where that match was played or who lined out for us but I know both of these facts in relation to the second U21 challenge match held over the weekend.

This one took place on Saturday against Clare in (fittingly) Claremorris where our lads came out on top on a 3-11 to 1-8 scoreline, having trailed 1-4 to 0-4 at the break. This was the Mayo team that lined out for this match:

Mayo (U21 Challenge v Clare, 16/2/2013): Rory Byrne; Aidan Butler, Niall Freeman, Brendan Harrison; Conor Horan, Conor Walsh, Eoin Collins; Danny Kirby, Eoghan Lavin; Fergal Durcan, James Shaughnessy, Ryan Quirke; Darren Coen, Conor O’Shea, Michael Forde.

I can’t, I’m afraid, shed any light on who scored what for us in Claremorris. All of the above U21 information is, by the way, culled from the ever excellent source that is @MayoGAA.

Next, there was yesterday’s club action where Roscommon and Connacht club champions St Brigid’s, managed by Kevin McStay, upset the odds by edging out defending champions Crossmaglen in a tense All-Ireland semi-final at Mullingar where fortunes swayed back and forth before the Rossie lads finally made it into the winners’ enclosure by the minimum margin.

St Brigid’s odyssey now takes them to Croke Park on Paddy’s Day where they’ll face Dublin’s Ballymun Kickhams, who upset an applecart of their own in their semi-final against Kerry’s Dr Crokes at Semple Stadium, toppling the fancied Killarney side by four points. And it’s not only the Rossie lads who’ll have a Mayo connection at HQ either because Ardnaree’s James Burke – who played for the county a number of times during James Horan’s first year as manager in 2011 – is a regular at wing-back for the Dublin club.

Another delicious twist to next month’s final is the fact – pointed out yesterday by @edmcgreal – that Kevin McStay played his club football for a time with Ballymun. And that’s saying nothing about all that green and red that’s set to be waved around at Croke Park on the big day.

Onto today’s interpros where Connacht were unlucky to lose out to Leinster, going down by a single point in what must have been a cracker, as it finished 1-21 to 1-20. The Connacht lads – who included within their ranks David Clarke, Ger Cafferkey, Lee Keegan (at wing-back), Jason Gibbons, Seamus O’Shea, Jason Doherty and Michael Conroy – seemed to be on their way to victory, as they led by five points at the match entered the final quarter, but then Leinster then hit six points without reply, four from Bernard Brogan (who ended up with nine points to his credit), to nick the tie by a single point. Match report from RTÉ is here.

Both of today’s interpro football semi-finals were very tight, as Ulster squeezed past Munster by the minimum margin as well, and both matches featured plenty of top talent from all four provinces. It’s just a pity that these matches were played at this time of year: I still believe that the Railway Cups can be rescued as a meaningful part of the GAA calendar but only if they’re given a proper slot – right after the All-Ireland, with some kind of tie-in to the All-Stars would be my choice – and some decent marketing welly (like the kind devoted to that Aussie nonsense).

Finally, it was sad to hear this morning about the death of Seán Óg Ó Ceallacháin who, in the days before Twitter score updates, was the voice of GAA club results (and more) on RTÉ Radio on Sunday evenings for more than half a century. Seán was, of course, much, much more than this – a gifted hurler (he played for Dublin in the 1948 All-Ireland, scoring a goal in his county’s defeat to Waterford that year), journalist, author and playwright as well as a broadcaster, he was one of the essential voices of the GAA for several decades. May he rest in peace.

14 thoughts on “The weekend’s action

  1. There is another Mayo connection in the Ballymun set up. Ballycastle native Shane Forde is also a regular in their team. He usually plays corner forward and he has a impressive goal scoring record for the mun. He came on in second half yesterday.

  2. It that some sort of dig at my comment F’Deelin, I made a genuine point, you can check out the facts if you like.

  3. Another w/e match of interest was of course the defeat of Connaught footballers by Leinster in the GAA interprovincial series. That defeat once again exemplifies the utter folly of the decision making, on and off the field, when all they had to do was retain possession and play down the clock (the losers were apparently leading by five points with ten minutes remaining) but then to paraphrase the immortal words of one of our Mayo experts “they kept dhriving forward” .. When you keep repeating the same mistakes you invariably get the same results.

  4. St Brigids also have Liam McHale as coach. Wasn’t Kevin McStay’s last All Ireland final with Mayo U21s.?

  5. There is an interesting aside from the Mayo Association Dinner in Galway which was held at the week end. Sean Feeney the former Secretary of the Mayo County Board was the receipient of a presentation from Muintir Mhaigh Eo Gaillimh for the work he carried out during his time as Secretary. In his short acceptance speech he thanked everyone of course especially the Mayo Association in Dublin as well as Galway. He said those associations had done great work over the years for the G.A.A. in Mayo and THAT HE DID NOT AGREE THAT CAIRDE MHAIGH EO SHOULD HAVE BEEN DISBANDED. Why did he not say that at the time. He got a rousing cheer for his contribution.

  6. 2 Mayo lads are doing very well in Kiltoom. Different game plan depending on opposition. McHale in my opinion comes across as very impressive.

  7. how exactly has cairde mhaigheo been disbanded then shot saver ?

    that will come as a shock to its many members !

    is he saying that the “crowd above in dublin” has been disbanded? they seem to be going strong !

    surely they were asked to come aboard and they elected not to ( as was their right! ) , saying that organisations that still exist have been disbanded is completely disingenuous , did the people at the dinner even know what they were cheering ?

  8. I think he meant Club Mayo Dublin Roger, which wasn’t allowed to fundraise on behalf of Mayo GAA anymore, as all fundraising had to be through Cairde Mhaigh Eo. My understanding is Club Mayo Dublin then changed to Club Mayo Sports to fundraise for all Mayo sports out of neccesity.

  9. Sorry about that I did mean club Mayo in Dublin. I am not au fait with the entire matter. I just know it was the people in Dublin he was referring to. Sorry about the confusion but Sean should have done his criticizing when the matter was being discussed some months k

  10. thanks for clearing it up shotsaver, now i dont know sean feeney but i think again he was being disingenuous, club mayo are still going and i believe the county board did allow them to donate some funds for the team holiday this year ? they just chose not to come under the chairde mhaigheo umbrella , not too sure what he was trying to achieve with his statement but if it was as you reported here then it was a mis-statement.

    i think club mayo will always have a role in fundraising , i cant see the county board ever cocking the nose at any donation they or any other party might make…

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