As expected, both Tooreen and Ballyhaunis made it through their respective Mayo SHC semi-finals this evening. They’ll now meet in the TJ Tyrell Cup decider on 12th September.
Tooreen arranged for their match with Westport to be streamed live via YouTube. I caught a bit of the first half myself and it was apparent early on that the champions were going to prevail with a good deal to spare.
Tooreen were more or less out the gate by half-time, as they trooped off with a ten-point lead racked up. There was no respite for Westport after the break either as the champions pulled further away, winning at the finish by 4-21 to 0-10.
The other semi-final was a much more competitive affair. Castlebar Mitchels started well and by half-time they led Ballyhaunis by a point, going in 1-7 to 0-9 in front.
The home team upped the ante after the break, however, and a steady supply of points saw them break Mitchels’ resolve. Ballyhaunis ended up winning by nine points, on a scoreline of 0-21 to 1-9.
So, once again the county SHC decider will be an East Mayo derby tie. Eight out of the last ten finals have seen these two great rivals go head-to-head, with each of them claiming four final victories over the other in that timeframe, as well as playing out a draw in 2016.
Tooreen will go into the final as strong favourites to complete a four-in-a-row of Tyrell Cup victories but you can be sure that Ballyhaunis will do everything in their power to bring that run to an end and to claim the silverware themselves for the first time since their replay victory over the neighbours in 2016. It has the makings of a final to savour.