U21s, ladies and club action in focus this weekend

Image: @Mayo_LGFA

The seniors have been in the frame over the last few weekends but, having not made it to the FBD final, this one is a gap one ahead of the start of the League season next weekend. Nature abhors a vacuum, so they say, and so into that void come the county’s U21s and ladies footballers, as well as the lads from Westport and Louisburgh.

Taking the action in chronological order, the U21s are in action tomorrow in the North-West Cup final, where they face Sligo at Markievicz Park (throw-in 2pm). It’s €5 at the gate for this one, with all proceeds going to the North West Hospice.

The young Magpies edged out Mike Solan’s charges when they met earlier on in the competition a fortnight ago. No doubt our lads will have done the Kerryman on it since – grinding their teeth and wailing at the pain, counting down the days and hours before they get to lance the boil and exorcise all that hurt – ahead of tomorrow’s rematch. Plus, there’s a nice, shiny cup to be won tomorrow as well.

On Sunday, the ladies start their League campaign with a Round 1 fixture against neighbours Galway. That one throws in at Swinford Amenity Park in Swinford at 2pm.

The Irish Examiner had an informative guide yesterday on the eight teams in Division One of the ladies’ NFL – here.  The same paper also had a piece on that significant will-she-won’t-she question in relation to Cora Staunton’s availability this year, an issue which remains to be clarified. An announcement on this is expected ahead of Sunday.

UPDATE: Cora has now announced that she’s back on board for an incredible 23rd season. So too are her long-serving teammates Yvonne Byrne and Martha Carter. Report from RTÉ here.

Down at Cusack Park in Ennis, meanwhile, the footballers of Louisburgh take the field on Sunday in their All-Ireland JFC semi-final against Kerry’s Glenbeigh/Glencar. That match gets underway at 12.30pm and will be followed, at 2.15pm, by the All-Ireland IFC semi-final between Westport and Kenmare of Kerry.

Both Mayo clubs go into their respective penultimate round ties as outsiders: Glenbeigh/Glencar are 1/4 favourites to win the junior semi while Kenmare are priced at 1/5 to prevail in the intermediate one. The prize, though, is a significant one – a big day out for the whole parish at Croke Park in three weeks time.

There’s some stuff of interest in the papers about both games. Today’s Irish Independent has a piece on Austin O’Malley, while the Mayo News this week did a quickfire question piece with Alan Moran. That paper gives the same treatment to Westport’s James Walsh and it also has an interview with current Footballer of the Year and Westport leading light, Lee Keegan – here.

Both club semi-finals will, by the way, be streamed live from Ennis on Sunday by Local Streaming. Full details on that here.

15 thoughts on “U21s, ladies and club action in focus this weekend

  1. Best of luck to the ladies in their tussle with the auld enemy. This is a fantastic sport that deserves all the help and exposure it can get. These players are as committed as any of the senior men and display as much skill and technique also. Best of luck.

  2. Some good news reported by Jackie Cahill:

    Cora Staunton has ended speculation about her inter-county future by committing to the Mayo ladies senior football team for a 23rd season. And in further good news for Mayo, other long-serving stars Yvonne Byrne and Martha Carter have also decided to play on for another season. The trio are close off the field of play and it’s understood that two of three committed yesterday, with the third player indicating today that she is on board again.

  3. Thanks for that HSE. I am delighted Cora is staying on for another year. She is a great ambassador for the sport.

    It is doubtful I will get to Sligo tomorrow but hoping to hit the road to Ennis to support the West Mayo boys on Sunday. It would be great to see two wins for the lads.

  4. I see Mayo are out to 9 to 2 to win the All Ireland and Kerry are in to 7 to 2.Both were at 4 to 1. I wonder what has changed?

  5. Ros town, I’m guessing one or more cute kerry men or cute kerry women put some money on kerry. Then the bookies adjusted the odds. Could be that simple.

    Are the odds changing on Roscommon?

  6. The odds fluctuate all the time, to generate interest more than anything, especially before the championship. You’d have to put Kerry as second favourites, seeing as we haven’t beaten them in over 20 years.Hope Reape gets a run in the league! himself, Loftus and possibly Irwin are the only real candidates to break into the forward unit. Personally I think Reape will be a class act sooner rather than later.

    As for the rest, Boland needs alot more conditioning and is one for the future…but hope he gets a run out in the leageue, especially if we secure our status fairly early. Don’t care about winning it, all about blooding as many players as possible. Think Adam Gallagher just does’nt have the potential the above named possess. Granted, he was unlucky with injury, but think we have fresher blood to try and can’t see him making the squad.

  7. Best of luck ladies. though we know it won’t be easy to beat our opponent but we know you will try your best. I don’t care for win because we can make our opponent split blood all the way. Hope one day this beautiful game will find it’s popularity across the world.

  8. Wouldn’t be so sure about Reape. Not a whole lot of pace and has an unusual kicking style that does not get the ball off quickly – would be smothered by any decent intercounty defender. Hopefully will improve in the years to come. The full forward line remains our only worry for 2017. Don’t see an emerging Brogan, McManus or Cooper to add to what’s already there. The missing ingredient needed to beat the best as opposed to compete with the best…

  9. Can someone explain the club set up in Kerry that appears to give them an advantage. Only eight senior clubs so junior and intermediate have a bigger pool of players? Do tell…

  10. Since there’s only 8 senior teams, the intermediate champions are effectively the 9th best club in Kerry whereas Westport were the 17th best club in Mayo last year. That has a knock on effect for the junior championships as well since both Mayo and Kerry have 16 intermediate clubs.

    The best inter and junior players in kerry also get the chance to compete in the Kerry SFC with their divisional sides.

  11. thanks for that. I thought twas something like that alright. Where does the north / south thing come into it then?

  12. I’m going to have to delete that comment, Rochford’s Brigade, on the basis that says “there was some talk” about a named player, an U21 at that. That has to be classified as unsubstantiated rumour and I don’t think it’s fair to the player in question to be airing “talk” like that here.

  13. Not sure what you mean @joet1480. Some of the divisional sides have names like South Kerry, Mid Kerry, East Kerry etc. They are made up of players from intermediate and junior clubs in the area.

  14. Thanks for the reply. Not sure what I mean meself. My impression was that Kerry was divided in North / South for club championship competitions. Not sure where I picked that up but your explanation about club names
    seems to make more sense of it.

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