Under the MacHale Park spotlight


And then there were two. Well, eventually there was two in terms of the Intermediate Championship but we’ll get to that in a while. It’s not often that the Gods smile down on me. I was covering matches elsewhere before the big games on Saturday and Sunday but I was excellently positioned geographically wise and just had enough time for my Corolla to bomb from my matches to the championship games. That Corolla of mine has seen many a road, you can’t beat the old: fast but reliable.

Speaking of fast and reliable, Kevin McLoughlin’s Knockmore are back into their first county final since 2009 and will be looking to snatch the Moclair Cup from Mitchels next Saturday. It was McLoughlin that opened the game’s proceedings for his side after just thirty seconds and after twenty minutes the scoreline read 0-7 to 0-2 in favour of Knockmore.

Knockmore had already denied Breaffy of one cup at the start of the season, beating them in the Michael Walsh League final. Tommy O’Reilly was a late addition to the Breaffy side and he hammered home a well worked goal to make it 0-8 to 1-4 at the interval. I gave Breaffy the nod last week but I also said that if the chips were down and the game was neck and neck that Knockmore had the ability to grind out another fantastic win and that is what they did.

With two points separating the sides, up stepped Robbie Hennelly who lashed over a superb free with a minute of normal time remaining. When Breaffy won a ’45 seconds later, the ‘keeper was already en route to have another crack at the posts but could not direct the ball over this time. The next score was crucial and Peter Naughton, who had a great game for Knockmore pointing five scores, turned the ball over from Breaffy and fed Kieran Langan who scooped up the insurance point.

Final whistle, action over, right? Wrong! Andrew Keane collected two yellow cards and Breaffy played against Knockmore for the last five minutes with an extra man. Keane had been stuck to Aidan O’Shea for the majority of the game. That’s his job, he’s a defender marking a county star, you don’t let him out of your sight.

There was times where what was happening on the ball was irrelevant because something was happening out of the corner of your eye. Nine times out of ten, two opposing players were on the deck and 90% of the time it was O’Shea and Keane. This action spilled over after the final whistle in what Mayo GAA PRO Paul Cunnane described as a ‘melee’. Paul Cunnane is a credit to Mayo GAA, the work he does for them is indescribable. The definition of a ‘melee’ is “a confused hand-to-hand fight or struggle among several people”.


Photo: Mayo News/Michael Donnelly

He couldn’t have described it any better. It was “among several people” (fans and players alike from both sides getting involved), it was “hand-to-hand” (poor Hennelly left the field with blood running down his face from a cut above his eye) and anyone who was in MacHale Park was surely “confused” on how it all started. It put a damper on what was a fantastic win for Knockmore as manager Ray MacHale now turns his focus to Saturday and Mitchels.

Mitchels and ‘Tubber, the most decorative clubs in recent history in Mayo. They don’t do matches, they endurance battles. This was not one of those epic battles. 0-6 to 0-2 was the score at the break and those two Ballintubber scores came from Cillian O’Connor frees. In fact, out of the 1-5 that Ballintubber chalked up on Sunday, all five points came from placed kicks of Cillian’s. Their goal was their only score from play and it came deep into second half injury time.

It was a huge anti-climax to the ‘Super Sunday’ of football we had created in our minds. The omen that hung over the Castlebar outfit of never having beaten Ballintubber in senior knock-out championship football was banished. Tight defending from Castlebar produced the result of Ballintubber ending almost scoreless from open play.

Ray O’Malley and Ger McDonagh kept close tabs on Cillian while, at the other end, Neil Douglas was displaying fine form, scoring both from frees and open play. Eight points in total is what he took from the game and when compared to 1-11 that his side accumulated altogether, it was some effort from their talisman.

They say two games are never the same and that is a sentence which rang true on Sunday. Ballintubber couldn’t stop scoring the week before in the quarter-finals. You’d have to wonder if they left everything out on the field that day. Was there any need to inject such a hammering into a side which you’ve already beaten before the half-time whistle?

The Ballintubber side seemed sluggish and drained last Sunday and Mitchels looked as though they didn’t even break sweat. We’re not getting the best out of our club teams. Years gone by and the 0-6 to 0-2 score line at that we had at half-time would have been chalked up in ten minutes between these two sides. Something wasn’t right on Sunday.

Mitchels deserved the win but they deserved better opposition than that. It was not the Ballintubber we know and love watching and hopefully themselves and Breaffy can have a good rest over this winter period and come back refreshed for next season. Both sides have some wonderful players on show and these players are shattered.

Not taking anything away from Knockmore and Mitchels. They are equally just as fatigued and credit to their players for getting this far having endured some hard-fought games.

I am really excited about Saturday’s senior final. Mitchels no doubt will be red-hot favourites and so they should be. The current title holders eclipsed Breaffy in last year’s final and their ability to do that to any team is always there.

I like their ‘keeper Rory Byrne. He’s not the extravagant type of goalie we’re now used to seeing. The Cluxton type ‘keeper, taking ’45s, roaring at defenders, travelling out from his goal. His job is simple and effective, take the kick-outs and guard the goal with your life. He does both very well. His lack of roaring is down to how well the Castlebar team is set up and this is always going to be hard to break down. However, I feel if anyone can do it, Knockmore can.

On paper you have to say Castlebar but it is hard to get Knockmore out of the skull. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, if the game is in the melting pot with ten or fifteen minutes to go, my money’s on Knockmore. I’ve been surprised at how well they can grind out games under the cosh. Ballaghaderreen, Aghamore and Breaffy: all games where Knockmore had to dig deep in order to find that extra point or two to snatch a win.

Castlebar beat Knockmore last year at the semi-final stage. They will have one up psychologically on Knockmore before throw-in because of it. However, hurt does wonders and Knockmore will surely be seeking revenge, along with their first Moclair Cup success in 19 years.

My friend Tom likes the auld football match and the auld flutter of a bet from time to time too. Nice little Westport and Kiltimagh double on Saturday he placed on his phone and thought no more of it as we left a soccer game in Milebush to travel to one of the Intermediate games in Ballina.

Kiltimagh vs. Burrishoole was exhausting even to watch. There was five minutes of injury time and to be honest if there was another five, they’re could have been a different outcome again. Kiltimagh found themselves level for the second week running at half-time, courtesy of another late first half goal from Michael Moran. The same player snatched another goal in the second half too.

When Jason Doherty popped over a free deep into injury time and drew the sides level for the eighth time in the game, my friend Tom began to worry. The game had draw written all over it but Tom’s face had “someone score quick” written all over it. His and Kiltimagh’s prayers were answered. David Lydon and Brian ‘Chuckie’ Gallagher ensued a Hallowe’en style nightmare finish for Burris’. Lydon grabbed the match winner when he pointed under pressure to book Kiltimagh a place in the final and leaving them one win away from joining the big boys.

Head back to the car, turn on Mid-West, stick the car into first gear and emergency break. Daniel Carey of the Mayo News was the one who had the ill-fated job of revealing the bad news to my friend Tom. Westport had drawn and so any notion of profit for him, like the snow from last winter, had disappeared in an instance.

A bad aerial connection on my Corolla meant we ducked in and out of signal as we heard phrases such as “a point from a Westport penalty” and “last minute Shrule/Glencorrib goal” being used and I just had to wait until Monday morning to piece it all together. Michael Gallagher was the man to do that for me as he described in the Western People how the game had everything. In his marvellous intro, he spoke of “comebacks, drama, good/bad football and rumours, lots of rumours”.

Westport busted into a 0-7 to 0-3 lead followed by a Phil Keegan penalty which flew over the crossbar while a Lewis Cawley penalty flew into the back of the net. Fitting that the two goals came from penalties and two influential men, Cawley and Mark Ronaldson racked up 1-5 and 1-4 for the respective sides, but it was Ronaldson who would get the most important one as he buried his equalising penalty into the bottom corner of the net.

Now what about those rumours I hear you say? Number 29 on the match programme for the replay last night (Wednesday), the blonde bombshell, Conor Mortimer, returned for his home club Shrule/Glencorrib and was introduced mid-way through the second half scoring a left footed point almost immediately. That’s all he could manage as Westport ran out 1-9 to 0-9 point winners.

Shrule/Glencorrib went into a five point to nothing lead after fifteen minutes but Westport finished the half off strongly rattling 1-4 without reply courtesy of a fantastic Shane Scott goal. The border lads were always one or two behind Westport in the second half and despite superb displays from David Geraghty, Colin Hoverty to name but a few, they couldn’t power past the strength of Westport.

Mort was the talk of the night and caused one fella behind me to wonder “Is he in for a shout with Mayo again?” He was serious and all! It got me and a few of the lads talking on the drive home. Imagine if you are a Shrule/Glencorrib player and you’ve put in the graft all year long and it gets to the biggest match of the year and you’re immediately second best to some old club hero who has just been transferred back in. It’s not the nicest situation.

Westport now face Kiltimagh in Saturday’s curtain raiser in MacHale Park. This is going to some game. These are the two teams I’ve fancied since the summer and I had an inkling that if they avoided each other throughout, they would eventually meet on the final stage.

Both go into this game having not lost a championship game all year. Kiltimagh immediately have the edge considering the bizarre three-day turn around for Westport. Three matches in one week will surely have some impact on stamina you would think. Then again, these Westport lads are built like machines, the display of fine shouldering on Wednesday night was a joy to watch.

They’ve both had two very close encounters with teams en route to the final and it will be just a case of who wants it more on the day. It’s too hard to call, both sides have an array of talent. I think Kiltimagh will do it on the basis that they’ve had a week to recover instead of Westport’s three days, both of which are not ideal period of rest for either side. If that is the case, Westport may have to call on their youth to come on mid-way through the second half for some running duties with fresh legs. Regardless, it will be the curtain-raiser before the main event.

Speaking of Westport’s youth, Oisin McLoughlin was on hand to kick over the Intermediate teams insurance score against Shrule/Glencorrib and was also one of their minors’ main men in the West Mayo ‘A’ Final, kicking 1-2 alongside Killian Kilkenny. This game would have been a perfect opener in MacHale Park last Sunday for the two senior semis.

It was a joy to cover. There was roughly about 18 scores recorded from 18 shots before a wide was witnessed in the 21st minute. The standard of football was immense with Edward Ball and Oisin Lally having a cracking game for Louisburgh who only for a sluggish second half finish were well in contention for majority of the game.

Ballyhaunis Gaels and Ballintubber were crowned Minor ‘B’ and ‘C’ champions respectively. They both played two hard-fought finals. Ballyhaunis overcame Belmullet, Michael McGarry and Cathal Carney scoring 1-4 and 1-2 for the winners which was matched by Belmullet’s Ryan O’ Donoghue who managed 1-3. ‘Tubber’s one point win was enough to see them collect the ‘C’ trophy as their talisman Jamsie Finnerty had a great day at the office with his 1-7 of the teams 2-10.

Holly-Cara were victorious in the South Mayo ‘B’ final against Ballinrobe. A goal was all that separated the teams and captain Conor Heneghan grabbed two along with five points to lift the trophy for his side. Tooreen and Ballyhaunis must battle it out again in the hurling as they endured a closely contested Mayo SHC Final on a scoreline of 1-15 to 2-12. Keith Higgins of Bally and Kenny Feeney on Tooreen were the outstanding men recording 0-10 and 0-6 respectively.

Carnacon were convincing winners over Leitrim outfit Kiltubrid in the Ladies football SFC final on Sunday morning, blitzing their opponents 8-20 to 1-9. Cora got her fair share contributing 2-11 but she wasn’t the only high scorer, Fiona McHale grabbing 4-1 also. They hadn’t tasted provincial success since 2013 but don’t feel too bad for the girls, it was their 15th time holding the trophy in 19 seasons! As I’ve said before, the squad is jam-packed with stars, surely Michelle McGing must be hounded with phone calls from the Mayo camp to return? I will be interviewing one of those stars on Thursday in college: Carnacon captain Doireann Hughes is a major player for the NUIG girls team also.

Is Saturday night lights and Wednesday night football going to become a new addition to Mayo club football? Will Mitchels hold on to their senior crown or will we see fresh-faced winners in Knockmore? And who will be joining them at the top table of Mayo football next year, will it be Westport or Kiltimagh? Will Conor Mort return to the Mayo team? Will my friend Tom ever win another bet? Stay tuned and return next week to find out.

50 thoughts on “Under the MacHale Park spotlight

  1. Darragh, Great roundup enjoyed that. While I expect Castlebar to win like everyone else, I would not put it passed Knockmore to pull this one out of the hat. When the chips are down that’s just what you can expect from them.

  2. Maybe not the right place to put in but fair play to Niall McGarry of Joe.ie with his offer that has been taken up to put 10g towards a commercial manager.No more biscuit tins in NY I hope.

  3. Fantastic roundup as always, thoroughly enjoy your posts Darragh.
    MaighEo agus Caislean an Bharraigh Abú

  4. Thanks Darragh – excellent as always and your posts are a great addition to this blog. I’m marooned up in Dublin and went into the county semis this week. Interestingly Enda Varley will be meeting his old Garrymore team mate Morven Connelly in the championship final next week.

    That’s great stuff from Niall McGarry and delighted to see the county board have accepted it. This has to be done properly now and we need to get a good man in. Hopefully Niall has something to do with the job spec and recruitment as he clearly has a sharp business mind on him. Any guidance he could provide would be invaluable

  5. Can anyone tell me if the final will be streamed again. If so, what website? I have relations overseas who would like to see it.

  6. F’deelin – both of Saturday’s finals are being streamed live by Local Streaming. Details here.

    Cod – I was at both of the Dublin semis this week as well. The Castleknock/Jude’s match last night was hard going, two ultra-defensive teams who spent the whole hour handpassing the ball around, waiting for openings to appear. Ciaran Kilkenny must have executed a few hundred short handpasses around the middle third and I don’t think he kicked the ball once all night. Castleknock won’t care, though – the club was only formed in 1998 and this is their first time to make a senior county final. It’s impressive progression in such a short space of time and reflective of the huge work put in at juvenile level there over the past decade and more. Interesting that the defending champions Ballyboden were beaten by Crokes, who were beaten by Jude’s, who were beaten by Castleknock. Vinnies will, of course, be huge favourites to win the final. I think they’re 1/6 or something to do it and they’re also favourites to win out on Paddy’s Day at this stage.

  7. I’ll hold off on the high fives just yet with the commercial director. If past performance is any indicator of future returns, then competency will not be high on the list of requirements for candidates for the role.
    I hope I’m wrong.

  8. F’deelin – check out @localstreaming on Twitter. They will be showing the game on their website and you’ll get details of the link on Twitter

  9. Knockmore are bred out of the granite that surrounds them…out of a hard and rural stock and they will bring this very important element to the park on Sat eve. Great underage stuff going on I believe and it won’t be any surprise if they manage to pull this one off. Good luck all!

  10. Have Knockmore actually won any A grade underage county titles? I haven’t even seen them appearing in many County finals?
    From recollection it’s a long time since they’ve won a Minor or U21. I think their last U21 was 2006 with Trevor Howley and Aidan Kilcoyne.
    I do know that they are very persistant with players where they eventually keep improving to a good level 22/23 years of age.

  11. Darragh , thats brilliant stuff , many thanks for this from your overseas fans.

    Mcgarry on midwest saying this commercial director role should be given to someone in their mid twenties as a sales role,

    kill me now.

  12. @catcol – Ross wouldn’t go near Castleknock – it’s on the northside, loike totes no-no.

  13. Mid twenties absolutely no way. Harsh reality is the decision makers for the big cash are going to be 35+.
    They wont take seriously someone mid twenties.
    Also having a decent business contacts Network. Unlikely in mid twenties.

  14. @ JP

    I’m not sure about since, but Knockmore won the County Minor A in 2005. Kevin McLoughlin was left corner back on that team, despite still being well underage. Maybe it’s a tale of recession, emigration and apathy, but he is the only player who was on that team that was in Knockmore’s starting 15 last weekend.

    The 2005 Mayo minor championships featured players of the calibre of Ger Cafferkey, Chris Barrett, Tom Cunniffe, Seamus & Aidan O’Shea, Tom Parsons, Aiden Campbell, Mikey Sweeney, Pearse Hanley, James Burke, all of whom would go on to represent Mayo, so it was a bumper year that Knockmore came out on top in.

  15. Nail on head JP , this is all about networking and making presentations in boardrooms , if they recruit a 27 year old who is good at that then fair play but i know the guy I would like to see coming in to pitch me a deal with Mayo GAA. Either a serious ex-player with a finance background or an experienced marketing hand who already knows some of the lads in the room.

  16. Think of even a door opening conversation and its an ex player with finance background to some Mayo millionaire. So its up and running straight away. They’d even have heard that this ex player took on the role.
    Now switch that to some unknown person. First hurdle is even getting this person known.
    Would be known at the speed of f5 refresh globally who our Commercial Manager is if its a David Brady or Kevin ONeill or David Heaney.
    All ex players, all qualified in finance. Yes a paycut likely for some but I’m sure it is doable that there is a qualified ex-player for whom the financial package is fine.

  17. Knockmore won the Minor A County championship in 2008. Won the Minor B county championship and Connacht Minor B championship last year. Been unlucky against Castlebar, Breaffy and Aghamore at minor level in recent years in semi finals.

  18. Hats off to Niall McGarry…A positive proactive step to steer mayo gaa fundraising in the right direction…

  19. The perfect man for the job is living in Mayo . He has a degree in business and is a ex bank manager , he is a ex county player . I think he ticks all of the boxes for this job .

  20. Slow down before people throw hard earned money into a bog. Firstly before they sign up to giving anything to a county board a number of hurdles need clearing. (A) Where will the raised money go? Will it go to clearing the MacHale Park debt, will it go to the county teams, will it go to a combination of both?

    (B) I assume those going to fund a commercial director will have untrammelled access to all financial aspects of the county for as long back as is deemed prudent. A massive debt hangs on the county and those going to fund a commercial manager need to know exactly what the situation is.

    (C) We need the best person to run this activity not the best well know ex player out there at a lose end looking for a handy number. We don’t exactly have ex players tripping over themselves with All Ireland medals. Let us keep this on a business footing not another chat over coffee, pints and biscuit tins.

    (D) Are those who are paying the piper guaranteed that the county board won’t hinder them in any way. Have they a guarantee as to where this money will go.

    (E) Have they demanded a firewall between themselves and the board? Bear in mind one vital factor, it’s the benefactors who are stumping up the salary not the county board. Surely they are not going to pony up €50K plus without adequate and absolute oversight. On the other hand if the county board pony up this cash then they can do as they like.

    (F) We are already 5 years behind Dublin and other leading counties in this field. Has the benefactor asked why this has not happened yet. I assume the Mayo News and Western reports are a windup in stating that having heard it would cost €50 K for a commercial manager the board “kinda” gave it a swerve?

    (H) Have the proposed benefactors read the Blue Wave and the Mayo Strategic Plan 2010? If so have they access to compare and contrast from whatever current strategic plan Mayo are working from apart from levying the clubs on All Ireland tickets and association fees. Donating a salary to fund a commercial manager is to be lauded. Doing it right is to be demanded.

  21. No @Jaden – Ross OCK wouldn’t go near the Northside, but he’d have heard of Castleknock, and he would be worried about the emergence of Bogball in a proivate school orea.

  22. Anyone know what the plans going forward are for MacHale Park? The stand is ok but the rest of the ground is like something out of communist USSR. The backs of the goals should be reverted to terrace and the entire sideline the far end should be proper seating. Is there ever the possibility of a stand on the McHale road side….I am guessing not

  23. Any chance some of the 10K that’s going into the kitty been spent on a dropen of milk for the long suffering supporters tea at halftime in McHale park?!

  24. Castlebar Mitchell’s are in to 1/7 tomorrow…..not much point in Knockmore showing up……

  25. Yew_tree you can’t possibly be proposing spending more money on MacHale Park?! Someone pass me the smelling salts 😀

    John Cuffe, excellent post. Roger, this is absolutely not a sales role. Already I’m filled with dread….

  26. No Anne Marie – I’m putting it out there for some sugar daddy to come along for that one 😉

  27. John Cuffe,
    Absolutely 100% couldn’t agree with you more. With the expectations being thrown to the public and the obstacles that’ll be thrown up from the county board, it’s already a poison chalice of biblical proportions.
    I wonder who it suits for this role to fail?

  28. Jp knockmore have won a lot of north minor a finals in last 10 years.if I was to guess I say they would have won 7 or 8 out of 10 and most of there underage teams are operating in division 1 of the county underage leagues.
    So to me it will be no surprise to see them lift the Moclair cup .
    Must also say they have a huge parish that stretches from the bridge in foxford to the outskirts of Ballina town .

  29. Yew_tree, a stand cant be built on the McHale road side due to the housing on that side. (A stand would block light etc). The new stand is good seating wise but for me there are serious issues with its layout. Access to toilets is a joke and the location of the shops/tea area is a serious hazard on big match days, I was amazed how disorganised it was at Galway game and was a serious risk of some young one getting crushed.

  30. Re. John Cuff. John, Who should get this monies raised by this new (minister of finance).?. As in the bad old days not many moons ago, will those people who supposedly gave big bucks get all the goodies including fistfuls of best match tickets. Once bitten twice shy. Even this year we had a cowboy ( not my words) collecting monies using Mayo GAA for his benefit. What was collected and who got from collection?. We would need to think long and hard before we fall for this con trick again.
    By the way its nice to see 2 Garrymore men in Dublin Co Final. Shows why Garrymore fell badly in Mayo championship.

  31. True grit, I agree if a commercial director is appointed (I have my doubts it will happen) everything would have to be transparent and above board. With regards to people giving big bucks and getting all the goodies, these people wheather it be private donations or businesses contributing would rightly be looking for something in return, advertising, teams/players promoting their business and yes access to tickets. Its business at the end of the day, there is never something for nothing. Cant really expect to ask for thousands in funding and offer zero in return.

    Some people liking the idea of an ex player with a financial background taking up the position. While in theory it sounds like a very good idea I would have concerns about the potential for conflict down the line. There is a possibility this ex player becomes too interested in the footballing side of things (being a player he would naturally have a great interest in how things are run). What happens if he starts turning up to training sessions, giving suggestions to players etc. The potential for conflict with the manager is a reality. It happens in other sports all the time, a past player is put into a director role and before long the manager gets undermined. I would rather see a qualified person who has no ties to Mayo football take the role, keep business and football seperate. An agreement can always be made with high profile past and present players to go to presentations to get those doors open, it would look much better say the current captain walking in with the commercial director giving a presentation on brand Mayogaa.

  32. Just after getting into the Intermediate financial, paid €15..omly €10 printed on the printed student /oap version of the, ticket,. Did this happen to anyone else,.. The man in the ticket van must think I’m a very mature student, and the man that let me in must think the same. Currently it’s Westport 0.04..Kittimagh. 0.02t,

  33. Watching match vial livestream. Superb coverage and superb stuff so far.

    Really impressed by Killer’s kick outs. Finding his man every time.

  34. Well Castlebar just hammered knockmore. Paddy durcan and Neil Douglas the stars of the show. Dougie got 1-6 by my count, 1-3 from play. Scored a few frees from the 40m line. Has to get a run in the Mayo team. The best forward I’ve seen in club football this year. Worryingly paddy durcan pulled up with what looked like a hamstring injury tho

  35. Catcol Kilcoyne had been doing well but didnt kick well in last 20 mins. Douglas and P Durcan were excellent. Knockmore outclassed in 2nd half

  36. Douglas got a nice score first half. Man closing him down, running away from goal on a tight angle. Kind of instinctive scoring we’ve been missing at county level.
    Peter Naughton looked very skillful, just short of a bit of gym work to bulk up. What age is he Naughton? He had some nice scores too.

  37. To answer my own question it seems Naughton is 19/20 as he was in the 2014 Knockmore minor team.

  38. Great win by Castlebar. Couldn’t go West this weekend so watched the streaming. Great game by Paddy Durkin. He literally improves from game to game. 3 points from play, all superb, followed by a goal off his left that merits goal of the year. Kevin McLoughlin had the bad luck to be marked by Paddy. Hope his hamstring is ok. His brother James is a player to watch also. Douglas excellent. Great eye for goal and I hope he gets a run in the green and red. Knockmore defended well early on but never threatened the posts. Great game

  39. Was down in Sligo today watching the over 40’s, amazed Stephen Rochford wasn’t below. 2 or 3 of these bucks have serious potential. Castlebar at a different level today. Their running and movement was phenomenal, they literally ran Knockmore into the ground. McDonagh and Douglas really stood out but Paddy Durkin a level above them all, he’s one exciting prospect.
    Heard from a reliable source that we’re now that precarious financially that had we not reached the All Ireland we hadn’t the money to cover the hotel for the Kerry league game. To think we’re in this position after the best 6 years in the county’s history is beyond comprehension, to hear the CB fighting a commercial director at every turn has me in despair..

  40. Congrats Castlebar but was hoping for a shake up! If that is true about Mayo Gaa finances it’s very worrying. I have given a fiver a week for over a year to that lotto and I still have not won the jackpot or even a hoodie!! Ha! Also on another completely different note, two weeks ago I heard that joe mcquillan is paid by Dublin Gaa to ref their a v b matches so no wonder he is called Dublin joe. And Paul Flynn is coming to our school in two weeks with Sam Maguire. Help. Was going to be out but it’s a Wednesday so a useless day to waste a day on so have decided to wear my Mayo jersey and face the music. I’ll be expected to have my photo with him trying to take the cup or something. I’ll have to try very hard not to make some smart comment to him. 4th time in 6 years. When can I have a peaceful November?!

  41. Shame to see Kilcoyne ruined by injuries end up in goal. 10 years ago he was arguably the best young forward in Ireland as his scoring led Mayo to U21 AI. Well done to Westport and Castlebar today the two big towns teams that will now be the teams to beat in Connacht.

  42. Just wondering would anyone have any idea of the income and expenditure for the 2 all Ireland finals.
    I know the team had to stay the night before each game and night of both games and also there was a weekend in Limerick to.
    That’s all Fine but how much money was taken in on the banquets? How many €80 and €20 tickets were sold how much was taken in on the lotto in those weeks?
    A commercial manager is badly needed in Mayo and has being for years!

  43. Great win; Mitchels really impressive, and as the commentators (was Liam Horan one?) pointed out they have seamlessly adapted to departures of the like of the Feeneys and absence of Tom King. Conveyor belt of talent.

    Agree Towinjustonce that Kilcoyne wasn’t great in the last 20 minutes, but what was he kicking to? Knockmore destroyed at that stage. What I liked about him was his awareness and ability to find a man every time when the game was a contest. I’d give him a run in the FBD for starters.

  44. Sinead, I know that it cannot be easy, but from what I seen, Paul Flynn is sound. He has been at our club twice, and made very favourable impression both times. This is one of the joys (!) of living in a competing county, great if you win but hard to take if you lose.

  45. @jp naughton was minor captain last year also. Great young lad, that team won north Mayo A and county and provincial B titles. Corner and wing backs yesterday Marcus parks and Nathan hardy also part last years minors. With last years county minor cormac reape out with injury got with Mayo junior’s. Joe O’Neill also involved from last years minors. So very young lads, while yesterday tough it will hopefully stand to them.

  46. Don’t worry Mikey, I’m used to it I suppose and he does seem sound. Would like for once to be the reason he doesn’t come in! Next year!!

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