It’s a full weekend at MacHale Park, with four county finals down for decision over the two days at the Castlebar venue.
The good news is that yesterday’s Covid-19 announcement means that a small number of supporters will be able to attend their club’s match at the weekend. Mayo GAA announced today that all Cáirde Mhaigheo season ticket holders whose club is involved in one of the finals will be entitled to a ticket for that specific game.
That means, of course, that Mayo GAA are attempting something quite novel here, which is that the ticket supporters receive will allow access to one game only and not to both matches that are being played at the venue that day. While this will pose a significant logistical challenge on the day, it will mean that twice as many supporters will be able to get in than would have otherwise been the case.
Details of the arrangements that will apply at MacHale Park on Saturday and Sunday are here. If you’re a member of any of the participating clubs and are in line to get a ticket then you obviously need to familiarise yourself with the plans that are being put in place.
Because of the need to clear the ground of supporters attending the Junior final on Saturday and the Minor A decider on Sunday before the Intermediate (on Saturday) and Senior (Sunday) finals can be played this means that match times have had to be tweaked a little. The two matches shifting are the Intermediate final which will now have an 8pm throw-in time on Saturday evening while the Minor A decider will now throw in at midday on Sunday.
For those of you staying at home, the Junior decider between Kilmaine and Kilmeena, the Intermediate final between Balla and Kiltimagh and the Minor A final between Ballina Stephenites and Castlebar Mitchels will all be streamed on Mayo GAA TV.
If you’re a Cáirde Mhaigheo season ticket holder you’re entitled to free access to the weekend’s matches online. If this applies to you and you already have an access code for the Mayo GAA TV service then it’ll still be active for this weekend. If you haven’t got a code you can get one here.
The Senior final between Breaffy and Knockmore will be broadcast live on TG4. The big match throws in on Sunday at 3.35pm.
While it’s unfortunate that large numbers of supporters will, due to the ongoing Covid restrictions, have to miss out on going to MacHale Park on Saturday and Sunday, it’s good that at least some will be able to do so. The decision to issue match-specific tickets for Saturday and Sunday is to be commended, all the more so because it inevitably makes the task of staging the two days’ matches all the more complicated. It’s definitely a move that’s worth the effort and it will, I’m sure, be appreciated by those who will now get the chance to see their own club in action this weekend.
I had hoped that, with the restrictions starting to ease, I might have been able to get to MacHale Park on Sunday myself. Yesterday’s announcement, however, that those of us living up here in Dublin are strongly advised to stay put knocked those plans on the head. This means that, like many others, I’ll be tuning in online and on TV to catch what promises to be a fascinating weekend of football action from the county.