The club Championships move to the knockout stage this coming weekend so in advance of the quarter-finals it’s an appropriate time, I reckon, to re-run the poll on who you think will end up with possession of the Moclair Cup at the end of next month.
The last poll on this topic was undertaken when all sixteen clubs were in contention but that number has now been cut in half. It’s interesting to look back at the voting in that poll, in light of how the group stages have gone since. The results of that poll are here.
I guess it’s no great surprise, in light of the absence of any real shock results in the group games, that most of the clubs who polled strongest are still standing. Castlebar Mitchels, Westport, Ballina Stephenites, Knockmore, Belmullet and Ballintubber attracted the most votes (in that order), with Charlestown Sarsfields also making the cut in eighth place.
Garrymore finished seventh in the poll but they haven’t made it to the final eight, with Breaffy (who came in 11th in the poll) qualifying for the knockouts instead.
Although League winners Castlebar Mitchels attracted most backing in the original poll, their progression since then to the quarter-finals has proved a bit laboured. Defending champions Westport, as well as Ballina Stephenites and Knockmore, can all argue (if they’re so inclined) that their form heading into this weekend is more solid, while Ballintubber – who face Mitchels at the weekend – have more than a hint of the dark horse about them.
That meeting between the team who won out in 2018 and 2019 and the club that enjoyed a three-in-a-row of county titles from 2015 to 2017 is the standout tie from this weekend’s quarter-finals. While it’s difficult to see Westport, Ballina or Knockmore stumbling at the approaching hurdle, that clash between Ballintubber and Castlebar could go either way.
The spread of support that was evident in the last poll shows how open the race for the Moclair Cup is this year and that perception hasn’t been radically altered by how the group stages went. At this stage in the race it looks like any of five could realistically claim the silverware.
But, in advance of the business end getting underway, which of the eight still standing do you feel is best equipped to go all the way? Let’s end with a vote on that question.
Who'll win the Moclair Cup?
- Westport (30%, 251 Votes)
- Ballina Stephenites (28%, 237 Votes)
- Knockmore (16%, 132 Votes)
- Castlebar Mitchels (7%, 60 Votes)
- Ballintubber (6%, 51 Votes)
- Belmullet (6%, 51 Votes)
- Breaffy (3%, 28 Votes)
- Charlestown Sarsfields (3%, 27 Votes)
Total Voters: 837