Photo: Colm Gannon (via Twitter)
North and South is a theme that runs strongly through the sporting action I want to discuss briefly this evening. I’ll only mention the rugby in passing, but here too the same thread was evident, as the World Cup morphed into a four-cornered Southern hemisphere tournament.
Closer to home, today’s action at MacHale Park – where, sensibly, the start-time for the junior and intermediate county finals were put back to avoid a clash with Ireland’s rugby match – featured two local clashes, with the junior crown being contested by clubs from the North of the county while neighbouring clubs from the south scrapped it out for the intermediate title.
First up was the junior A final, featuring North county neighbours Ardnaree Sarsfields and Killala. Both clubs had come into this decider in good form but Ardnaree blew their opponents away today, galloping to a facile 6-14 to 0-7 win. The victory ended a 44-year wait for them for a county junior title and it also surely went a long way to make up for those junior final losses in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Colm Gannon’s match report on this one in the Mayo Advertiser is here.
Today’s second game at MacHale Park, the intermediate football decider between Hollymount-Carramore and The Neale, was a far closer contest. As well as seeking to claim the prize of senior football next year, Hollymount-Carramore were also surely chasing redemption in today’s final, having lost out in last year’s decider. In a tough, low-scoring contest it was perhaps their greater experience that counted as they won the title on a scoreline of 0-11 to 0-7. Match report here.
Up here in the capital, meanwhile, the senior football championship is down to the final four. I was at Parnell Park this afternoon to see my local club St Vincents get the better of Lucan Sarsfields in their quarter-final tie, where they won by 2-21 to 2-11. Match report here.
Na Fianna beat St Jude’s in the curtain-raiser and when the draw for the semis was made this evening it was the near neighbours from Glasnevin that the defending champions pulled from the hat. Ballyboden St Enda’s (who beat Plunkett’s by a single point yesterday) are the sole Southside club left in the competition and they’ll face Clontarf in the other semi-final next weekend. Boden will be strongly favoured to make it to the decider so, unlike the rugby, the club final up here looks like it could well be a North/South one.