The first Sunday in November it may have been but at times it felt more like a day in high summer today. An ideal day, in other words, for all that club action taking place around the country. It was, once that thick fog lifted, also perfect weather to be out on the bike, as the above photo that I snapped early this morning out near the Naul confirms.
First, a word about the action on home soil, where Hollymount-Carramore this afternoon booked their place in the Connacht IFC final but only following a hard-fought extra-time win over a valiant Melvin Gaels from Leitrim at MacHale Park. A match report by the Colm Gannon in the Mayo Advertiser is here. The Mayo champs now face Galway’s Moycullen in the Connacht IFC final on Sunday week.
Today was also the final day of football league action within the county, with Castlebar Mitchels adding the Division 1A league title to go with their recent championship success while Aghamore clinched Division 1B honours. A round-up of the Division 1A and 1B results is here and a summary of all the ups and downs in the various divisions is here.
Up here in the capital, meanwhile, there was a major shock in the final of the Dublin SFC with my local club St Vincents losing out by 2-8 to 0-10 to Ballyboden St Enda’s. Domestic commitments meant that I didn’t make it to Parnell Park for today’s decider – I did the Kerryman trick in inverse, going to every match except the final – but by the sounds of it, Vinnies can have no complaints about today’s result.
Boden got off to the perfect start, leading by 1-5 to 0-0 by the end of the first quarter, and when they scored their second goal after the break their lead stretched to ten points. Vinnies eventually cut the gap back to four but never came close to reeling the Southsiders back in and so it was the Marino lads’ hopes of a county three-in-a-row that went south instead. Remarkably, it’s Vinnies first loss in the championship in either Dublin or Leinster since 2012, which is a hell of a record, though sadly one that ended today.
Finally, some significant news on the vacant position of Mayo manager. It was confirmed a short time ago tonight by Mayo GAA (here) that Stephen Rochford was the sole candidate nominated for the post by today’s deadline. “Formal discussions” are now set to take place between Stephen and Board officials, including in relation to his backroom team. No timeframe has been put on this part of the process, with the statement saying that this will happen “over the coming weeks”.
As the County Board’s statement indicates, there’s still a bit to be done before Stephen can be confirmed in the role. That said, it’d be a major surprise at this stage if the discussions fail to end in agreement. It’s in everyone’s interest at this stage that his appointment is confirmed at the earliest date possible so hopefully the discussions can be wrapped up without too much delay.