The main focus for us this weekend is, understandably, on MacHale Park tomorrow afternoon and the match that’ll determine our League status for next year. It’s not the only match on this weekend, though, and there were a few games of note that took place today.
What better place to start than at Croke Park? It was at HQ earlier this afternoon that Ballinrobe Community School overcame St Ciaran’s of Ballygawley, Tyrone, to win the All-Ireland Post Primary Schools Senior B championship. From the sounds of it, it was a fairly epic decider, in which the Mayo lads finally came out on top after extra-time by 2-19 to 2-16. Well done to them.
Colm Gannon of the Mayo Advertiser has a report on today’s final – here. According to the school’s Twitter account, the team are due back in the town around 10.30/11pm where a homecoming is being prepped for them at the Cornmarket.
A few other matches of interest took place today. First off there was the Connacht Minor Football League tie between Mayo and Sligo, that was played in Markievicz Park, where it was the curtain-raiser to the Connacht U21 final (more about that one in a bit). This Round 4 fixture ended in a 2-9 to 1-7 win for our lads, who now face Longford in their final Minor League game of the year next Saturday.
Next there was the hurlers’ relegation play-off against Roscommon, with this NHL Division 2B fixture taking place at MacHale Park. From the looks of it, this was a tense and tight affair, with the Rossies leading by two at half-time and still with their noses in front with five minutes to go.
A late Mayo goal (I don’t know who scored it, I’m afraid) proved decisive, however, with their 1-16 to 0-17 win securing their place in Division 2B for next year. Next up for the hurlers is their first round Christy Ring tie against Kildare on 22nd April.
Back to Markievicz Park where the Connacht U21 football final between Galway and Sligo seems to have been a real ding-dong affair. The home team may have been the underdogs but they looked well on their way to a major upset win – which would have been their first ever provincial title success at this level – when they led by 1-7 to 0-2 nearing half-time.
Galway cut that gap to five at the break and when they levelled the game early in the second half it looked like the natural order of things was reasserting itself. But then Sligo came again, pushing two points ahead, only for Galway to hit back and take a three-point lead. A penalty for the home side got them right back into it and a last-minute free took the game into extra-time.
That, though, was when the dream died for the young Magpies as Galway finally cut loose. Sligo were only able to add a single point to their tally in extra-time but the Tribesmen loaded on 2-4 to win in the end by 3-20 to 2-14.
That’s the lot – now it’s full steam ahead to the match against Donegal tomorrow. I had given up getting to this one but my daughter’s Féile team didn’t, sadly, make it to their Divisional football final scheduled for tomorrow so I’m heading west after all in the morning and will be there at MacHale Park for it. Looking forward to that.