Claremorris claim U21 crown + Convention highlights

Photo: @MayoGAA

It’s proving to be a very quiet December from a Mayo GAA point of view – this is the first post I’ve done here since late November – but two events this weekend merit a mention.

The first was last night’s rip-roaring U21A football championship final between Claremorris and Westport played in biblically awful weather conditions at MacHale Park. The two teams slugged it out in the wind and rain through normal time and extra-time, before Claremorris finally emerged as champions.

Favourites Westport were well on top early on when they led by 2-4 to 0-3 but Claremorris battled back well to trail by just the single point, 2-5 to 1-7, at the break.

Claremorris led briefly early in the second half but then three points without reply, all from play, edged Westport back in front. A James McCormack penalty turned the tide back in favour of Claremorris and a point from the same player soon after pushed them three clear.

Another three unanswered Westport points brought the match back level,though, and neither side were able to add to their tally before the final whistle sounded for the end of normal time. Extra-time would now be needed to see if they could be separated.

Into extra-time and two points from Stephen McGreal pushed the N17-siders ahead once more. Then a mix-up in the Westport backline saw the ball poked to the Covies’ net. For Claremorris this way the decisive breakthrough and they took this four-point lead with them into the extra-time break.

In increasingly atrocious weather conditions only two further points were scored – one for each side – before the finish. When the whistle went Claremorris were the winners, claiming the title on a scoreline of 3-14 to 2-13.

Brief highlights of last night’s decider, which conclude with the cup being ferried down Main Street in Claremorris, are here.

Today’s action, by contrast, was of the indoor variety. The location was the Park Hotel in Kiltimagh and event was the annual County Convention. By the looks of it, it was a routine enough annual gathering this time round, with little in the way of newsworthy items to report.

Photo: @MayoGAA

There were no elections for Officer positions, with all current Officers returned unopposed. Treasurer Kevin O’Toole did, however, confirm that 2019 would be his final year in the role.

Chairman Mike Connelly spoke about the highs and lows of the year, thanking Stephen Rochford for his efforts over the past three years and wishing James Horan success for 2019. The Chairman also referenced the ‘Mayo Way’ coaching initiative and the new training centre at Lough Lannagh where work is expected to get underway next summer.

The numbers unveiled in the Treasurer’s report showed there was only a limited financial hit arising from the county’s truncated championship campaign this summer. Income for the year to end-October came in at €3,169,213 compared to €3,243,824 in 2017, while expenditure was €3,183,073, down from €3,346,982 in 2017.  This yielded a surplus for the year of €135,283.

Team expenses, as expected, fell sharply this year due to our end-June exit from the action. The €1,194,510 spent on team expenses in 2018 compares with €1,542,647 spent in 2017.

Fundraising understandably also took a hit this year, with €604,151 being raised from this source compared to €921,249 last year. Commercial income was, though, up from last year,  with €606,338 raised in 2018, while €549,705 was realised in this area in 2017.

How the various motions fared out at today’s Convention is detailed on @MayoGAA.

I can’t find links online as yet for the 2018 County Convention Report or the 2018 Financial Accounts but I’ll post these when they become available, as they usually do after the Convention takes place.

40 thoughts on “Claremorris claim U21 crown + Convention highlights

  1. Great win for the underdogs Claremorris this is a great group of players but the dropoff from minor to U21 is huge. The conditions were atrocious playing a county fial at 8 15 in the month of December is belittling the competition. Both teams served up some great football at different stages considering the conditions. This game deserved a daytime throw in with a bigger crowd earlier in the calendar.

  2. Reekview,
    I’m sure we would all be interested in seeing your plan for fixtures for 2019. Of course we would also like to see all competitions finished before Dec but the problem with U21 [or U20] in particular is that it impacts on all other competitions and must be played either before or after them but cannot be played alongside them. Playing them early in the year also brings them into conflict with colleges competitions and often with the NFL. So over to you to solve the problems.

  3. We had tremendously competitive A championship. Westport were pushed close by Knockmore and Castlebar.
    Claremorris were pushed close by Nathys.
    Interestingly Colin Gill was Motm when Claremorris won the u21 in 2014 and picked up another title here. Judged on the highlights James McCormack seemed to be to the fore.
    The game deserved more than a few minutes of highlights.

  4. AndyD as there were no u21 players involved in the Mayo senior panel in 2018 there was no problem playing it off during the summer months when the colleges were closed for holidays. I see a motion passed at mayo convention that some u21 games to be played in April and May next year so I might be getting some help with the fixture problems.

  5. JP Claremorris were 8 pts up at half-time in 2016 final v Aghamore when Colin Gill got injured and the wheels came off the wagon in the second half he also got injured last year in semi final against Westport he is the playmaker of the team he pulls the strings between defence and attack.

  6. Agree with you re fixtures reekview. As JP pointed out there were a lot of very competitive games and close encounters at u21 this year. Final deserves better than a December fixture. Had to see you may get your wish in 2019

  7. Am totally taken with Mullinalaghta fantastic win yesterday. What an end. What a win. The craic afterwards. The high jinks in Gweedore last weekend. Just brilliant. Hopefully us Mayo fans will have that day in the future.

  8. Yes, May and June would be great times for U20/21 games, esp. with college exams in May followed by LC exams in June. If the grade is to be U20, which I’m not sure is going to happen, it would reduce the chances of players being in the Co squad but if it’s U21 I do think we’ll see some, not many, in the Co Senior squad. Will the intercounty U20 championship not be happening about this time too?

  9. Other bits n pieces from reports.
    Sharoize Akram interviewed, he’s concentrating on University football, studies and getting himself physically right for 2019. Up to mgmt is the view but the idea is to be ready to rock in the Spring.
    Daniel Forde coaching St. Gerards, reported as unbeaten this year. Brian Walsh and Ciaran Mylett both Castlebar are two good forwards coming there. Great for that area Breaffy, Parke, Castlebar and some Ballintubber to have our county senior coach involved.

  10. @JP. Where is the Akram interview available?
    Certainly has his priorities right. Player with great pace and vision. Could be another year before we see him contesting for place on county team. Possible understudy to mcLoughlin?
    It will be either u20 or u21 not both?. My preference would be u21. Better chance of leaving certs not involved.
    I accept AndyD point about fixture difficulties but these young guys deserve better and serve up football more deserving of end of year.
    Why not double them up occasionally with league or championship match and give them an audience. Maybe a greater degree of flexibility is needed but it must be one hell of a headache for a fixtures committee

  11. Galway GAA are currently running off the concluding stages of their 2017 U21 hurling Championship. It will be January 2019 before the 2017 competition is completed. We are not doing too bad getting it done in the same calendar year. Unless we can play U21 matches midweek, there just isn’t enough dates in the year for all the competitions.

  12. Conor O Malley saved three penalties for Peterborough in the Fa Cup shoot out tonight. Great achievement for him…

  13. Mayo v Leitrim FBD game set for Páirc Sean Mac Diarmada on Sunday 6th of January at 1.30pm the winner will play Galway the following Sunday in Tuam at the same time.

    U20s got another great draw which should increase their chances of retaining the Connacht title. A home semi final v Sligo on July 3rd. Galway Roscommon battle it out on the other side of the draw and the winner could be battered and bruised for the final again one week later. All games to be played on Wednesday nights and the final July 10th

    Junior Mayo have a semi v the winner or Leitrim/Roscommon the final of Junior next year will be on before the senior final. Connacht GAA trying to make Junior more important?

    U17 remains a round robin format.

    Top Team qualifies for Final
    2nd & 3rd Teams qualify for Semi Final
    4th & 5th Teams qualify for B Final

    1st game May 17th

  14. Any idea on what players will be lined up for the 6th January? Personally I think the trials that were run were next year onwards but who will we see for FBD and going forward? I think Horan will want to be competitive for league.

  15. Current Mayo Panel
    Goalkeepers:
    Rob Hennelly (Breaffy)
    David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites)
    Michael Schlingerman (Kiltimagh)

    Defenders:
    Brendan Harrison (Aghamore)
    Chris Barrett (Belmullet)
    Eoin O’Donoghue (Belmullet)
    Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunus)
    Colm Boyle (Davitts)
    Caolan Crowe (Garrymore)
    Lee Keegan (Westport)
    Donal Vaughan (Castlebar Mitchels)
    Patrick Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels)
    Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites)
    Stephen Coen (Hollymount Carramore)
    Michael Plunkett (Ballintubber)
    Cathal Horan (Kilmovee)
    David Drake (Ballaghadreen)
    James McCormack (Claremorris)
    Cian Burke (Ardnaree)
    Ben Doyle (Westport)

    Midfielders:
    Jason Gibbons (Ballintubber)
    Seamus O Shea (Breaffy)
    Matthew Ruane (Breaffy)
    Diarmuid O Connor (Ballintubber)

    Forwards:
    Andy Moran (Ballaghadreen)
    Jason Doherty (Burrishoole)
    Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore)
    Conor Loftus (Crossmolina)
    Evan Regan (Ballina)
    Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy)
    Conor Diskin (Claremorris)
    Tommy Conroy (Kiltane)
    James Carr (Ardagh)
    James Durcan (Castlebar)
    James Kelly (Belmullet)
    Colm Moran (Westport)
    Oisin McLoughlin (Westport)
    Fergal Boland (Aughamore)
    Aidan O’Sullivan (The Neale)
    Darren Coen (Hollymount Carramore)
    Ciaran Treacy (Ballina )
    Mikey Murray (Ballina)
    Brian Reape (Moy Davitts)

    Injured
    Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber) knee
    Ryan O’Donoghue (Belmullet) ankle
    Cian Hanley (Ballaghdereen) knee
    Fionn McDonagh (Westport) knee
    Tom Parsons (Charlestown)knee

  16. Chris – what’s your source for that list? I’m only interested in seeing official lists posted here so please confirm what the provenance of that one is.

  17. Willie Joe
    It was in an article in The Connaught Telegraph by Aiden Henry on Tuesday 13th of November
    I left out Brian Murphy of Ballintubber in Defenders.

  18. James Horan really doesn’t like Mitchels ,the best team in the County and the 2nd best in the Province to Corofin and they can only get the Durcan brothers in a panel of 50 players.
    Yet Ballina and Westport have 5 each.

  19. I know Donal Vaughan only transferred but there’s no one else other than than the durcan bros from castlebar Mitchells that will make an impact at senior level for mayo

  20. Better not to have Mitchels players not on panel then have them on it &not use them as happened in the last few years.

  21. Mayo4698
    Rory Byrne and Neil Douglas are defo in the top 50 players in the County in my opinion.
    How a Goalie that has played no game time for his club Kiltimagh this year can be picked as the 3rd choice keeper,We will need a replacement for Clarkie in the next 2 years
    Rory Byrne , Matty Flanagan and Paddy O’Malley all should be in contention for this spot.

  22. TH, I can certainly see where you’re coming from but it really is a case of the players having to perform on the trials and training. We have heard for years about having various players added to the team and when they get their chances, they fluff it. Kirby was one that had his chances and just hasn’t taken them. Richey Feeney another, Alan Freeman who had his chance to get back into the team and didn’t do enough to get back in. Nally according to some is the greatest in the county but managers don’t seem to see enough in him to include him. My own view is that he gets burnt for pace too easily and having watched him struggle for Fitness in Omagh in 17 and he stayed rooted to the same spot for the entirety of his time on the pitch in Clones in 18, so I can see why he was left out. The wand of a left foot he has is exceptional, but he’s limited elsewhere.
    For Schlingerman, he’d been playing at semi-pro level as a keeper with Sligo and various LOI clubs and certainly acquitted himself well between the posts when he wore a Mayo shirt previously. Can you imagine the outrage if he made himself available and was left out?.
    Dougie is certainly in contention for being in the top 50 in the county but who’s jersey would you hand to him and tell the current owner they are surplus to requirements?.
    Also – there could be a lot about attitude on and off the pitch that means he doesn’t fit into the plans. We’ve seen this before with certain players who showed great promise, but got dumped off the panel early in a season – if the dogs on the street and all other sources of news are to be believed, it was that players own fault and no one else.
    Dougie seems to have been just outside of the panel now for a number of years – Horan’s first time in charge, the ill fated tenure of the Pat and Noel, and he had chances when Rochford was in charge but didn’t quite cut it. Personally I’d love to see him get another chance but there has to be more to it than “doesn’t like Castlebar” when he’s just not been a real contender for various managers at this stage.

  23. FBD – if Horan had a plan to deal with the big full forward (Murphy in all Ireland final in 2012 and Donaghy down in Limerick) we would probably have won two all-Irelands. Noel and Pat had a plan for Murphy against Donegal and it worked to perfection.
    These two have given great service to club and county football in Mayo.

  24. Just seen that un-festive reference to Pat and Noel, FDB, which I’ve edited out. No need for that. South Mayo Exile – I’ve also excised the same reference which, I accept, you were making in response to the original remark.

  25. Fbdinashui- Yes I agree on the Nally point he’s had enough time to impress if he was good enough.I watched him v Kerry in the League last year and I thought maybe he was played too deep that nite and he struggled to break out of defence but then again nobody played well for Mayo that nite.He probably should have been tried at centre back or midfield tho.
    On Douglas it’s a size and strength issue , nothing else a really skillful footballer and hes probably one of the best scorers from Play with Brian Reape, Darren Coen and Jack Reilly in the County.
    Andy and Cillian don’t score from play as much at club level.
    There’s 5 or 6 names on that panel I would swap for Enda Varley, Neil Douglas, Rory Byrne,Jack Reilly and Liam Irwin on the top 50 of Mayos best players.
    I expect Brian Reape and Conor Diskin to push really hard for starting positions in the forwards this year, thought they were the most exciting players in the Club championship considering they play for clubs that aren’t going too well.

  26. Willie Joe – fair enough. It may have been un-festive as a description but I stand by its accuracy.

    South Mayo Exile – if you’re trying to make reference to a single win versus a poor Donegal team in 2015 as some sort of redemption for that particular management team then you’d do well to recall what happened after that and perhaps point out any form of Plan B that they had to a game plan when the “big man up front” plan didn’t work out. I am of firm believe that our route to the Semi final in 2015 had absolutely nothing – not a single iota – to do with the management that year and was entirely down to the players having to take control when the dated game plans were not working. Our recovery from a 7 point deficit in the 2015 drawn game vs Dublin made that absolutely clear to me and in all honesty, of all the games we could have won that we didn’t in the last 7 years, that was the one that sticks out like a sore thumb as the one we really should have.
    There is no doubt that the pair have given a lot of time and effort to GAA in Mayo, it doesn’t mean they were any good at what they did when they had an opportunity to do so during 2015. Further, their bitter and spiteful little collaboration with Brehany in late 2016 was most damaging to Mayo Football as a whole and for me just removes any credit they may have for what they have done or what little they achieved. As far as I’m concerned, the best thing that could happen is to let the 2 of them be kept as far away from any County level involvement for as long as possible as it’s clear their ambitions of management far exceed any level of skill or ability to execute it than either of them possess either individually or as a collective.

  27. Why do we have to keep talking about the past, let it go will ye.Better to talk of the future and what players should get a chance in the upcoming 2019 Fbd and National Leagues then the bullshit above.

  28. You’re absolutely right TH, perhaps we should.
    I’m hopeful Ryan O’Donoghue recovers well as I think that lad has a big future ahead of him. Also hopeful that Cillian recovers quickly from his surgery so we can get him back match fit during the league.

  29. @TH If Castlebar was the best team in the county and 2nd best in the province they would have won the Mayo county title this year. Corofin are the best in Connacht and Ireland and of their starting team only Ian Burke started for Galway this summer and that won’t change much in 2019 as i only see L Silke becoming a starter and maybe a few others as subs.

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