It’s Friday afternoon, the weekend is upon us and the hours are now ticking down rapidly to Sunday afternoon at MacHale Park and all that.
Part of me holds firmly to the view that a clash of such importance so early in the year is utterly bonkers but, then again, that pretty much sums up the current creaking championship structure. No more than carping about whatever ref is assigned to matches involving us, however, muttering about how daft it is to be pitched into a championship contest with such high stakes at this juncture doesn’t do any good. We just have to get on with it.
But this game shouldn’t, of course be seen as some kind of imposition. It’s Mayo/Galway in the championship, MacHale Park is going to be packed – for the first time in a long while – and both counties will want to emerge from the battle as top dogs. Can’t wait.
Ahead of then, though, there’s other action involving the county, which is what this post is meant to be about. May as well get to the point, then.
The Juniors were, of course, playing last night when they got the better of defending champions Leitrim by 0-17 to 0-8 in the Connacht JFC semi-final at Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada. Here are match reports from both sides of the fence on that one – Mike Finnerty for the Mayo News, John Connolly for the Leitrim Observer.
Jarlath Trench’s side now face Galway in the final on Sunday, a match that provides the curtain-raiser at MacHale Park. Galway, like ourselves at senior level in 1950, were ushered directly into the provincial decider without having to kick a ball at all (Sligo withdrew this week due to a bereavement in their camp). The JFC final throws in on Sunday at 1.30pm so those of you planning to get in early – as I am too, though perhaps not that early – will have the chance to test out the vocal chords ahead of the big one.
You don’t have to wait until Sunday, though, for championship action involving the county. This evening sees the county’s U17s (should we term them thus or just call them Minors now?) play their second match in this year’s Connacht championship when they face Roscommon at Kiltoom (throw-in 7pm). We beat Leitrim handily in our opening game last week while the young Rossies took a bit of a tanking at the hands of Galway last Friday.
The hurlers, meanwhile, begin their Christy Ring campaign tomorrow afternoon, with a tough assignment away to Wicklow. The Ring Cup now has a round-robin format as well this year and this Group 1 match throws in at Aughrim at 3pm tomorrow.
Best of luck to all the Mayo teams in action over the coming few days.
Finally, if you haven’t yet signed up for the championship mini-league there’s still time to do so – full details are here.