The club championships within the county are set – barring replays – to be concluded this coming weekend. With the dark nights drawing ever closer and the cold starting to bite, that can only mean that it’s time for the various provincial club championships to get underway and the other day Connacht GAA published the full schedule of matches, in football and hurling, coming up within the province. Full details are here.
At Senior level the Mayo champions have been drawn to face Sligo’s Tourlestrane in a preliminary round tie. That’s fixed for Enniscrone on Sunday, 4th November, with the winners then playing Leitrim champions Aughawillian in the semi-final the following Sunday at Páirc Seán MacDiarmada in Carrick-on-Shannon. The provincial final takes place a fortnight later (25th November).
On the face of it, Ballintubber or Breaffy should fancy their chances of making it to the Connacht final, even if no tie can be taken for granted at club level. Still, with the Galway champions – which will, almost certainly, be reigning All-Ireland champions Corofin – and Roscommon’s Clann na Gael in the other half you’d have to think that this is a favourable draw from a Mayo perspective.
In the Intermediate championship Belmullet or Burrishoole will start at the provincial semi-final stage. There, however, they’re scheduled to play the Galway champions, which will either be An Spidéal or Mícheál Breathnach, with that game fixed for Tuam Stadium on Saturday, 10th November. Nothing easy there. The Connacht IFC final will be held on Sunday, 18th November.
The Junior championship also gets going on 10th November and here too the Mayo champions, Balla (that’s them in the photo at the top), start their campaign at the semi-final round. Here they’ll face the winners of the preliminary round tie between Easkey (Sligo) and Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher (Leitrim). This will be an away tie for Balla, with the venue dependent on who emerges to face them on 10th November. The Connacht JFC decider will be played a week later, on Saturday, 17th November.
Tooreen are the reigning Connacht Intermediate hurling champions and they begin the defence of their provincial crown with a tough away quarter-final fixture against Roscommon’s Athleague on Sunday, 28th October. If they win that the prize is a trip to London to play St Gabriel’s in Ruislip on the weekend of 9-10th November. The Connacht final is down for decision at Athleague on 18th November.