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.
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.