I think it’s safe to say that the weekend’s results for the three county teams that were in action didn’t go the desired way.
On Friday evening the Minors went under to Sligo in Round 3 of the Connacht MFC, losing out at Markievicz Park by 0-16 to 0-12. It was our lads’ first defeat of the campaign, as well as a first win for Sligo, and the result blows the race for provincial honours wide open.
Roscommon had a big win over Leitrim in the evening’s other match and so they’re still in the hunt for advancement as well. Like ourselves, Roscommon have two wins in the bag at this stage, while Galway and Sligo have one each.
Ourselves and the Rossies have, though, just one match each to play while Galway and Sligo have two matches to come. Both of them still have to play Leitrim so you’d have to assume they’ll both win that one. The crunch matches will be our game against Galway – at MacHale Park on Friday, 14th June (throw-in 7pm) – and Roscommon’s meeting with Sligo the following Friday evening at Markievicz Park.
Yesterday afternoon the county’s U20s finished up their Development League campaign. The team came into yesterday’s match on the back of two wins in this tournament but that run came to an end as they lost out to Tyrone in Omagh by 3-9 to 0-11.
The defeat ends their pursuit of the Philly McGuinness Cup and so the focus for them switches now to the Connacht Championship. In this they’re up against Sligo in the semi-final at MacHale Park on Wednesday, 3rd July.
That might sound like a soft draw but it’s anything but. Sligo recorded three wins from three outings in the other Development League group and so now go forward to contest the final of the Philly McGuinness Cup. The young Yeatsmen are, then, likely to be tough opponents for us in that provincial semi-final in early July.
The Sligo hurlers also gave us as good as they got in the Nicky Rackard Cup yesterday at the Sligo GAA Centre of Excellence. Indeed, at the halfway stage in that game it looked as if they were on course to give us a right whipping, as they led then by 2-13 to 0-7.
Our lads staged a gutsy comeback after the break, however, and a late goal saw the Mayo stickmen salvage a dramatic 1-19 to 2-16 draw. It wasn’t, though, enough to avoid elimination from the competition, as the draw meant Sligo topped the group while Tyrone’s win over Louth clinched second spot for them. So that’s it for the hurlers for this year.
I was back on the road myself today, as I was in Clones for the Ulster SFC semi-final between Cavan and Armagh. This was the second road trip to an Ulster Championship match that myself and the young lad have undertaken in the last few weeks and, like the last one, today’s game ended up going to extra-time.
There was an ulterior motive for today’s trip as it enabled us to assemble the Mayo News football podcast crew to record an episode in and around this afternoon’s game at St Tiernach’s Park. While this will feature a bit about today’s dramatic draw between Cavan and Armagh its main focus will still be on our lads and what’s facing them as they get set to embark on another tilt at the qualifiers. That podcast episode will be online at some stage tomorrow.