The dust is settling after a hectic weekend of club Championship activity, which has seen both the Senior and Intermediate title races whittled down to the final four. The finalists have also been decided in the Junior A Championship, as well as in the scramble to avoid relegation at SFC, IFC and JFCA levels.
Starting at Senior level, here are the results from this weekend’s games.
In the race for the Moclair Cup, three out of the four quarter-finals went as expected. Ballaghaderreen were far too strong for Davitts yesterday, while Ballintubber played within themselves to see off Belmullet by four points. Knockmore, though, pushed Castlebar Mitchels all the way this afternoon at MacHale Park. They led by five points early in the second half before a determined Mitchels fightback saw them prevail by two points.
The weekend’s main surprise came in yesterday evening’s clash between last year’s finalists Breaffy and Ballina Stephenites. Although they’re the most successful club within the county – with 36 titles – Stephenites last won the Moclair Cup way back in 2007 and they haven’t even made the final since then.
Breaffy would have been fancied to advance but there’s much to like about this upcoming Ballina side and they showed admirable battling qualities at MacHale Park last night to seal their place in the final four. The tie was level at half-time but a goal soon after the resumption put Ballina in charge and they stretched that lead to six points at one stage. Breaffy clawed back to level the match but Ballina surged clear in extra-time to win by five.
Ballina now face Ballintubber in the semi-finals in a fortnight’s time, while Castlebar Mitchels take on Ballaghaderreen in the other penultimate round tie.
It was one-way traffic, meanwhile, in the two SFC relegation play-offs. Claremorris hosed Hollymount/Carramore by 18 points yesterday while Westport had a whopping 22 points to spare over Bohola Moy Davitts this afternoon.
Onto the Intermediate Championship where these were the weekend’s results.
Following the weekend’s action the battle for the Sweeney Cup is now a four-cornered one between The Neale, Burrishoole, Louisburgh and Ballyhaunis. Last year’s finalists Burrishoole – minus the injured Jason Doherty – looked to be heading out against Crossmolina this afternoon until a dramatic last-second goal secured a one-point win for them, thus ending Deel Rovers’ hopes of a quick return to the Senior ranks.
It’s Burrishoole v Ballyhaunis and The Neale v Louisburgh in the IFC semi-finals the weekend after next.
Swinford and Islandeady came out on top in the two relegation play-off matches. This means that it’s a South Mayo play-off final with the losers of Ballinrobe and Shrule/Glencorrib – both of whom were operating at Senior level not that awfully long ago – dropping to Junior next year.
Speaking of Junior, Castlebar Mitchels B beat Ardagh 1-9 to 0-7 in the JFCA semi-final yesterday while today Kilmaine got the better of Kilmeena by 1-16 to 0-17 in the other semi-final. In the relegation play-offs, Killala beat Achill (last year’s finalists) by 2-7 to 0-12 while Ballina Stephenites B beat Charlestown B by 4-15 to 2-5.