It’s the most open – and enthralling – Mayo SFC in years and the race for the Moclair Cup is now down to the final four. With all the big guns of recent years out of the running, there’s no clear favourite heading into this weekend’s semi-finals, with all four remaining contenders having realistic hopes of claiming the silverware.
Ballina Stephenites are still the most successful club team in the county but their most recent county title – their 36th – was won way back in 2007. After several years in the doldrums it was only last season that they showed any serious signs of being able to compete properly at this level again. Can they now push on and reclaim what they would see as their natural place in the order of things?
Breaffy might have something to say about that. While they’ve yet to win their first county title at Senior level they’ve been knocking hard on the door in recent years, losing finals in 2013, 2015 and again in 2018. They went down decisively enough – both times to near neighbours Castlebar Mitchels – in those first two final appearances but then came up agonisingly short, by just a single point, to Ballintubber in 2018. Could this finally be their year?
Knockmore also have final experience this decade, though like Breaffy it was of the losing variety. They made it to the decider in 2016 but, as Breaffy had done twelve months previously, they lost heavily to a Mitchels team that would go on to complete a Moclair three-in-a-row the following year. Ray Dempsey’s fearless young side have plenty going for them and their elimination of champions Ballintubber last Sunday shows they can mix it with any team in the county right now. Can they go all the way this time?
Westport have won many admirers this summer. Their speedy playing style has been a joy to watch and topping the so-called Group of Death marked them out as a team with serious potential. Like Knockmore’s win over Ballintubber last Saturday, Westport’s group stage victory over Castlebar – which resulted in Mitchels’ elimination – was a serious statement of intent. The Covies have been spoken about for some time as the coming club team in Mayo: is this the year when it’s finally going to happen for them?
Choices, choices. I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m finding it very hard to pick a likely winner from that quartet. I’m going to have to press you, though, and leave you with this question: which of the four do you think will do it?
Who'll claim the Moclair Cup this year?
- Ballina Stephenites (29%, 223 Votes)
- Knockmore (26%, 194 Votes)
- Westport (23%, 173 Votes)
- Breaffy (22%, 167 Votes)
Total Voters: 757