Any dream that St Brigid’s of Roscommon had of retaining the All-Ireland title was dashed by Castlebar Mitchels of Mayo on Sunday last. The Castlebar side were regarded as total underdogs having taken their first Mayo title in 20 years but they served up a quality second-half performance to lift the Connacht title and put themselves in a quality position as they head for the All-Ireland Series.
The Castlebar side might be blessed with a referee’s decision to give them extra-time, but the Roscommon side cannot complain after getting the benefit of the referee to discard the challenge of Corofin on the last time they met.
After easily accounting for all other team they met in the Galway championship Corofin were favoured by many to be key contenders to get back into the final stages of the All-Ireland series this year. Like the Kiltoom side of Sunday last, Corofin also fell to the might of Castlebar that will leave the Mayo champions highly ranked as they go into the All-Ireland Series. However the sending off of county star Barry Moran leaves the Mayo side severely weakened as they head to an All-Ireland semi-final, but they have shown that they are a side with grit and determination that has been lacking in many Mayo teams of the past.
Limerick hurling boost
After winning the Munster championship this year Limerick hurling received a further boost at the weekend when Na Piarsiagh defeated Sixmilebridge in the Munster Club hurling final. It was a major boost for the game of hurling in the city of Limerick, an area which is also the home Munster rugby and where people are passionate about their sport. After Clare captured the All Ireland title many felt that it would spur on the ‘Bridge, but the Limerick side were never going to be easy to overcome and at the start of both halves they had the ball in the back of the Sixmilebridge net and after that the Clare side were always chasing the game. Portumna will be waiting in the wings for any of the champions of the other provinces when their time comes.
Claregalway Ladies in final
Claregalway Ladies will play last year’s All Ireland junior champions Thomas Davis of Dublin in the Tesco HomeGrown All Ireland Club Championship Intermediate final on Saturday next 30th November in St Brendan’s Park, Birr at 1.30p.m. This will be a very severe test for the Claregalway girls who are much younger and inexperienced. However Claregalway are a talented side who have the ability to take scores and force their opponents into a defensive role. The Galway champions struggled in the opening ten minutes of the semi-final before they came good. If Claregalway can find their rhythm they are well capable of bringing the All-Ireland Intermediate honours to Galway Ladies football.