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County finals countdown underway

Sport

BALL WATCHING Breaffy’s Aidan O’Shea and Westport’s Lee Keegan await a dropping ball during Saturday’s Mayo SFC semi-final in Castlebar. Pic: Sportsfile

Ger Flanagan

IT still remains to be seen if any supporters will be allowed to attend the upcoming Mayo SFC Final on Sunday week next, September 20 but all roads will lead to MacHale Park, Castlebar for the footballers of Breaffy and Knockmore.
Ray Dempsey’s Knockmore side have booked their place in the decider for the first time since 2016 and are hoping to win their first Mayo SFC title since 1997.
Breaffy, meanwhile, will be contesting their fourth final in eight seasons, having been defeated by Ballintubber in 2018. They have never managed to win the Moclair Cup.
The final will throw-in at 3.35pm and will be broadcast live on TG4.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, September 19, the County Intermediate and Junior championship finals will take place on a double-header bill at MacHale Park.
Kiltimagh will take on neighbours Balla in the Intermediate decider which starts at 7pm.
Ger McNicholas’ side, who lost back-to-back County Intermediate Finals in 2016 and 2017, are hoping to win their first Intermediate title since 2001.
Balla, county Junior champions in 2018, are hoping to win their first ever Sweeney Cup.
The County Junior Final between Kilmaine and Kilmeena will start at 5pm.
Last year’s beaten finalists Kilmaine haven’t won a County Junior title since 1992 but have been knocking on the door ever since they were surprisingly relegated from Intermediate level in 2016.
However, John Reilly’s young Kilmeena side have also been threatening to break through to the Intermediate ranks and were narrowly beaten by Kilmaine in a thrilling county semi-final last year.
It is expected that Mayo GAA TV will broadcast both games live.

Breaffy now favourites
AFTER their impressive semi-final victory over Westport last weekend, the bookmakers have installed Breaffy as the favourites to win their first Moclair Cup.
Peter Ford and Shane Conway’s side are priced at 8/15 to defeat Ray Dempsey’s Knockmore on Sunday week, with the North Mayo men classed as the outsiders at 11/8.

Injuries and absentees
ONE of the big talking points from Breaffy’s win last Saturday night was the absence of Seamus O’Shea, who missed the game as he was with his wife for the birth of their first child in Dublin.
The Mayo midfielder’s return for the final will be a huge boost for his team and management, who will also be happy to see the likes of Tommy O’Reilly and Michael Hall getting through the semi-final relatively unscathed after their recent hamstring injury issues.
Knockmore seem to have emerged from their victory over neighbours Ballina Stephenites with a clean bill of health, and Ray Dempsey will be hoping that remains the case for the next two weeks.
Meanwhile, Kilmaine will be hoping that former Mayo defender Pat Kelly will be available for selection for the Junior Final after injury kept him out of their eight-point win over Cill Chomain last weekend.
Their captain, David Hughes, is also set to face a race against time to be fit for the clash with Kilmeena after he sustained a hand injury in their recent quarter-final.

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