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3 National League talking points

Sport

BLOCKBUSTER Mayo’s Oisin Mullin blocks a shot by Clare’s Joe McGann during Sunday’s National League Division 2 play-off at Cusack Park, Ennis. Pic: Sportsfile

Mike Finnerty

1 Mayo bounce back up
SUNDAY’S victory means that Mayo will be back in Division 1 again next season.
The relegation of Roscommon and Galway, along with promotion of Kildare, means that Mayo and the Lilywhites will join Kerry, Dublin, Donegal, Tyrone, Armagh and Monaghan in the top-flight in 2022.
As pointed out by GAA journalist, Pat Nolan, last Sunday was the first time that Mayo were promoted since they topped Division 3 in 1996. After a year in Division 2, the league was redrawn with four groups of equal standard in 1997-1998.
Mayo topped their group so were placed in Division 1 in 1998-1999, where they remained until last year.
And now they’re back!

2 Faces in the frame
NOW that Mayo’s National League campaign has ended there is no real mystery anymore about who exactly was in Mayo’s squad for the competition.
Most players who were fit and available for selection over the last five weeks got some game-time, with the notable exceptions of Rory Byrne and Conor O’Shea.
Injuries meant Mark Moran and James Durcan also didn’t feature in any of Mayo’s four games while there were only brief cameos for Darren Coen and James McCormack.
For the record, the unused subs last Sunday in Ennis were Colm Boyle, Fergal Boland, Jack Carney and James Carr, along with the aforementioned Byrne.

3 Championship countdown
NOW that the small matter of getting promoted back to Division 1 again has been taken care of, Mayo’s focus will turn to the start of the Connacht championship on Saturday week next against Sligo.
A win at Markievicz Park would set up a home semi-final clash with Leitrim at MacHale Park a few weeks later, with the prospect of a home Connacht Final against Galway or Roscommon in Castlebar on Sunday, July 25 then very much a reality.
This season the Connacht champions will face the Leinster champions in the All-Ireland SFC semi-final on the weekend of August 14/15 at Croke Park. 

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