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Novel clash to attract 15,000 crowd?


RENEWING RIVALRIES Kieran Hughes of Monaghan in action against Padraig O'Hora of Mayo during the Allianz Football League in February 2020. Monday's qualifier draw will see the two teams meet in a winner-takes-all clash in MacHale Park on Saturday. Pic: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Edwin McGreal

A CROWD of approximately 13,000 to 15,000 people is being predicted to attend Mayo’s All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers round one clash with Monaghan in Hastings Insurance MacHale Park, Castlebar on Saturday week next, June 4.
The game will throw-in at 4pm and be broadcast live on Sky Sports.
Mayo drew the Farney men in yesterday (Monday) morning’s draw on RTÉ Radio One.
It’s the first ever senior championship clash between the two counties, but Connacht GAA Secretary John Prenty is not expecting a bumper crowd.
The experienced GAA administrator believes that a dampening of expectations as a result of both teams exiting from their respective provincial championships, combined with many people having yet to return to attending games post Covid, will affect the likely turn-out.
A crowd of 24,000 attended Mayo’s Connacht championship clash with Galway in Castlebar in April while the most recent Qualifiers game at the venue was the pre-Covid Super 8s clash with Donegal where a bumper crowd of 27,203 turned up.
Ticket prices have yet to be confirmed, but John Prenty did explain that it would be unreserved seating – stand seating will be first come, first served on the evening.
Should Mayo advance, they would be in action in the second round of All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers a week later at a neutral venue.
Round 2 will pit the four Round 1 winners against the four provincial final losers. Repeat fixtures are allowed – so a Mayo versus Galway or Monaghan versus Derry rematch, for instance, is possible.

Connacht Minor Final
MEANWHILE, Mayo’s upcoming Connacht Minor Football Championship Final against either Galway or Sligo will be broadcast live on TG4, John Prenty confirmed.
The match will be shown at 7.30pm on Bank Holiday Monday, June 6 but Mayo’s opponents and the venue are to be confirmed.
Mayo will play either Galway or Sligo in the final after topping the round robin series with four wins from four games.
After finishing second and third, Galway and Sligo have qualified for a semi-final which will take place this Friday at 7pm in Tuam Stadium.
Should Sligo win, the final will be at a Sligo venue as Mayo played them in the round robin series in Ballina.
However, if Galway qualify for the decider, John Prenty said the match will be in Hastings Insurance MacHale Park.
Mayo will have home advantage after playing Galway in Tuam in the round robin.
“If Mayo play Galway, for a provincial final we will be seeking for the match to be played in MacHale Park,” Prenty confirmed. Entry to the provincial decider will be €10.
John Prenty also discounted the possibility of the Connacht Minor Final being a curtain-raiser for the All-Ireland SFC Qualifier between and Mayo v Monaghan in Castlebar on Saturday week next — if the final was between Mayo and Galway.

All-Ireland SFC Qualifier
Mayo v Monaghan
Saturday, June 4
Castlebar at 4pm

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