BACK IN THE GAME Action from Kilfian’s clash with Tourmakeady during last year’s Mayo Junior ‘B’ FC Final. Pic: Martin McIntyre
A LEADING Mayo GAA official has expressed concern about the number of lop-sided results in some of the matches in the early rounds of the Mayo club championships.
Con Moynihan, the vice-chairman of the County Board, told last week’s meeting of the Mayo GAA Board that the issue will have to form part of the review of the championships which is due to take place in the first week of November.
The wider issue of clubs struggling to field teams and be competitive at their respective grades will also feature in meetings that a ‘Demographics Committee’ — which has been formed to examine the effects of rural depopulation on Mayo GAA — will be holding in the coming weeks. This committee is under the stewardship of Paul McNamara (Achill) and Michael McKenzie (Bonniconlon).
Meanwhile, Con Moynihan, who is also the chairman of the Mayo GAA Competitions Control Committee, outlined the background to Kilfian giving a walk-over to Swinford in the first round of the Mayo Junior ‘A’ football championship at the end of last month.
“In round one, 22 of the 23 championship games were played and Kilfian gave a walk-over to Swinford,” explained the Ballaghaderreen clubman.
“We met with Kilfian on the Monday after that fixture, and the outcome of that meeting was that there was a fine levied, Kilfian had to re-imburse Swinford for lost gate receipts, and they also promised to fulfil the remaining fixtures in the Junior ‘A’ to allow them to participate in the Junior ‘B’ competition.
“They also had a club meeting the following day in relation to their own future, and they’re meeting with the demographics committee before the end of the month.”
Moynihan then went on to address some ‘queries in relation to the rule’ which he said had been raised ahead of the third round games which are being played at neutral venues next weekend.
“Kilfian didn’t withdraw from the competition, so both round three fixtures [in their group] will be held at neutral venues,” he said.
“People may recollect, in the Junior ‘A’ championship this year, Belmullet gave a walk-over to Ballina in round one, they didn’t withdraw from the competition either, and both round three fixtures were neutral.
“The difference being that, earlier this year, in the new Junior championship, the ‘B’ competition, in group one, Louisburgh withdrew from that competition and it became a three-team group. Bohola Moy Davitts got their home fixture in round three.
“And in the Under-19 competition, Shrule/Glencorrib withdrew from the competition and Bonniconlon got their round three home fixture.
“So the CCC have been consistent in their application of the rules, right throughout this season and last season.”
The vice-chairman concluded his remarks on the issue of Kilfian’s recent predicament, and their ongoing struggle for numbers, by paying tribute to the three teams in their group.
“I would also like to thank Swinford, Ardagh and Ballycroy GAA clubs for their support for Kilfian in this circumstance,” said Moynihan.
“All three clubs could have objected to Kilfian’s participation in the competition, and the penalty for that would have been a 24-week suspension, which probably would have left to them folding.
“So I’d like to express my thanks to Swinford, Ardagh and Ballycroy for their sportsmanship in allowing Kilfian to continue in the Junior championship.
“I wish them the best of luck, and the best of luck to the demographics committee in their discussions.”
The CCC chairman also appealed to all teams visiting neutral venues next weekend to remember that they were guests of the host club.
“It’s a neutral venue, you’re visiting someone else’s house, and if you look after them, they’ll look after you,” he reminded club delegates.
The draw for the Mayo senior, intermediate and junior club championship quarter-finals will take place next Sunday evening at 6pm in Hastings Insurance MacHale Park in Castlebar.
The quarter-finals will be played on the following weekend of October 1/2.