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Ranking the club contenders

Sport

EYES ON THE PRIZE Ballina Stephenites’ Evan Regan is chased by Westport's Rory Brickenden during last year's Mayo SFC quarter-final. Pic: Sportsfile


Feature
Mike Finnerty

SENIOR


1 Ballina Stephenites

Last year: Beaten quarter-finalists
Last three championship games: WWW
Manager: Niall Heffernan
Captain: Dylan Thornton
Star man: Padraig O’Hora. The versatile number six is the man that makes them tick.
Old reliable: Ciaran Sweeney. The ‘Benjamin Button’ of Ballina is a good impact sub.
Young gun: Sam Callinan. The teenager has been a revelation in a variety of roles.
Top gun: Evan Regan (3-13). He has looked razor-sharp and confident.
Unsung hero: David Clarke. The two-time All Star goalkeeper is solid as a rock.
Missing the action: Seán Regan. The talented dual player has been sidelined all season.
Did you know? Mark Birrane won a Mayo Super League medal with Ballina Town.
Worth remembering: The Stephenites have scored 11-0 in their last three matches.

2 Westport
Last year: Beaten semi-finalists
Last three championship games: WWW
Manager: Martin Connolly
Captain: Niall McManamon and Oisin McLaughlin (joint captains)
Star man: Lee Keegan. When he plays well, the team inevitably do too.
Old reliables: Shane Scott (31) and Kevin Keane (32) are good men to have in reserve.
Young gun: Conal Dawson. The 18 year-old has been brilliant at wing-forward.
Top gun: Pat Lambert (0-16)
Unsung hero: Brian O’Malley. The midfielder does a huge amount of hard work.
Missing the action: Colm Moran. The corner-forward has not been eligible to line out.
Did you know? Goalkeeper Paddy O’Malley spent two seasons in the Roscommon panel.
Worth remembering: Westport haven’t conceded a goal in any of their four games.

3 Ballintubber
Last year: Beaten quarter-finalists
Last three championship games: LWW
Manager: Enda Gilvarry
Captain: Jason Gibbons
Star man: Diarmuid O’Connor. The Mayo star is a machine. Lined out at six the last day.
Old reliables: Alan Plunkett (37) is still going strong in the ‘Tubber attack.
Young gun: Stephen Burke. The young forward played in a County Under-17 final recently.
Top gun: Cillian O’Connor (1-11) and Stephen O’Malley (0-14)
Unsung hero: Wing-forward Keelan McDonnell is a key man in Ballintubber’s game-plan.
Missing the action: Michael Plunkett has been out all season with a foot injury.
Did you know? Six of the Ballintubber XV that started against Breaffy have won five Mayo SFC medals.
Worth remembering: Ballintubber have qualified for 15 successive quarter-finals.

4 Castlebar Mitchels
Last year: Beaten quarter-finalists
Last three championship games: WDW
Managers: Barry Moran and Neil Lydon
Captain: Donie Newcombe
Star man: Paddy Durcan. The Mayo defender is explosive at this level.
Old reliables: Donie Newcombe, a minor in 2008, is still flying at corner-back.
Young gun: Teenager Seán Morahan has been a revelation in defence.
Top gun: Ethan Gibbons (0-12)
Unsung hero: Anthony O’Boyle is a midfielder in the mould of Barry Moran.
Missing the action: Donie Vaughan has missed the championship with a knee injury.
Did you know? Rory Byrne has kept clean sheets in three of Mitchels’ four matches.
Worth remembering: Castlebar Mitchels haven’t scored a goal in their four games.

INTERMEDIATE

1 Ballyhaunis
Last year: Beaten finalists
Last three championship games: WWW
Manager: Paul Jordan
Captain: Johnny Cunnane
Star man: Jack Coyne. The number three is the team’s ‘go-to’ man-marker.
Old reliable: Keith Higgins. The 37 year-old is still running the defence from six.
Young gun: Aidan Sloyan. The 18 year-old looks a handy forward.
Top gun: Jason Coyne (0-19). The corner-forward is a real handful for defences.
Unsung hero: Adrian Philips. He has a good kick-out and can nail long-range frees.
Missing the action: Patrick Caulfield (cruciate) is a big loss to the full-forwardline.
Did you know? There are 15 members of the squad who are also hurling with the club.
Worth remembering: Ballyhaunis beat Holly/Carra eight years ago in the Intermediate final.

2 Moy Davitts
Last year: Beaten quarter-finalists
Last three championship games: LWW
Manager: Jimmy Byrne
Captain: Darragh Ruane
Star man: Cian McHale. The Mayo Under-20 forward has been putting up big scores.
Old reliables: Corner-back Conal Quinn (40) is flying! Hit two points against Castlebar.
Young gun: Under-18 captain Cathal Clarke is a fast and tenacious wing-back.
Top gun: Cian McHale (0-27)
Unsung hero: Wing-forward Padraig Ruane is a machine and Neil Murphy is rock solid.
Missing the action: Brian Reape has been ruled out with a knee injury.
Did you know? Brothers Ronan and John Gilmore are part of the management team.
Worth remembering: Moy Davitts lost to Ballyhaunis in round two by 2-13 to 1-11.

3 Hollymount/Carramore
Last year: Beaten quarter-finalists
Last three championship games: WWW
Manager: Tom Connelly
Captain: Nathan Moran
Star man: Darren Coen. On his day, the Mayo forward can kick points for fun.
Old reliables: Oisin Gill (37) continues to push the young lads on and drive standards.
Young gun: Dylan Morris was the club’s minor captain in 2020. He’s flying at this level.
Top gun: Darren Coen (1-30)
Unsung hero: Centre-back Robert Molloy sets the tone around the middle.
Missing the action: Everyone is fit and raring to go!
Did you know? Midfielder Dylan Jennings is a son of Ardil Jennings, who won a County Intermediate medal in 1989.
Worth remembering: Hollymount/Carramore last won the Intermediate title in 2015.

4 Kilmeena
Last year: Junior champions
Last three championship games: LWW
Manager: John Reilly
Captain: John Ryan
Star man: Darragh Keaveney. The corner-forward is deadly accurate from play and frees.
Old reliables: Pat Mulchrone. The 50-something is still a big influence on the squad.
Young gun: Jack Mulchrone, Colin Hastings and Liam Moore all fit into this category.
Top gun: Darragh Keaveney (0-30)
Unsung hero: Goalkeeper Paul Groden is the man that keeps everything ticking over.
Missing the action: Conor Madden and Seán Ryder were both sidelined for the quarter-final.
Did you know? Kilmeena last played in a County Intermediate Final in 1995.
Worth remembering: This time last year, they were preparing for a Co Junior semi-final.

 

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