In a repeat of last year’s final reigning Mayo Senior Football Champions Ballintubber will once again face arch rivals Castlebar Mitchels in a tantalising encounter at McHale Park on Sunday, throw in 3.30pm.
Both teams retain 100 per cent records coming into the game and, having topped their groups respectively, came through the knock-out stages largely unscathed.
Mitchels will be more than a tad wary of ‘Tubbers astonishing record. The Abbeysiders have only lost three out of their last 41 games in both league and championship stretching back to 2009 when they won the‘B’ championship trouncing all opposition along the way.
In the semi-final against Ballina Stephenites, a second-half master-class from influential captain and All-Star nominee Alan Dillon helped the champions overcome a three point deficit, to win on a score-line of 1-15 to 1-10.
Good news for Ballintubber is that GAA Young Footballer of the Year Cillian O’ Connor, fresh from Mayo’s hammering of New York in the FBD league, returns for the final for the Abbeysiders.
Despite Ballintubbers record it’s Mitchels who have been turning heads this season with their impressive scoring record. Nine goals in four games and an average point’s tally of ten per game, suggest their forwards are on fire and look extremely dangerous at the moment.
Veteran forward Kevin Filan is crucial to this functioning forward-line and along with Mayo player of the year full-back Richie Feeney his brother Alan, Eoghan Reilly, Neil Douglas and Tom Cunniffe, Castlebar will be a hard nut to crack come Sunday.
On paper this is set to be a cracker of a game. Mitchels free-scoring side verses Ballintubbers hard-working suborn defence are the right ingredients for any county final as the champions place, not only their title, but also their enviable record on the line.