The Connacht championship kicked off on May 5th when Leitrim defeated New York on a scoreline of 4-19 to 0-7. It gets underway on home soil this Sunday when defending Connacht champions Mayo travel to Salthill to take on Galway.
This game could have a massive effect on the remainder of the championship. Travelling to Salthill is never an easy trip but if Mayo overcome the Galway challenge they should march on to another Connacht title. If Mayo do win Connacht it will be the first time they have won 3 in a row since 1951, the last year Sam resided in Mayo, a nice omen perhaps? If Galway win it throws Connacht wide open as the Tribesmen have shown themselves to be remarkably inconsistent in recent years and it is more possible that they would lose to Roscommon, Sigo or Leitrim than Mayo would.
Mayo have Andy Moran and Alan Dillon back on the bench for Sunday’s clash. The game may come too soon for them but should Mayo overcome the Galway hurdle they will progress with a squad that is getting healthier.
The winners will meet Roscommon in what will be an interesting encounter. Roscommon showed some signs of promise at times in Division 3. They have had a good period of underage success within the province in recent years but it is worth noting that it is now seven years since that minor team won the All Ireland, it is time for them to start delivering at senior. Mayo should have too much for Roscommon, a game with Galway would be a closer affair that would be harder to call.
Sligo play London in their opening round clash. Sligo had a disappointing league campaign, almost being relegated from Division 3. Nonetheless Sligo should advance to meet Leitrim.
That match up provides a great chance for Sligo to get back to the Connacht final where they ran Mayo close last year. Leitrim will fancy their chances of taking Sligo’s scalp and could be the feel good story of the championship.
There is lots to look forward to in Connacht this Summer. When July 21st comes around we should see Mayo beating Leitrim to claim their first 3 in a row since 1951.