Elvery's McHale Park, CastlebarThe weekend ahead holds a veritable feast of sport, with one of the biggest days in the GAA club calendar, the AIB Club Championship Finals taking place in Croke Park on Monday (we’ll have lots more to say about that between now and then).

But before Castlebar Mitchels embark on proving themselves to be The Toughest, let’s turn our attention to the county scene, and what’s sure to be another memorable encounter. Sunday 16th March sees our first home double-header of the year with Mayo taking on Cork in the fifth round of Division 1 of the Allianz National Football League in McHale Park. Throw-in is at 2.30pm, and the game is preceded by the fourth round of Division 2B of the Allianz National Hurling League, which sees Mayo take on Wicklow at 12.45pm. We can happily confirm that the hurling clash has been moved back to McHale Park, after a decision made on Monday to move it to Tooreen (based on the weather and pitch conditions) was reversed yesterday morning.

Our position in both tables is roughly similar – mid-table, with an uncertain future – so it’s all to play for on Sunday.

In light of this, there will be no Club ’51 pre-match meet-up this weekend. We have a good excuse though – instead, we’ll be getting in early to cheer on our hurlers. We’d encourage everyone to come along and join us at 12.45pm to get behind this tremendous bunch of lads, who put a huge amount of time and effort into representing their county and are just as proud to wear the green and red as our footballers, but don’t often get a chance to play in front of a big home crowd.

So once the flags and banners have been hung, Club ’51 will be gathering in the stand (a stand which, incidentally, will be regarded with a new reverence and appreciation by anyone who spent two hours last Sunday sitting on a plank in the rain in Mullingar) to the right of the tunnel, in the now legendary area known as the Black Rectangle (see illustration). Come and join us, bring your hats, flags, scarves, headbands onesies and whatever else you’re into, and let’s start transforming McHale Park into a sea of green and red to cheer our boys onto a double victory.

Here’s also wishing our U21s the very best of luck tonight vs. Roscommon in what’s sure to be another lively encounter. See you on Sunday!

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Anne-Marie

Anne-Marie is a researcher and by day, a dreamer by night, an occasional writer (you can find her in the Mayo News twice monthly) and a Mayo GAA nut all the time. She thinks about football far more than is healthy but to balance this out, she also thinks at length about ducks, politics, bridges and Roy Orbison.
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