Unlike most holidays, the League mid-term break this year feels like it’s dragged on for a long time. That said, it’s probably no bad thing from a Mayo point of view as we nurse our injury-ravaged panel back to health. Now, it’s off to Ballybofey we go.
It’s been quite the baptism of fire for new manager Stephen Rochford who has not only had to start his reign by playing catch-up, but has had to deal with a significant loss of manpower due to injuries and club commitments. Thankfully, the tide has started to turn a bit in our favour with news that a number of our walking wounded are back in training, and consequently, in contention.
Our thoughts therefore turn to Ballybofey this weekend as we prepare to take on an on-form Donegal. Resurgent so far this year under Rory Gallagher, they will be a big challenge and this would feel like a mouthwatering fixture if we only had a point or two on the board; but this game brings with it the pressure of feeling like a must-win in order to keep us above the drop zone.
Club 51 will be hitting the road for Ballybofey bright and early on Sunday morning. As is customary at most away games, we will be congregating before the game and the venue for this weekend’s meet-up is the Villa Rose Hotel, which has a bar that very conveniently backs on to the entrance of the stand where season tickets are scanned. We couldn’t have planned it better ourselves. They also have a new Sunday bar food menu that we can’t vouch for, but looks pretty damn daycent from where we are. And if you want something fancier there’s an A La Carte Sunday lunch menu too. There’ll be a few gathering there from about 12.30 so if you’re passing do drop in for a cuppa tae or the spuds.
— Villa Rose Hotel&Spa (@VillaRoseHotel) February 25, 2016
Jackson’s Hotel is another handy spot nearby for a bite to eat and is only a five-minute walk from the ground.
Traffic and Parking in Ballybofey
Mayo GAA have helpfully added traffic info to their website. Be aware that there will be traffic delays coming into Ballybofey on the N15 (i.e. our route) due to road works. There will be temporary traffic lights will be in operation. so LEAVE IN PLENTY OF TIME.
- Navenny car park as you come into town – just past Aldi, take the first right
- Supervalu Car park – sign at junction into Navenny Car Park
- Shopping Centre Car Park beside McElhinneys store.
Barrett’s Coaches will be running their customary bus service from Mayo on the day – call 097 83544 to book your seat. We’ll post further information on buses as we get it.
We don’t need to remind you at this point to bring the colour and bring the noise. The Mayo travelling support is quite simply, second to none and we know this Sunday will be no exception. Weather wise its predicted to be dry and sunny but bitter cold. We want to see plenty of those Mayo Bobble Hats and beanies on show!
Just a couple of other bits and pieces before we wrap up this post. Firstly a massive congratulations to Castlebar Mitchels on reaching their second All-Ireland Club final in three years. While we’re itching to see the Mitchels boys back in the green and red we are happy to hold out for another few weeks. The build-up will be something special again this year and we can’t wait to get to Croker on March 17th.
Congrats to to JP Coen and the Mayo hurlers on a stonking start to the National League with two wins out of two so far. Their next clash sees them away to Down on March 6th. Round 4 versus Wicklow is scheduled for Sunday 13th March at 12.45pm as a curtain-raiser to the Kerry game in MacHale Park – it would be great to see a big crew there to support them.
Donegal Gardai v Swinford
For anyone travelling up to Donegal and making a weekend of it, or anyone that would like to see a cracking game of Football, this might be of interest. Full details on SwinfordGAA.ie.
On Saturday 27 February Swinford GAA will play a Donegal Gardai selection at O’Donnell Park, Letterkenny at 3pm. This is our return trip after the Donegal Gardai appearance at the official opening of Robert McCallion Memorial Park in Swinford.
After the game there will be a presentation at the Station House Hotel, Letterkenny.
Also, we couldn’t not share this video. It might only be February, but it didn’t stop this crew from Lisaniska National School getting together to Hit the Diff for Mayo. What a cracking tune! All together now … “Don’t you dare look back, it’s all history ….We won’t rest til we’re the best”
Finally, for those of you not travelling to Ballybofey, the Mayo Ladies are taking on Armagh on Sunday in Round 4 of the Lidl Ladies NFL. The game throws in at 2pm in Swinford Amenity Park, and the Mayo ladies will be aiming to hang onto their 100% record in the League so far. Follow the action here on the Mayo Ladies GAA twitter account.
Safe travels to you all and arrive alive!
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