Roscommon v Mayo FBD League Rd 3
It’s been a while since we posted here, but we are back in action and what better way to start than with a clash with our biggest local rivals? This Sunday sees the first of a possible three (or more) clashes between Roscommon v Mayo in Round 3 of the 2016 FBD league. In our first game under the management of Stephen Rochford, we saw off NUIG in the first round of the FBD in MacHale park in front of a home crowd of 2,390 (though we estimated there must have been over 3,000!). Last Sunday we put in a good performance against the students of IT Sligo in Ballina Stephenites, again in front of a large Mayo support of well over 2,000.
This Sunday Roscommon v Mayo in
Hyde Park (announced on Thursday that Hyde Park is unplayable by Connacht Council and the match is now moved to MacHale Park at 2pm), will be the first meeting between the two sides in 2016. We are calling on all Mayo supporters to “Bring The Colour, Bring The Noise”, as there will be no doubt a large travelling Roscommon support, especially on home turf.
The match was originally scheduled for Ballinlough, (we were looking forward to standing beside the tree growing through the stand there!), but due to the expected large crowd it probably would not have been a big enough venue to hold the thousands expected to attend. And now at least we don’t have to put the lawnmower in the boot for the trip to Hyde Park!
The match throws in at 2pm, so get to MacHale Park early and bring the flags! (Remember the delays at the NUIG match due to large crowds of supporters).
Statement From Roscommon GAA Regarding Change of Venue (22.30 14th January)
It was with great regret that Roscommon GAA had to inform The Connacht Council of the GAA that the County Ground “Dr. Hyde Park” was going to be unplayable for the FBD game against Mayo.
This game had previously been moved from Ballinlough where it had traditionally been held every second year alternating with Ballyhaunis.
Roscommon GAA offered the secondary county ground St Brigid’s Kiltoom as the venue and Connacht Council GAA decided that this venue would not be in a position to accommodate the expected large crowd.
As the FBD league is a Connacht Council GAA event they decided to refix the game for Mc Hale Park Castlebar. Roscommon GAA regrets that we are unable to play Mayo in Roscommon on this occasion.
It is planned to install a new pitch in Hyde Park.
What has happened this week reinforces the need for this and will ensure it happens much sooner. Hopefully the Gaels of Roscommon will fully support Roscommon GAA in this venture and Club Rossie in the fund raising for it.
In other news, the National Football League may not even have started yet, but our thoughts are already turning to London and the first round of the Connacht Championship in Ruislip at the end of May. Keep an eye on our page for updates – we’ll be putting together a post with some information shortly.
Looking forward to seeing many of you in Castlebar on Sunday and here’s to a great year ahead. Up Mayo!
Well here we are again, and not before time! The Championship is of course what we all live for, but jaysus, the breaks between games can feel like decades rather than weeks. But anyway it’s Connacht Final weekend again, and as usual the crew at Club ’51 have pulled together (nearly) everything you need to know (and loads of stuff you probably don’t) before you pack the sandwiches and rain gear and head for the Drive for Five in the Hyde.
Programme cover for the Big Game via (@ConnachtGAA)
Throw-in is at 4pm. We are playing Sligo. We are going for our fifth Connacht title in a row, for the second time in our history, a feat we have not managed for over 100 years. But you knew all that already. The minor game between Sligo and Galway throws in at 2pm. If the thrashing Galway doled out to our boys is anything to go by, Sligo will want to be on top form, cos the men in maroon are gooood. This will be worth getting in early for.
We were going to write a small ode to Dr. Hyde Park here, but we didn’t, because none of us could think of a single good thing to say about the place. Apart from the fact that the graveyard in the next field is our favourite part. Anyway, we’re going to the Hyde, which despite being only the third-best ground available, it is by far the best choice to promote harmony among all three sets of supporters, who will unite in shared misery while standing in the lengthy queues for the portaloos.
(Of course this is tongue in cheek, because logistically the venue probably does make more sense than Galway (we won’t mention our own all-seater stadium with excellent access lying idle), but on that note, it’s worth mentioning that on foot of a number of queries we got here from Mayo supporters, we emailed Connacht GAA last week with what we thought were some fairly reasonable questions about how exactly the venue for the game was decided, why season ticket holders could not be accommodated this year, what work had been done in Hyde Park to rendering it safe for the game and why no stand tickets were available for public purchase. Needless to say, we’re still waiting for a reply. Sorry about that folks. But the main thing now is that there is a big game to be won, so on we trot.)
Just to note that if you’re a season ticket holder, you will not have a seat in the stand this time, so bring waterproof clothing and sunblock (it is 372 times more likely to rain over Hyde Park than it is over the rest of Roscommon, but you’ll still get sunburnt) and if you have a delicate backside, bring a cushion for the concrete slab you’ll be sitting on. If you’re lucky enough to have a stand ticket, try not to be too smug. If you’re on the terraces, bring a brolly and a canoe. Oh, and no matter where you are sitting, it’d be no harm to stick a bog roll in your bag, just in case. But the craic will be mighty, which is the main thing.
Gates open at 1pm on Sunday.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ALERT! Holders of tickets for the stand and the seated area will ONLY be permitted to enter Dr Hyde Park from the entrance on the Golf Links Road. PLEASE SHARE THIS INFORMATION WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS IN ADVANCE.
Map via @MayoGAA
Tickets are in short supply, but we are giving away two tickets to the Connacht final with thanks to Elverys – head on over to our Facebook page to enter. Be quick – entry closes at lunchtime tomorrow!
Use public transport if you can. Roscommon Town, in fairness to it is well serviced by bus and train. Be sure and wave as you pass to all the Rossies sadly looking out their windows at the happy Mayo, Sligo and Galway fans making their way to Dr. Hyde Park. But the thought of that All-Ireland they are going to win soon will no doubt be some consolation. (We know, we’re going to hell. See you there.)
Irish Rail are putting on an additional service from Westport to accommodate supporters travelling to the match. If you’re from near Ballina or Foxford, you’ll have to get the regular train and spend an hour waiting for the connection in Manulla junction. The train will serve all Mayo stops before arriving in Ros.
Patrons are advised to book online as priority will be given to online bookings.
From Mayo: To book a seat from Keel, Achill Sound, Mulranny or Newport phone Michael on 0857689844. The bus departs from lovely Keel at 10am.
NOTE: If anyone knows of any other bus services departing from elsewhere in the county, please let us know and we’ll add them in.
UPDATE: From Dublin: We’ve been told that The Premier Coaches service due to leave from Central Bank at 10.30am) and Liffey Valley at 10.45am) has been cancelled due to a lack of demand.
If you’re driving, leave early to avail of parking facilities and to avoid unnecessary swearing while stuck in traffic.
Those of you travelling from the Sligo direction are advised to travel to Dr Hyde Park via the N4 to Carrick on Shannon, R368 to Strokestown via Elphin, N5 eastbound to Scramogue Cross turning right on the R371 for Ballyleague /Lanesboro, turning right on to the N63 to Roscommon Town.
Patrons travelling from Mayo are advised to travel to Dr Hyde Park via the N5 to Tulsk , turning right at Tulsk on the N61 to Roscommon Town. Mayo Patrons may also utilise the N60 to Roscommon Town via Castlerea. All supporters are advised to allow time for traffic delays.
As always, we like to promote car pooling where possible, so if you’re stuck for a lift or if you can offer a lift please get in touch and we’ll do our best to sort you out (it’s also in the unwritten contract to contribute some petrol money!).
Two traffic diversions will be implemented as required, the first diversion will operate via the L1808/0 on the N60 to N61 with traffic turning left on to the N61 travelling to Colteige Cross turning right on to the L1805/0 crossing the N63 travelling via Kilteevan on the L1806 to the N61 at Carrageen’s for traffic travelling east. This diversion will operate in reverse for travelling west.
The second diversion will operate from the Donamon junction L1629/0 with the N60 to the junction of the L1818/0 turning left into the village of Castlecoote and into Roscommon Town via the R366. This diversion will operate in reverse for travelling west. All diversion routes will be clearly signposted.
(If you’re like us, none of this actually will mean anything to you until you get there, so we’ll just refer you to our earlier advice – leave early).
The customary car shot. We’ve a special prize for anyone with a set of wheels to rival this mean machine
According to the Garda Traffic Management Plan there are 18 unsupervised car parks available in the vicinity of Dr Hyde Park. (Approx 2000 spaces). No traffic will be permitted to leave the car park at Hyde Park for a period after the games, in order to allow foot patrons leave the area safely, and no Traffic will be permitted to enter Roscommon Town for one hour post match. Parking restrictions will operate on the N61 on the west & east bound sides of the carriageway and also on both sides of the Circular Road in its entirety. Illegally parked vehicles will be impounded, towed to a Garda compound in Roscommon town or clamped and will be liable to a fine of €130.00. Or you’ll just be mortified by the PA in Hyde Park calling out your car reg.
There are special needs parking facilities on the public streets within the environs of Dr Hyde Park. Special needs parking is also available at Dr Hyde Park Entrance via vehicle entrance 2 on the Athlone Road (N61).
End of Game Crowd Movement:
Due to a crowd management plan on the Athlone Road/County Home Road in the vicinity of the Dr. Hyde Park, patrons leaving the Covered Stand and seated Stand areas of the stadium are requested by the Gardaí to use routes other than Athlone Road as they depart Dr Hyde Park. This is for Health & Safety and ease of movement reasons.
If we manage the Five In A Row, leaving the venue in a conga line is optional but desirable.
The Supporters – that’s YOU
Sunday is a special day. We know it’s fair to say that Mayo supporters’ attentions might be focused on the All-Ireland series, but it’s an absolutely massive day for Sligo fans having two teams in the final and for ourselves, going for the five in a row is something to be proud of – never mind that ould “sure Connacht isn’t competitive” ráiméis; there have been games along the way that have been damn hard won – and it’s a testament to our team and management that we have managed this level of consistency. Five would be sweet!
As always, we are asking every person or at least every family to bring the colour, bring the noise and make a Sea of Green and Red. Every single person can contribute to the atmosphere by joining in a chant or bringing a flag to the game. Your effort counts!
Season ticket supporters: Club 51 will be gathering in the back row of the sideline seats right in front of the stand – if you are sitting in this area, please bring a flag to fly during the parade and join us for a bit of craic, to make some noise and to get behind the lads.
Here’s to the Five in a Row, and to more of these golden days ahead.
MAIGH EO ABÚ!
PS: Don’t forget about the pre-Connacht final hike starting from Newport tomorrow – all are welcome, and all details are here.
We know the Mayo seniors will be fighting fit for the Connacht Final on July 19th, but what about you?
If you fancy stretching the legs, getting some fresh air and doing some hiking in one of Mayo’s most scenic areas, we have just the thing for you.
A group of Mayo people are planning a climb of Bengorm in the Nephin Beg range with an experienced local guide the day before this year’s Connacht Final. In what is now becoming a time-honoured tradition on mountains around the county (and beyond) before big games, they will plant a Mayo flag at the summit to support the ‘Drive for Five’.
That’s one hell of a flag … (Pic: @ChelsSince1970)
The climb is part of a plan to develop a new Mayo Walking Group, and over the coming months the new group will seek to attract people from all over Ireland to walk and climb in the beautiful surroundings of Mayo.
Anyone interested in joining the hike is welcome to turn up on the day.
Arrangements as follows:
- The group will meet in Kelly’s Kitchen in Newport at 11am on Saturday 18th July, leaving for Bengorm at approximately 11.20am. There will be short drive to the start point, but if you don’t have a car, there will be transport provided to and from Newport.
- There will be an experienced local guide present
- There is no need to register and anyone interested can just show up on the morning.
- There is no cost involved.
- Bring everything you would need – good boots, waterproofs, suncream, lunch, water etcc – for a long hike. There will be no walking equipment provided on the day.
Participants are advised that the hike is a four-hour round trip, and will be challenging, but if you are reasonably fit, you will be well able for it. If the weather isn’t great, there is a back-up walk arranged – called the Letterkeen loop, which is enjoyable in any kind of weather.
Any queries, please give us a shout here on the page or on Facebook or Twitter and we’ll put you in touch with the organisers.
Hope to see a few of you there!
In the next of our series of guest posts, we’d like to welcome Shamrocks (yes, of course that’s his real name) to the hot seat to take us on a journey from past to present. For those of you who remember ’89, this will bring back some magic memories.
An unorthodox Mayo man of sorts, born in England and brought up in a rural north Wicklow village ’til I was 11 years of age, before moving to the homeland of Mayo. My father was a native of Achill Island, it was there we spent most of our holidays as kids. It was always Mayo from day one, it was part of who we were and the county team was where I identified my connection to the place that will always be home.
My first memory was the old Salthill in 1984, travelling down with my comrade and chauffeur, my father. This is where it all began , the adventure of the journey down west, the anticipation of seeing the flags out of the car windows and then to the climax of seeing the footballers of Mayo run onto the pitch. Unfortunately we lost out to Galway on that day. My memories of the game itself are not too clear, I was only 6/7 years of age I suppose, but it’s amazing how silly things remain in the head, like only knowing the name of Willie Joe 😀
The years went on and the same journey was taken. ’85 I got to see them lift the Nestor Cup in Hyde Park; that was special but again too young to really take it in . ’87 seems a lot clearer, a really low-scoring game against Galway in Castlebar, but another defeat.
1989 is where it really comes alive for me.
We as a family had moved down home at last, to a rural village in east Mayo, Kilmovee, where my grandmother came from on my mother’s side. The first game against Galway in Tuam. We never won there (at the time) so a draw was a mighty return and we easily did the business in Castlebar in the replay, McHale and Larry with the goals. Next it was the Rossies and another draw, the replay was epic and no Mayo supporter of my age or older will ever forget Jimmy Burke’s goal in extra time. Hyde park erupted into an explosion of green and red; it was just priceless. The semi v Tyrone was of course the first time a lot of Mayo supporters ever seen Mayo win in Croke park in senior championship including father/mother and daughter/son generation. I suppose it was a bit like what winning the All-Ireland would be like now. The weeks leading up to the final were indescribable in terms of excitement – all the towns were decked out, the songs were released. As a child, the memories are of sheer happiness, the crowds at Knock airport to see our heroes off, running after the team coach with my new school mates from Tavrane NS through the thousands of fans singing ‘Willie Joe, Willie Joe’’ – it is just something that will stay with me forever.
What a journey we have had since. The losing of finals down the years is what everyone likes to throw at us and of course it has been disappointing but is there any Mayo supporter out there who would swap all those journeys we have had in 89/96/97/04/06/12/13 for some form of mediocrity like the vast majority of counties experience ?
We are now in a phase where we have reached the last two finals and are about to contest our fourth semi-final on the trot. People are getting uptight about where we are at – have we still a chance or are we burnt out as a unit? There is a sense of supporters being divided on aspects of what should have happened in finals and other issues. The truth is nobody really knows, we can all guess but let’s be real, everyone has one thing in common – we all want the same thing.
So let’s get behind our bucks the next day in Croke park against Kerry, and roar them on. We are favourites with the bookies to beat Kerry in an all Ireland semi-final. Don’t be frightened by it, embrace it. Horan, Buckley, Prendergast and the panel have earned the fucking right to be a top team, now let us act the same, and fill her up with green and red!
It feels like forever since we were last gearing up for a Championship game, and while those of us lucky enough to get to New York got a fix of sorts, it didn’t quite scratch the itch. Next weekend however sees the action beginning in earnest on home soil as Mayo travel to Hyde Park to take on Roscommon at 2pm in Dr. Hyde Park.
By all accounts the Rossies, buoyant after another strong U21 campaign are looking forward to this clash as much as we are, and they will fancy their chances of springing a surprise on their home turf. So we could have a cracker on our hands next Sunday.
Ticketing and Admission
Dr. Hyde Park as most of us know by now is not the most accessible of grounds, and a large attendance is expected next week. The Connacht Council have decided that seating will be unreserved for this fixture, meaning that if you want to get a seat in the stand, it’s first come, first served. Admission is €25 (terrace €20) with U16s paying €5. In their wisdom, they have decreed that OAPs and students must pay full price on the gate, with refunds of €10 available upon presentation of valid ID cards at turnstiles 6 & 18 (meaning that they potentially have to queue twice). For those of you travelling with large groups of children, you can enter at Turnstile 8 and avail of a decent group rate of €30 which gets you 10 x juvenile and 1 x adult ticket – we’re assuming that this is restricted to the terrace). All season ticket holders must enter the ground via the County Road Home end.
With all of the above in mind, Club ’51 have after a bit of debate decided not to hold our customary pre-match meet-up before the game next week. Rather, we are urging anyone travelling to the game to get in there early. Very, very early. If you want a seat, it’s likely you’ll need to be there at least an hour before throw-in, and if attendances at the Allianz League games this year are to be believed, it’s looking like this game could easily be a sellout. Instead, we’ll be aiming to congregate inside good and early and get the atmosphere building.
In addition to this, the curtain-raiser sees Mayo hurlers in action once again, taking on Roscommon in the Connacht Intermediate final. Throw-in for that game has yet to be confirmed but is likely to throw in around 12pm, if not sooner. The hurlers have put in a great season this year, and are deserving of good support. So we urge you to come along and shout them on (and stake your claim on a seat while you’re at it).
It’s Championship time proper now, so let’s get the colours out! If you’re coming along, we’re asking you to do one thing – BRING A FLAG. Be it a big flag, a small flag, a flag without a pole, a car flag, a sheet – just find something green and red and wave it around! It’s amazing the difference a flag display can make to the atmosphere, and we want to make the Rossies feel next Sunday like they’re playing an away game and facing into a sea of green and red. Club ’51 will have the usual flags there and if you’re planning on being there early, come and find us in the stand, join us for the craic and help us make a bit of noise.
We go again …
See you all in the Hyde as we start once again in earnest on this journey. It’s always an adventure, and it’s time to get behind the lads as they put themselves and their bodies on the line once again. Let’s start as we mean to go on this year, shout loud and proud and be the 16th man through thick and thin … Maigh Eo Abú!
PS: Another thing worth doing on the day – Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland are running a fundraising competition on Facebook – they’re asking you to take a ‘selfie’ or a group photo in your county colours, text AUTISM to 50300 to donate €4, and post the photo and text receipt on their Facebook page here. Why not!