Nothing junior about this weekend

The race to follow in the footsteps of last year's winners Islandeady will step up a few gears this weekend when the quarter-finals of the TF Royal Hotel and Theatre Mayo GAA Junior Football Championships get down to business.

On Saturday afternoon at 2pm in Swinford, Shrule-Glencorrib will get to grips with Ardagh in a battle for a spot in the final four of the competition. The south Mayo men topped their group with wins over Tourmakeady, Northern Gaels and Ballycastle, while Ardagh made it out of their group courtesy of a win over Achill and loss to Cill Chomain. Ardagh will be hoping that Lee Traynor can get some heavy scoring under his belt, if James Carr is as expected will be unavailable - while for Shrule-Glencorrib Evan Cawley has been their go-to man on the scoreboard and will need to hit those high notes once again.

At 3.30pm on Saturday, Ballycastle will be the venue for the meeting of Cill Chomain and Northern Gaels. Cill Chomain have been going a bit under the radar in this year's championship but will be expected to be there or thereabouts come the final stages of the competition. They picked up wins over Achill and Ardagh in their group games to book their spot in the last eight, while Northern Gaels were probably the story of the championship in the last round, seeing a 27 point score difference swing go in their favour to make this stage of the competition - but their dream will in all likelihood come to an end this weekend against Cill Chomain.

At the same time in Knockmore, the most keenly contested game of the weekend in the junior championship will see Lahardane and Killala meet for a semi-final spot. Lahardane topped their group thanks to a win over Swinford in round three, while Killala were surprisingly turned over by Eastern Gaels in their final round game to send them into the quarter-final draw as second seeds. Both sides have the potential to be junior champions if things click for them on the field and it might just be Lahardane who get to see can the go all the way when the full time whistle is blow in this one.

The final game in the last eight will see Eastern Gaels and Swinford clash in Ballaghaderreen at 4.30pm on Saturday. The Gaels will be buzzing after their win over Killala last time out, while Swinford will be smarting after being well beaten by Lahardane in their final group game. Liam Moran will be key to Swinford's potential success in this one as will Evan Godfrey to Eastern Gaels chances - it could be a close one, but Swinford should have just enough to be in the final four reckoning come the end of the weekend.

Mayo GAA Junior Football Championship Quarter Finals

Saturday, September 30: Shrule-Glencorrib v Ardagh in Swinford at 2pm; Cill Chomain v Northern Gaels in Ballycastle at 3.30pm; Lahardane v Killala in Knockmore at 3.30pm; Swinford v Eastern Gaels in Ballaghaderreen at 4.30pm


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