After all the excitement of Mayo beating Sligo (well done to them), and we must not forget the hurlers who won the Connacht Title (nice result, through to a possible all Ireland final), and the surprise of the weekend (Castlebar Celtic 0 Manulla 4), and finally not forgetting Paul Sammin who came third at the weekend in his formula Ireland race, it would be fair to say that it was a fun weekend. But it is only starting. With the Special Olympics just around the corner, all eyes are going to be firmly positioned on Croke Park for the opening ceremony. But locally it all happens this Monday when the now famous torch run-started in historic Greece home of the Olympic Games-arrives in Castlebar. With Venezuela coming to town, every man, woman and child have been out in their droves in preparation. And it all comes together on Monday. I have heard of the plans for the event in the mall, and they are amazing! I sadly cannot go into too much detail as a lot of it will be a surprise, but lets just say that if you turn up at the Mall at around about 11 am you will get the shock of your life! Bands, singers, dancers, you name it they will be there. That is not even counting the athletes. For our friends online, I am sure that the pictures will be available very shortly after the event, and who is to say that we may even get the old Mini Disc recorder out to try and give you just a taste of the excitement . All we need now is the sun…
More on that next week. Sports wise, it is back to the grindstone with a lot of action. Mayo’s soccer players grab the limelight with their under 21 game against Derry City fixed for Celtic park on Saturday. After their rather unlucky draw against Sligo rovers, they will be pumped for this. Another important fact is that the draw for the quarter final of the AIB cup takes place at half time of that game. With so many big names out of the competition, it should be fun regardless who plays whom. There is also action in the league on Sunday.
Same can be said of the Gaelic players. For them it is the joy of the summer league and their respective divisions. Who ever said local pride did not exist any more needs their head examined. I have been at five games already this summer and believe me; it is well and truly alive. Atmosphere is a word that can be used too often, but there is no better use than at a local derby in Gaelic games. I need say no more. So that is about it, just to tell you that the rugby scene is almost back on the road at interprovincial level. Connacht Juniors have already started training, the ladies are to start as well and the senior season will soon be upon us (ok, in a month and a half, but that is not so far away). And it is going to get busier and busier. Also to remind you that in a couple of weeks the Balla 10k takes place in athletics and the showjumping and swimming seasons will really heat up. Oh, and as usual the community games starts winding up to a really busy time with the Connacht finals taking place shortly. Have I forgotten anything? I probably have. But rest assured local media and press will keep you informed throughout the weekend. And don’t forget to keep an eye on the clubs pages on www.castlebar.ie for all the latest news. Have a good weekend and if you are in the Castlebar area, see you on Monday!!!