Ballina Stephenites’ Luke Feeney scores a goal against Balla during the Connacht Gold Mayo SFC Group 1 round three tie in Foxford this evening. Photo: David Farrell

Picture becomes a little clearer in Mayo football championships

A batch of quarterfinalists have confirmed in the final round of group games in the Mayo GAA football championships.

The placings in Group 1 and Group 4 of the Connacht Gold Mayo Senior Football Championship have been finalised, with Breaffy joining Ballina Stephenites in the last eight from the former and Knockmore and Castlebar Mitchels making it through from the latter.

The Stephenites, beaten finalists last year, already had top spot in Group 1 secured heading into this weekend but they didn't back off against Balla in Foxford, racking up 1-23 to 2-12 in reply.

The main event was in the group was being played out in Ballindine, however, where Breaffy proved a tad too strong for Mayo Gaels. They confirmed their place in the quarterfinals with a convincing 2-10 to 0-9 victory.

Mayo Gaels' championship race is run now, while Balla must find a win from somewhere to avoid dropping down to intermediate next year.

Until Group 1, matters were not so clear-cut in Group 4 heading into round three. Knockmore and Castlebar Mitchels were in pole position going into the round three games but a number of permutations were possible.

Knockmore, champions in 2020 and 2021, knew that a win of any sort would most likely guarantee top spot in the group, and that's how it transpired. Their 0-13 to 0-8 victory over Aghamore left on five points with a score difference of +24, well ahead of Mitchels who ended on five points also but with a score difference of +3. Needless to say, all their games have been close-run affairs, and today's was no different as they emerged from a battle with Ballyhaunis with just two points to spare, 1-9 to 0-10.

By virtue of conceding less than their neighbours across the three games, Aghamore finish third in the group, leaving Ballyhaunis in the relegation battle.

Similar to Group 4 in the senior grade, Group 2 in the Egan Jewellers Intermediate Football Championship had a number of possible permutations depending on the third round results. Wins for Kilmeena and Louisburgh left it simple in the end, with the latter going through as group winners and the former joining them as runners-up. Ardnaree miss out on progress but avoid the relegation scrap, which is Kiltimagh's lot after three heavy defeats in the group stages.

Today's results in the group were as follows: Kilmeena 1-19, Kiltimagh 0-5; Louisburgh 0-13, Ardnaree 0-7.

The only other intermediate game was the clash of neighbours Ballinrobe and Hollymount/Carramore for the right to top Group 3, both teams already having confirmed their last eight places with wins in the opening two rounds. Ballinrobe emerged narrow victors on a 1-18 to 2-11 scoreline, leaving them group winners.

There was major drama in Group 1 of the TF Royal Hotel & Theatre Junior Football Championship, where Northern Gaels, in their first year of championship action, pipped neighbours Ballycastle to take their place in the quarterfinals. The Gaels' 4-12 to 0-6 win over Tourmakeady combined with a 0-9 to 2-12 defeat for Ballycastle against group winners Shrule/Glencorrib meant it came down to score difference as the opening game between the teams had ended in a draw. By virtue of their +6 to Ballycastle's +5, Northern Gaels go through to the last eight with Shrule/Glencorrib.

Groups 2 and 3 – both three-team groups – have also been decided, with Ardagh advancing from the former with a 2-12 to 0-13 victory over Achill and Eastern Gaels winning the latter thanks to 2-7 to 0-11 result against Killala. Ardagh finish as runners-up to Cill Chomáin in Group 2, while Killala go through with Eastern Gaels from Group 3.