Kilmeena's next challenge is an AIB Connacht intermediate football championship semi-final against Galway's Monivea-Abbey. Photo: Conor McKeown

Mayo champs Kilmeena face tough Galway side in intermediate semi-final

Kilmeena didn't have much time to recover from their win over Leitrim's Annaduff in the Connacht intermediate football championship last Sunday, writes Aiden Henry.

The Mayo champions will be out again on Sunday (November 19) when they travel to Tuam Stadium for their semi-final clash with Galway champions, Monivea-Abbey. It is timed to get underway at 1.30 p.m.

This will be a much tougher test for Kilmeena as Monivea-Abbey are a very strong side. Relegated in 2022, they regrouped this year before going straight back up to senior, defeating Kilconly by 0-14 to 0-11 in the Galway intermediate decider.

By all accounts this is a very good Monivea-Abbey team and they will prove troublesome for Kilmeena.

Although it will not be known until near the throw-in time if Monivea-Abbey star and Galway inter-county player Cillian McDaid will have recovered in time from the leg injury he picked up in the Galway semi-final to line out against Kilmeena (he did not play in the Galway county final), the Galway champions showed in the decider they have a very good all-round team and, even without McDaid, they were worthy winners against Kilconly.

Players like Trevor Mullins, Lee Kenny, Keith O’Reilly, Philip Muldowney and influential substitutes Paddy Mullins and Daire King will take a lot of minding.

Monivea-Abbey are a team who never give up and are strong finishers. Against Kinconly they found themselves a point down with 12 minutes remaining but they upped the ante in the closing stages to go on and win by three.

No doubt John Reilly’s side know they will have to be at their best if they are going to topple their Galway opponents. And they will be well aware that they will have to make a much better start than they did against Annaduff last Sunday if they hope to come out on top.

Yet I have the feeling they will be ready for another almighty challenge from the word go.

This has all the ingredients for rip-roaring semi-final. It won’t be easy for Kilmeena, especially having to play Monivea on their own soil, but I think if they come anywhere close to producing their best form, they have a great chance of coming out on top.