Mayo Oscar Traynor side on the edge of glory
Mayo League find themselves on the brink of Connacht glory as they face Roscommon in the final clash of the Oscar Traynor Cup group stage.
A victory or even a draw will secure provincial supremacy against near neighbours Roscommon would not only clinch the Connaught Oscar Traynor Provincial Cup but also guarantee Mayo a coveted home Quarter Final tie in January.
Under the astute leadership of Joe Kelly, Mayo kicked off their campaign in splendid fashion with a narrow 1-0 triumph over Sligo/Leitrim League, courtesy of Darren Browne's first-half penalty. This triumph set the tone for Mayo's subsequent remarkable 4-1 away victory against the Galway League, where Browne, alongside Ballyheane striker Ben Edeh netting a hat-trick, solidified Mayo's position as serious contenders.
A Roscommon side, having suffered two defeats, is well aware that only a win could salvage pride, albeit falling short of advancing to the knockout stages. The stakes are high, and the intensity is palpable as the two sides prepare to lock horns at Solar 21 Park on Sunday afternoon.
Injury concerns loom over Mayo, with key figures like Benny Lavelle and Jordan Loftus facing uncertainties regarding their inclusion in the pivotal clash. Lavelle's absence was felt in Ballina Town’s recent Connaught Cup encounter against Corrib Celtic, while Loftus exited the FAI Junior Cup clash for Castlebar Celtic against Pike Rovers due to injury.
Despite the setbacks, Kelly's side has showcased its squad depth throughout the campaign, with the likes of Harrison Quinn, Cillian White, Jordan Loftus, and Jamie Cawley seamlessly stepping into pivotal roles at various stages.
Joe Kelly's faith in the younger cadre, including Oran Groarke, Oisin Tighe, and Adam Nugent, has proven pivotal in maintaining the team's momentum.
The defensive trio of Gary Cunningham, Ioseph O’Reilly, and captain Cillian McGlade has been resolute, conceding only a single goal in the competition thus far.
Mayo, buoyed by the prospect of playing two crucial home games in the Connaught section, is eager to rally the home crowd at Solar 21 Park in their quest to become the inaugural winners of the Connaught Oscar Traynor Inter-provincial Cup.
Kick-off is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. this Sunday in Milebush.