Friday 28 October 2016

Sligo facing dilemma on Connacht final venue

Declan Rooney

Published 23/06/2015 | 02:30

Donovan: 'Hopefully the drive for five will curse them too'
Donovan: 'Hopefully the drive for five will curse them too'

Sligo officials have been left with an awkward decision over where the Connacht final should be played - they can either go over two hours away to Galway, or take the other option, which is just half that distance and play the game in Mayo's backyard.

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The ball is in Sligo's court to decide where the Connacht final on July 19 against Mayo takes place following their shock win over Roscommon at the weekend.

Because Sligo's home ground Markievicz Park is too small to host the provincial final - 16,000 is the venue's capacity - any time they reach the decider, the teams take it in turns to choose the venue.

Mayo and Sligo last met in the final back in 2012, when Dr Hyde Park in Roscommon was the chosen neutral location by Mayo.

But with 'The Hyde' unable to host the provincial decider since the Slattery Report downgraded its capacity to 18,750 in 2012, Sligo's options are to bring both sets of supporters to Pearse Stadium in Salthill or to play the final in Mayo's home of MacHale Park in Castlebar.

Initially it was expected that Niall Carew's side and supporters would be asked to travel to Galway for the final, but Sligo delegates were last night due to begin discussing the selection.

The Connacht Competitions Control Committee (CCC) will rubberstamp the Sligo decision.

Meanwhile, Sligo defender Ross Donovan is looking forward to having a go at stalling Mayo's five-in-a-row dreams.

"Hopefully the drive for five will curse them too," said Donovan. "But they are playing super stuff and are a credit to Connacht football.

"We get put down so often and it is great to see Roscommon up there next year in Division 1, maybe people will give us a bit of credit.

"Especially with all the talk of two tiers, one tier. Everyone wants a shot at the All-Ireland - regardless if you are good enough or not it is days like that you play for."

It is eight years since the Yeats men won their third Connacht title.

Irish Independent

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