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Mayo poised to receive MacHale Park final boost

THE Connacht Council will tomorrow night decide on a venue for the provincial football final between Sligo and Mayo, with MacHale Park in Castlebar thought to be the front-runner to host the game on Sunday July 15.

If an agreement with Sligo can be reached, the Connacht Council would be hoping to cash in on a bigger pay day for their showpiece game than could be generated at either Dr Hyde Park or Pearse Stadium.

The development of MacHale Park has stretched the resources of the Mayo County Board, so the hosting of a provincial decider would be a massive boost to their coffers.

Meanwhile, Kildare's Eamonn Callaghan has returned to training ahead of schedule after a groin operation, but he's unlikely to feature in Sunday's Leinster SFC semi-final against Meath.

The Royals have an injury concern over full-back Kevin Reilly, who limped out of their quarter-final replay win over Carlow last week with an Achilles injury. Reilly is vital to Meath, particularly as Tommy O'Connor has been in such exceptional form as Kildare's ball winner at full-forward. Stephen Bray, who has missed all three of Meath's championship games so far with a hamstring injury, is expected to be available.

Louth have doubts over Paddy Keenan, Ger Hoey, Ronan Carroll, Mark Brennan and Jamie Carr ahead of their qualifier game against Westmeath in Mullingar on Saturday night.

Irish Independent