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All to play for in Castlebar

Christy Ring Cup Round Five

Mayo v Derry

Saturday, MacHale Park, 1pm

By Shaun Casey

IT’S all to play for in Castlebar this weekend as Derry head West in search of an important two points.

Saturday’s winner will be guaranteed a place in the Christy Ring Cup decider against favourites Kildare.

The Lilywhites currently lead the way with eight points after their unbeaten campaign has yielded four wins from four.

Just behind them come Mayo and Derry and the pair must battle it out for a chance to reach the final.

Both teams have only lost once, both to Kildare, and it’s Derry who currently sit in second place due to their superior scoring difference.

The Oak Leaf County bounced back from their disappointing 1-24 to 0-14 defeat to Kildare with a six-point victory at home to London.

The whole full-forward line raised green flags as Tiernan McHugh, Gerard Bradley and Odhran McKeever all hit the net.

Cormac O’Doherty fired over four frees and the Sleacht Néill man is the top scorer in the Derry ranks, with 0-17 so far in the campaign.

Confidence won’t be an issue for Derry, given their recent league meeting with Mayo.

The two teams ended up at opposite ends of the Division 2B table and two grades will separate the sides in 2023.

Dominic McKinley’s men earned promotion with six wins in a row, defeating Sligo in the final.

Mayo on the other hand picked up just one point, an opening day draw with Wicklow and lost to the same opposition in the relegation play-off.

Derry were impressive winners when the teams clashed in round three, earning a huge 4-24 to 1-13 victory.

There’s no question that Mayo’s fortunes have turned and they’re heading into the weekend on the back of a three-game winning streak. Anything but defeat will do for Derry and given that they’ve only experienced one loss this season, they are favourites to reach the decider.

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