GAA Connacht Senior Club Championship preview

Padraic Davis insists Mohill have nothing to lose ahead of Connacht clash with Castlebar Mitchels

Sports Reporter

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Sports Reporter

Padraic Davis insists Mohill have nothing to lose ahead of Connacht clash with Castlebar Mitchels

Having taken on and beaten all challengers in Leitrim on their way to claiming a league and championship double Mohill will this Saturday (2pm) take the hopes of the County into Connacht when they make the journey to McHale Park, Castlebar to face Mayo champions Castlebar Mitchels.


Mohill manager Padraic Davis has reported that he expects James Mitchell and Oisin Madden to be fit to take their place in the starting 15 on Saturday while Danny Beck is also on course for a return having missed the league final.


“James Mitchell and Oisin Madden are injury concerns but we hope to have them fit. They are two defenders with real pace and they are important to the way we play.”


Looking ahead to Saturday's encounter Padraic is well aware of the enormity of the task facing his side but believes Mohill have nothing to lose.


“We are doing as much as we can do. There is no pressure on us, it is a game for us to enjoy. We are overwhelming underdogs but we will give it a shot and see where we go.”


While acknowledging that his side are rank outsides, Padraic is intent his side will not be making the journey simply to make up the numbers.


“We know exactly what we face. It is a huge task but you go to play and you go to win.”


Having claimed the league and championship double it is hardly surprising to learn that there is a great atmosphere around training in Mohill at the moment.


“There is good confidence and a good buzz around training. I've been very happy with the approach all year. They've got their rewards on the domestic scene and it is a nice opportunity for the club and everyone involved with the team.”


Taking a closer at Saturday's opponents Padraic revealed, “We are looking at them as much as we can. They are a hugely physical side.


“They have conceded an average of 13 points in their Championship games, no more and lost only one game. They have done the three in a row in Mayo and that could easily have been five.”


Castlebar advanced to the Connacht quarter-final following their two point victory in the Mayo county final over Ballintubber.
With the likes of Paddy Durkan and Andy Moran in their ranks they are described by Padraic as “One of the strongest club sides in the country over the past five years.


The Connacht Club Championship has proven to be a steep learning curve for Leitrim sides in recent years with Aughawillan's victory over Tubbercurry providing a rare moment of celebration in 2014.


When Mohill were last at this stage they were defeated by Corofin, who were later taken apart by Castlebar in the final.
“They are a class side, far greater than anything you would expect to meet in Leitrim or Connacht.”


When studying whether or not to attempt to nullify the Castlebar strengths or focusing more on his own sides attributes Padraic revealed, “I don't look at anything until I feel we are defensively sound. You have to respect the opposition, even more so when you play a super-power.”


Padraic added, “We know what our strengths are. We will probably know more about them than they know about us but at this level nobody takes anybody for granted.”