DEFENDING champions Knockmore will take on Castlebar Mitchels in the most mouth-watering of next weekend’s Mayo SFC quarter-finals.
The holders booked their place in the last eight with a hard-fought 1-11 to 0-10 win over Ballaghaderreen on Sunday.
Mayo forward Darren McHale shot 1-2 for Knockmore with Andy Moran racking up six points from frees for Ballagh’ who must now face into the relegation play-offs.
Mitchels were already sure of their quarter-final place before their third round draw with Garrymore. Young Castlebar defender Seán Morahan popped up with a late equaliser to deny Garry’ a win but the draw was enough to also send the South Mayo club into the last play-offs.
Garrymore will face high-flying Westport next weekend in the quarter-finals.
The West Mayo side topped their group after a closer than expected 0-13 to 0-10 win over Mayo Gaels in their final group match.
Lining out without Mayo duo Eoghan McLaughlin and Fionn McDonagh, and with their qualification for the quarters already assured, Westport maintained their 100% record with Pat Lambert and Killian Kelly both shooting three points each.
Meanwhile, West Mayo rivals Breaffy and Ballintubber have been drawn to play each other in the quarter-finals.
Even without injured Mayo stars Cillian O’Connor and Michael Plunkett, Ballintubber cruised to a 3-16 to 1-6 victory over The Neale on Saturday evening.
Their goals came from Noel Geraghty, Diarmuid O’Connor and Bryan Walsh.
Breaffy qualified for the knock-out stages with a close-fought 0-13 to 1-8 victory over last year’s beaten finalists, Belmullet.
Mayo goalkeeper Rob Hennelly lined out in first championship game of the campaign and landed three long-range place-kicks while his county team-mate, Mattie Ruane, produced a man of the match display and clipped four points from play.
Mayo attacker Ryan O’Donoghue made his first competitive appearance for almost five months as he came off the bench at the end of the first quarter, and kicked four points from frees for Belmullet.
Elsewhere, Ballina Stephenites blitzed Aghamore by 4-14 to 2-8 at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park in Castlebar to top their group and set up a quarter-final clash with Claremorris.
Dylan Thornton, Mayo defender Padraig O’Hora, Mark Birrane and Luke Doherty scored the Ballina goals as they booked their last eight spot in style.
Aghamore were outclassed on the day with goals from Fergal Boland and Liam Lavin proving academic in the end.
Claremorris got the result they needed when they beat Balla by 0-15 to 1-9 on Saturday evening.
Man of the match Conor Diskin contributed three points with James Shaughnessy firing over six points from frees as the South Mayo men reached the quarter-finals for only the fifth time since 2004.
Venues, dates and times for next weekend’s games will be confirmed later.