London return to Over-40s championship
This weekend London’s over 40s team will re-join the Masters football championship fold for the first time since the 1990s as they bid for All-Ireland glory.
London, who were managed by Castleconnor native and Garryowen clubman Sean Igoe when last involved in Masters football, have rejoined this year under the management of his son, David.
London entertained a Leitrim-Longford selection the weekend of Leitrim’s senior championship win in Ruislip in May, losing by just two points in a closely-contested game, and have played a number of club sides in preparation.
London travel to Swinford this Saturday in the opening round of the championship, where they face Sligo.
The other teams in their group are Mayo, Westmeath, Donegal, Galway, and Monaghan.
There are two groups with the top two going into the All- Ireland proper, third and fourth going into the Shield competition with fifth and sixth competing in the new Plate competition.
Presently the Masters Championship involves 15 counties: Sligo, Mayo, Galway, Roscommon, Leitrim, Longford, London, Westmeath, Offaly, Kildare, Donegal, Tyrone, Antrim, Cavan and Monaghan.
A number of other counties are looking to join up next year. The Masters championship started in 1990 and was run by the GAA up until 2009 and then by the GMA since 2012.
Mayo are defending champions and should be strong enough again as will Galway, Tyrone and Cavan who were other semi-finalists last year.
Donegal are thought to be there or therabouts as well, and of the new teams Roscommon could be dark horses.
London manager David Igoe (left, above) remembers the Sligo team visiting in the 90’s with players like Mickey Kearins, Barnes Murphy and current co-manager, Gerry Monaghan, back-boning a side that were too strong for the hosts.
“I remember the football being of a high standard and fiercely competitive,” he says.