County Under 21A Championship Quarter-Final Sunday November 20th
Ballintubber 3-16 1-9 Davitts
Our Under 21 team finally got their Championship campaign underway and were full value for their win over a plucky Davitts side played in sunny but cold and calm conditions in Clogher on Sunday. After both their group games against Ballaghadereen and Castlebar Mitchels were conceded to the boys of the ‘tubber, the Abbeysiders went into this game raw but were still able to put in some fine passages of play where full-forward Michael Plunkett was a constant thorn in the Davitts defence throughout. The opening half saw the sides matched at 0-3 each in the opening 10 minutes as both sides played the game in the traditional way with little defensive stuff that has somewhat stifled the game. It was the afore mentioned Michael Plunkett who looked sharp and scored twice while the youthful Hugh Geraghty also added a point. Further fast ball into the influential full-forward saw Ballintubber back in front again before the games opening goal. Left-corner forward Stephen O’Malley finally found the net after the Davitts netminder made a number of fine stops and this goal gave the hosts the required impetus as further points from Hugh Geraghty (2 ,one from a free), a fourth point from Michael Plunkett while a brace of pointed frees from Stephen O’Malley suddenly pushed Ballintubber into a 1-9 to 0-3 lead. However the South Mayo side did hit back with a couple of points before Young player of the year Diarmuid O’Connor burst through the Davitts defence to calmly place his left-footed shot into the corner of the net to leave the half-time score 2-9 to 0-5.
The second half began with a resurgent comeback from the Davitts boys playing in their alternative strip as they did reduce the leeway down to 2-11 to 1-8 inside the first 10 minutes. Indeed a great goal line clearance from full-back Dave Clarke along with an excellent stop from Tom McGing in the Ballintubber goal failed to prevent the goal. Both Michael Plunkett and Stephen O’Malley also scored during this spell and when centre-half-back John Kerrigan was shown a black card it suddenly could have been a game changer. However the West Mayo side responded excellently as a sharp point from Stephen O’Malley was followed up with a long range point from the roving corner forward Rory Murphy which saw Ballintubber go further out in front at 2-13 to 1-8. The ‘tubber pushed on strongly as a pointed free from Stephen O’Malley was quickly followed by a fine Diarmuid O’Connor point to put the game out of reach. The closing moments saw Bryan Walsh get in on the scoring while the hard-working Dara McGovern bagged Ballintubber’s third goal. Full-back Dave Clarke was the recipient of this sides second black card while a pointed Davitts free ended the entertaining game which sees Ballintubber into the Semi-Finals. While the performance did enough to win the game comfortably in the end, bigger tests await with semi-final details just confirmed where the winners of Castlebar Mitchels or Aghamore await next Saturday at 2.30 with venue to be decided.
Ballintubber had stars all over the field where the steady Tom McGing had a fine game between the posts while the commanding Dave Clarke impressed along with his corner-backs of Jarleth Staunton and Oran Scully. The half-back line of minor Gavin Roache, the slightly more experienced John Kerrigan and another minor Aaron Lally also had their moments. Captain Diarmuid O’Connor was everywhere while still finding time to score 1-1 while his midfield partner Dara McGovern also found the net. Another one from the minor brigade Hugh Geraghty had a fine first half scoring 0-3 (2f) where the promptings of centre-half-forward Bryan Walsh helped create a number of scoring opportunities. Ronan McLoughlin also got some game time while the full-forward line registered 1-11 throughout the hour. Rory Murphy got one of the biggest cheers of the day for his long range point while the excellent play of Michael Plunkett yielded 0-5 where the Abbeysiders number 15 inor Stephen O’Malley ended with an impressive return of 1-5 (3f).
Ballintubber team that lined out : Tom McGing, Jarleth Staunton, Dave Clarke, Oran Scully, Gavin Roache, John Kerrigan, Aaron Lally, Diarmuid O’Connor (Capt) (1-1), Dara McGovern (1-0), Hugh Geraghty (0-3, 2f), Bryan Walsh (0-1), Ronan McLoughlin, Rory Murphy (0-1), Michael Plunkett (0-5), Stephen O’Malley (1-5, 3f). Subs used – Louis Hoban for Ronan McLoughlin, Jack Jensen for John Kerrigan BC, Cian Corcoran for Hugh Geraghty, Sean Murphy for Dave Clarke BC
Senior Championship Semi-Final Sunday October 23rd
Castlebar Mitchels 1-11 1-5 Ballintubber
Our Senior teams Championship campaign ended tamely in sunny McHale Park on Sunday when a sharper, hungrier Castlebar Mitchels deservedly booked the last final place. On a day where both semi-finals were expected to entertain the large crowd but in truth no game raised anything above mediocre. The Abbeysiders were on the back foot from the opening play where the loss of playmaker Alan Dillon became more and more obvious as the hour developed. The Mitchels led 0-6 to 0-2 at the break and in truth they should have been further out in front as the boys in white took 25 minutes to get on the scoreboard. Mitchels full-forward Neil Douglas led the way inside the opening 20 seconds and he continued to prove a real menace throughout the game while he ended with a total of 0-7 mostly from frees. The movement of the townside throughout the created numerous chances while the predictable short passing of Ballintubber really never opened up the holders defence until the games final score. Even the normally reliable Cillian O’Connor missed a standard free before the interval whistle, however he did score his sides second score courtesy of another free only moments beforehand. It should be also noted that both teams did suffer from the controversial black card as Damien Coleman was the first recipient while Castlebar midfielder Aidan Walsh was the games second receiver.
The expected Ballintubber comeback did get underway when another converted Cillian O’Connor free saw just 3 points although an underhit back pass from Diarmuid O’Connor saw the alert Neil Douglas almost get the games first goal but his attempt just went over. With scoring chances limited to the Ballintubber attack, their last 2 points followed where again Mayo captain Cillian O’Connor converted. Suddenly there were just 2 points between the sides although a harsh black dished out to Ballintubber substitute Declan Larkin turned out to be an opportunity for the boys in their alternative yellow strip. Neil Douglas punished the Abbeysiders again to push his side 0-8 to 0-5 in front but attacks from deep from Donal Newcombe and Ray O’Malley had the game nearly finished. Despite the best efforts of Frank Walsh in the Ballintubber goal, the pressure from the Castlebar attack eventually yielded the games opening goal while a final pointed free from player of the match Neil Douglas had the game over at 1-11 to 0-5. The Abbeysiders started to play the ball a bit more direct in the closing minutes where the hard-working Diarmuid O’Connor’s persistence saw the ball end up with midfielder turned full-forward Danny Geraghty who found the net although the score was nothing but a mere consolation. There was no denying who the better team were but there will be huge disappointment in the Abbeysiders display as this team are worthy of much better.
Ballintubber team that lined out – Frank Walsh, Gary Loftus, Brian Murphy, Myles Kelly, Michael Plunkett, Cathal Hallinan (Capt), Ruaidhri O’Connor, Danny Geraghty (1-0), Jason Gibbons, Damien Coleman, Diarmuid O’Connor, Bryan Walsh, Damien McGing, Cillian O’Connor (0-5, 5f), Alan Plunkett. Subs used – Declan Larkin for Damien Coleman B/C, Stephen Broderick for Damien McGing, Conor Finnerty for Declan Larkin B/C, Padraig O’Connor for Alan Plunkett
Minor C Football Championship Final Saturday October 22nd
Ballintubber 2-10 1-12 Ballaghaderreen
Congrats to our Minor team who left it late to claim the honours in Hollymount on Saturday where a late Stephen O’Malley free turned out to be the difference between 2 well-matched sides. Played in dry,cool and sometimes sunny conditions on a badly cut pitch, the game ebbed and flowed where each team had their purple patches. In the end it turned out to be a few players from the bench that swung the game around along with a game-changing goal from the battling midfielder Hugh Geraghty whose pressure forced the Ballaghaderreen sub-keeper to fumble the ball. The Abbeysiders started brilliantly and were 6 points up inside the opening 10 minutes as right-corner-forward Jamesie Finnerty was unmarkable as he kicked 5 top class points in this spell. At full-forward Noal Geraghty was also proving to be a menace to the Ballagh’ defence as he also got on the scoresheet. Strong play and excellent fielding from Darragh McGovern insured sufficient supply of ball but slowly the East Mayo side got to grips with the marksmen. In fact one of the biggest roars of the day saw Ballaghaderreen full-forward Thomas Dillon race through the Ballintubber defence to hammer a goal past the despairing dive of Niall Staunton. This goal re-invigorated the East Mayo side as the hit a further 4 points to suddenly lead with the interval approaching. However the boys of the ‘tubber settled with late frees from Stephen O’Malley and Jamesie Finnerty ensured a half-time lead of 0-8 to 1-4.
Ballintubber began the second half-brightly as player of the match Jamesie Finnerty used his wizadry to squeeze inside the opposition defence to competently point this time with his right foot. Disappointingly the lead was short-lived as the team in all white took over completely for the next quarter when they kicked over the games next 7 points to lead deservedly 1-11 to 0-9. It was hard to see how Ballintubber were going to get back into the game, however a high ball into the Ballagh’ full-back-line broke to the best sharpshooter on view as Jamesie Finnerty’s goal brought life back into this sides challenge. While a pointed free from Ballaghaderreen full-forward Thomas Dillon did follow, the game seemed to be swaying back to the ‘tubber. Further pressure saw midfielder Hugh Geraghty avail of a goalkeeping fumble to score his sides second goal and turn the game on its head. With the teams now level and time running out, it was up to who wanted it most and the next major incident saw Ballintubber warrant a free where the cool head of Stephen O’Malley kicked over the winning score. While both sides did push for another score it took a brilliant intercept from wing back Jack Jensen to break up the border teams final attack and guarantee the honours for the boys in red. It is good to see young promising talent coming through the ranks again from Minor and follows on from last Saturday’s Under 13’s success. The Ballintubber defence were under the cosh for long periods’ however steady goalkeeping from Niall Staunton along with excellent defending from the likes of Finian Bourke at full-back as well as Sean McNally and Luke Murphy in the corners. Captain Gavin Roache led the way from centre-half-back while the versatile Jack Jensen and Aaron McDonnell made telling contributions as did substitute Cillian Redmond. The midfield partnership of the high-fielding Darragh McGovern along with the physical Hugh Geraghty enjoyed stages of dominance while the games final goal came down to alertness and persistence from the Cortoonbower native. The half-forward line battled also despite spending spells defending where Ciaran Gavin at 10 came good in the closing moments while the unusually subdued Stephen O’Malley got the games most important score with Killian O’Brien getting through a lot of ball especially in the opening half. The full-forward line nailed 1-8 with Jamesie Finnerty looking very sharp any time he was in possession where on occasion he had 2 markers trying to close out his game. However the numer 13 still ended with a return of 1-7 while he worked well with full-forward Noel Geraghty who also was on the scoresheet. At number 15 Louis Hoban did well while his replacement Alan McHale won the vital free that was converted to decide the game. Congrats also to the Management team of Mike Murphy, Pat Barrett, Martin Costello and Alan Larkin who got this team in good shape where hopefully further success will follow in the coming years. Note due to this game along with tomorrow’s County Semi-Final, the West Mayo Junior B Final has been deferred to a later date.
Ballintubber team that lined out – Niall Staunton, Sean McNally, Finian Bourke, Luke Murphy, Jack Jensen, Gavin Roache (Capt), Aaron McDonnell, Darragh McGovern, Hugh Geraghty (1-0), Ciaran Gavin, Stephen O’Malley (0-2,2f), Killian O’Brien, Jamesie Finnerty, 1-7, 1f), Noel Geraghty (0-1), Louis Hoban. Subs used – Cillian Redmond for Luke Murphy, Alan McHale for Louis Hoban, Matthew Fox for Killian O’Brien
Mayo Senior Championship Quarter-Final Sunday 16th October
Ballintubber 6-14 1-8 Garrymore
Our Senior took little time to book a place in the last 4 of the Mayo Senior Championship when they blitzed Garrymore in McHale Park on Sunday and guaranteed a date next Sunday against County & Connacht champions Castlebar Mitchels. The Abbeysiders looked sharp and set the tone in the opening minutes with the roving Michael Plunkett needing a second attempt to left kick the games opening goal. The fast moving boys in their alternative white strip opened up the Garry’ defence time after time with Mayo captain Cillian O’Connor pointing from play before pointing from a free. A drive from Garrymore number 7 Kieran Cunningham towards the other end of the ground yielded a fine point but further points from Bryan Walsh and Damien McGing kept the tubber boys well out in front. A Jimmy Killeen free followed but a raft of scores from Ballintubber followed. A quick free from Diarmuid O’Connor found his brother Cillian who pointed again with his left boot. Further pressure saw Damien McGing provide the games next goal opportunity when Cillian O’Connor hammered the ball to the Garrymore net with his left boot. The ‘tubber boys were closing out the game as further points followed from the Plunkett brothers where the battling efforts of Damien Coleman who again was playing sweeper managed to create Alan Plunkett’s score. With the score now 2-7 to 0-2 a number of goal scoring opportunities at the other end brought out the best in Frank Walsh in the Ballintubber goal while the South Mayo side were guilty of a number of poor wides. In fact the half ended with one of the scores of the hour when Cillian O’Connor was at the end of a short passing move to ram the ball to the back of the Garrymore net to end the half on a scoreline of 3-7 to 0-2.
The expected comeback from Garrymore never materialised although they began the scoring but another Bryan Walsh point followed by a trademark Cillian O’Connor free pushed Ballintubber further out in front. The game was well and truly ended when the Abbeysiders scored 3 goals in quick succession where a rasper from Jason Gibbons was added to by 2 more excellently planted goals from Cillian O’Connor who was to be replaced having ended with a total of 4-4 by his brother Padraig. With the scoreline now 6-9 to 0-3 a number of further substitutions followed which gave Garry’ some respite as they scored the games next 1-4 where substitute Micheál Connolly gave Garry’ something to cheer about when he found the corner of the Ballintubber net. Other Garrymore scorers included Jimmy Killeen (f), Caolan Crowe and Trevor Nally but substitute Conor Finnerty, right corner-back Gary Loftus and the games final point courtesy of the impressive Bryan Walsh meant the score read 6-12 to 1-7 with the game entering its final moments. A second Conor Finnerty point followed before Jason Gibbons hit a skyscraper to end his sides scoring to help finish the game with a 21 points winning margin. Others to catch the eye for Ballintubber included Brian Murphy at full-back who always impresses while the defence looked comfortable throughout the hour where Myles Kelly, captain Cathal Hallinan and Ruaidhri O’Connor also helped in the win. The battling Danny Geraghty in midfield got through a big shift while 2 points from substitute Conor Finnerty was also worthy of mention.
Ballintubber team that lined out : Frank Walsh, Gary Loftus (0-1), Brian Murphy, Myles Kelly, Michael Plunkett (1-1), Cathal Hallinan (Capt), Ruaidhri O’Connor, Danny Geraghty, Jason Gibbons (1-1), Damien Coleman, Diarmuid O’Connor, Bryan Walsh (0-3), Damien McGing (0-1), Cillian O’Connor (4-4, 2f), Alan Plunkett (0-1). Subs used – Stephen Broderick for Damien McGing, Conor Finnerty (0-2) for Alan Plunkett, Padraig O’Connor for Cillian O’Connor, Joe Geraghty for Myles Kelly, Ray Geraghty for Diarmuid O’Connor, Eoghan Vahey for Bryan Walsh.
Bord na nOg Under 13 Division 2 League Final Saturday October 15th
Ballintubber 2-16 4-8 Ballaghaderreen AET
The future of Ballintubber G.A.A. Club looks promising following the impressive performance of our Under 13 team who eventually got over a spirited Ballaghaderreen after over 70 minutes of rivetting football to claim the Club’s first ever Under 13 Division 2 title. Played in near perfect conditions in mainly sunny Swinford G.A.A. grounds, the fast pitch led to a game this is a credit to the excellent work going on at underage in both clubs. The Abbeysiders raced into a 4 points lead in the opening minutes as both midfielders got on the scoreboard with Josh Mahon opening the scoring while the sharp boot of Caomhlin Flatley popped over 3 frees. The impressive covering of full-back James King prevented a near certain goal during this spell but amazingly the West Mayo side failed to score for the remainder of the half. In fact fortune favoured the East Mayo side as their sharp full-forward Eoin Coyle scored the games opening goal following a deflected shot that eluded the unfortunate Ruari Og McConnell in the Ballintubber goal. This began a purple patch for Ballagh’ as a point blank save from the Ballintubber netminder prevented goal number 2 but the pressure kept coming on the overworked Ballintubber defence. Despite being under the cosh Ballintubber were desperately unlucky not to have added to their tally although Ballaghaderreen did add another 1-2 to lead at the interval 2-2 to 0-4.
The second half had more of this fast open football as a Caomhlin Flately free reduced the leeway but another breakaway Ballaghaderreen attack saw them bag their third goal to put further daylight between the teams. Hard work and persistence from left-half-forward Sean Duffy saw Ballintubber continue to chip away at the deficit but the boys in white scored their final goal of the game this time courtesy of the direct midfielder Shane Hamilton and suddenly it looked as if the game may be out of touch as Ballagh’ now led at 4-3 to 0-8. Despite the early setback the boys of the ‘tubber showed loads of heart as they refused to throw in the towel. With Stephen Burke at centre-half-back leading the way it was a James Lally free that began the comeback. With midfielder Josh Mahon now lining out in front of the Ballaghaderreen goal it yielded dividends almost instantly as the Parks native hammered the ball to the Ballagh’ net and suddenly the game was on where number 6 Stephen Burke then added his fine score. A brief respite for the East Mayo side when the highly impressive Naoise Kelly wearing 10 who caused all sorts of problems for the Ballintubber defence kicked over his sides fourth point. It was nip and tuck as a two Caomhin Flately points followed although that number 10 for Ballagh’ kept his side 4 points in front. As the clock was heading to the 50th minute mark, number 14 Cillian Joyce who was brought out to midfield then pulled on the ball where the leeway was reduced to just 3 points. When another high ball was hoofed in towards the Ballagh’ goal it caused panic stations and that player wearing number 8 Josh Mahon for Ballintubber did enough to flick the ball past Dylan Towey in the Ballaghaderreen to suddenly level the game at Ballintubber 2-11 4-5 Ballaghaderreen. Referee Liam Henry called a halt to the proceedings as extra time was now required to separate these teams .
The tempo of the game did understandably ease up as both teams had emptied the tank in normal time although it was Ballaghaderren who went in front although persistence from corner-forward Dean O’Malley saw the sides level yet again when he kicked over a deserved point. It was Ballagh’ who were to lead for the last time when midfielder Shane Hamilton pushed his side out in front 4-7 to 2-12. However 2 pointed frees from Josh Mahon and Caomhlin Flatley pushed the boys of the ‘tubber out in front at the brief interval at 2-15 to 4-7.
The closing minutes of the game saw one of Ballagh’s best players Shane Hamilton reduce the leeway to the minimum but the influential captain Josh Mahon ensured the win for the Abbeysiders when he pointed the games final score and ensure the honours were coming to the ‘tubber.
Ballintubber had stars all over the field on this memorable day where all the hard work paid off where the standard of football at times from the Abbeysiders was impressive. In goal Ruari Og McConnell was steady as a rock pulling one memorable save in the first half. James King at full-back was one of the games top performers where his driving runs and along with his fielding despite a dislocated finger was also a highlight. The corner backs of Martin Fox and Matthew Coyne also impressed throughout while Stephen Burke at centre-half-back kicked over one of the games top scores along with his persistent attacking in the second half when the game looked to be slipping away. In number 5 Ciaran Heneghan also played well where his anticipation and bravery were to be admired while Luke Biggins and substitute James Staunton also had their moments. The initial midfielder pairing of Josh Mahon and Caomhlin Flatley contributed a remarkable 2-10 and when captain Josh Mahon was switched to full-forward it turned out to be a major match changer. TRhe hard-working half-forward line of Nathan Gibbons, Darragh Joyce and Sean Duffy got through a huge amonnt of work where both Darragh Joyce and Sean Duffy contributed to the scoreboard. In the full-forward line James Lally pointed a fine free while the starting full-forward Cillian Joyce also got a vital point where the battling Dean O’Malley also pointed a deserved point. Ballintubber subs Noah Corbett and Cathal Flannery also played their parts . Compliments also to the management team of Tony Duffy, Declan Joyce, Martin Heneghan, Damien Flatley and Sean Coyne who had the team in super condition where it was obvious a lot of work was done on ball skills and kick passing.
Note that earlier in the day our Minor team qualified for the Minor C Final following an impressive 3-11 to 1-6 win over Davitts played in Ballintubber pitch!
Senior Championship Group 2 Saturday October 9th
Aghamore 0-9 2-11 Ballintubber
Congrats to our Senior team who made it a remarkable 9th Senior Championship Quarter-Final in-a-row following a strong second half performance against Aghamore in the impressive Tooreen hurling grounds on Saturday evening. Despite lining out without the always influential Alan Dillon who was out due to injury, the Abbeysiders were able to have the fit-again Jason Gibbons in midfield who had a fine hour while the O’Connor brothers got all but 0-2 of the scores . Conditions on the evening were ideal with little wind in cloudy, mainly dry conditions and the first half was a cagey affair although the boys in red did have a little extra punch when they attacked directly where Diarmuid O’Connor played in the full-forward line for most of the game. It was his brother Cillian wearing the number 14 jersey who opened the scoring with an excellently converted ’45 with Alan Freeman lining out in midfield who levelled proceedings shortly after. With the Ballintubber defence looking comfortable it allowed right-corner-back Gary Loftus the freedom to attack and kick over his sides second point while Cillian O’Connor added his sides third point after Diarmuid O’Connor was fouled. In fact Ballintubber were leading the way although scores from dual midfielder Kenny Feeney along with a point from centre-half-forward Darren Duffy had the sides level at 0-3 apiece. Further pressure from Ballintubber along with a number of fine catches from Jason Gibbons resulted in 2 more converted frees from Cillian O’Connor. However despite threatening to pull away on various occasions, Ballintubber failed to push the game enough where Alan Freeman showed his best side when he kicked over 2 points to level the game at 0-5 apiece. However the Abbeysider attack were looking more and more menacing as Aghamore number 4 David Kenny was shown his second yellow card with Cillian O’Connor calmly putting his side ahead at the interval at 0-6 to 0-5 with another free.
The 3 time County champions began the second half strongly as further pressure saw Ballintubber earn a penalty after Jason Gibbons was fouled where Cillian O’Connor comfortably found the net. The boys of the ‘tubber were rampant at this stage with Cillian O’Connor turning the screw following a fine long range free. In fact the Mayo number 15 created his sides second goal chance when he found the alert Ballintubber number 10 Diarmuid who hammered the ball to the roof of the Aghamore net to suddenly push the Abbeysiders ahead at 2-7 to 0-5. The game was over as a contest although the hard-working Aghamore midfielder Kenny Feeney did get a point back for his side. A very patient move from the West Mayo side saw Ruaidhri O’Connor get at the end of the move to kick over an excellent point. Another pointed ’45 from his brother Cillian followed although 3 points in succession from Aghamore did bring some respectability to the scoreling although the games top scorer Cillian O’Connor did kick over the games final point in the closing minutes. Details on the Quarter-Final opponents will be confirmed this week while it is expected that next weekend these games will take place. Best for Ballintubber included the roving Gary Loftus who ended with 0-2 while Ruaidhri O’Connor also who got his name on the scoreboard. Brian Murphy started at full-back but like Gary Loftus due to his marker going out the field he also was as comfortable at the other end of the field. Myles Kelly got through a good shift while Michael Plunkett and Cathal Hallinan also stood strong in defence along with sweeper Damien Coleman. The return of Jason Gibbons to midfield was a major bonus and he played a big part in the win with his partner Danny Geraghty also getting through a lot of work. The positioning of Diarmuid O’Connor into the full-forward line reaped dividends particularly in the second half while the place kicking of Cillian O’Connor was central to the win as he ended with a return of 1-8. Bryan Walsh, Damien McGing and Alan Plunkett also worked hard and helped achieve the win.
Ballintubber team that lined out : Frank Walsh, Gary Loftus (0-2), Brian Murphy, Myles Kelly, Michael Plunkett, Cathal Hallinan, Ruaidhri O’Connor (0-1), Danny Geraghty, Jason Gibbons, Diarmuid O’Connor (1-0), Damien Coleman, Bryan Walsh, Damien McGing, Cillian O’Connor (1-8, pen, 2 ‘45’s 6f), Alan Plunkett. Subs used : Ray Geraghty for Damien McGing, Stephen Broderick for Danny Geraghty, Joe Geraghty for Myles Kelly, Conor Finnerty for Diarmuid O’Connor.
County Junior A Championship Relegation play-off Friday September 30th
Ballintubber B 1-14 0-8 Swinford B
Congrats to our Junior team who maintained their Junior A Championship status where a strong second half performance was central to the success which was played under lights in a Minly dry Munnelly Park. The Abbeysiders had to battle at times particularly in the opening half as just 2 points separated the sides at the break 0-7 to 0-5 with full-forward Ray Geraghty the stand out player with the points from play and frees . Others who scored included Stephen O’Malley with a ’45 and a pointed free with the impressive Dara McGovern at centre-half-forward also catching the eye. The second half sawthe boys in their alternative white start to pull away where the hard working Daire Summerville was a key player and opened the second half scoring. While the East Mayo kept in touch, further scores however from Stephen O’Malley, a few more Ray Geraghty frees along with a fine score from John Duffy had the boys from the ‘tubber ahead 0-12 to 0-7. With captain Eoghan Vahey leading the way from midfield along with strong performances in defence from Sean Larkin at full-back along with help from Sean Staunton and Keith Coleman in the corners, the steady Frank Walsh in goal was never tested. As the game was opening up it allowed further opportunities to be created and it was no surprise to see Ballintubber close the game out when the alert Daire Summerville was on hand to hammer the loose ball to the net. An excellent point from Stephen O’Malley turned out to be his sides final score before the battling Swinford side kicked over the games final score. The introduction of Keelan McDonnellan before the break turned out to be a wise move as he got on a lot of ball around the midfield zone in his roving role. The half-back-line of Gavin Roache, the experienced Declan Larkin and the youthful John Kerrigan got through as lot of work throughout the hour. All in all a good evenings work boys!
Ballintubber team that lined out – Frank Walsh, Sean Staunton, Sean Larkin, Keith Coleman, Gavin Roache, Declan Larkin, John Kerrigan, Eoghan Vahey (Capt), Daire Summerville (1-1), David McHale, Dara McGovern (0-1), Dave Clarke, John Duffy (0-1), Ray Geraghty (0-8, 3f), Stephen O’Malley (0-3, ’45, 1f). Subs used – Keelan McDonnell for Dave Clarke, Aaron Lally for David McHale, Dean Loftus for Dara McGovern
Senior League Division 1A Saturday September 24th
Castlebar Mitchels 1-11 1-9 Ballintubber
Our Senior teams League ambitions were ended in damp Mulvey park on Saturday evening when an injury time goal secured the league points for the hosts as well as the bragging rights. In truth it was a harsh outcome to the game as the Abbeysiders looked to have done enough to claim the spoils but an extended period of injury time allowed the Mitchels gain the points on offer. Ballintubber led 0-5 to 0-4 at the interval having had the benefit of the cross field wind with Alan Plunkett and Bryan Walsh the main scoring threats inside as they scored 0-3 and 0-2 respectively.
Castlebar, wearing an alternative yellow strip began the second half well where they kicked over the first 4 points of the half while the influential Ruaidhri O’Connor received a black card. Despite this the boys of the ‘tubber players their best football of the game where scores from Alan Plunkett, Damien McGing and the roving Gary Loftus levelled the game at 0-8 apiece. As the game was coming to a close Castlebar got back in front although that was levelled shortly after from substitute Ray Geraghty who levelled from a free. It looked as if the spoils would be shared until midfielder Danny Geraghty lashed a ’45 all the way to the top corner of the Castlebar net shortly after and suddenly it looked as if the points were coming to the Abbeyside. However referee Declan Corcoran kept the game going with the Mitchels not giving up as they pointed before a short passing attack resulted in the match winning goal. Before the final whistle full-forward Neil Douglas put a final gloss to the win when he kicked over the games final score. Afterwards it was confirmed that Hollymount-Carramore won their game against neighbours Garrymore which meant the Division 1 title went to the saucer .
Next up will be the crucial Championship game against Aghamore where the winner get a place in the knockout stages.
Ballintubber team that lined out : Frank Walsh, Declan Larkin, Cathal Hallinan, Brian Murphy, Myles Kelly, Michael Plunkett, Ruaidhri O’Connor, Danny Geraghty (1-0 from ’45), Stephen Broderick, Alan Plunkett (0-4, 1f), Gary Loftus (0-1), Bryan Walsh (0-2, 1f), Damien Coleman, Damien McGing (0-1), Cathal Finnerty. Subs used – Joe Geraghty, Kevin Shannon, Ray Geraghty (0-1, 1f), and Eoghan Vahey
Horan Cup Final Sunday July 31st
Ballintubber 1-15 0-10 Mayo Juniors
Our Senior team won the Horan Cup final on Sunday evening after a sometimes impressive display over next Saturday’s All-Ireland Junior finalists. On a almost perfect evening for football with a slight breeze in cloudy conditions, the Abbeysiders looked sharp and were worthy of the 8 points win where the positioning of Michael Plunkett at centre-half-back who scored 3 points from play throughout the hour was central. Ballintubber led 1-7 to 0-3 at the break following some fine passages of play where Bryan Walsh showed the way with 1-1 where midfielder Danny Geraghty and Alan Plunkett helped create the goal chance. Indeed the homesides dominance saw them lead 1-4 to no score before a Darren Coen free got the visitors on the road while earlier Alan Plunkett kicked over 2 fine points. The visitors hit a slight purple patch with 2 further points but a strong finish from the hosts saw points from Damien McGing (free), left-corner-back left-corner-back Brian Murphy and Ballintubber’s number 6 Michael Plunkett. One big worry for the Mayo juniors was the injury sustained by Padraic Feerick who had to leave the field of play.
With Danny Geraghty impressing in midfield along with excellent defending from the likes of Cathal Hallinan at full-back, Kevin Shannon and Brian Murphy always alert in the corners while the promptings of Myles Kelly, Michael Plunkett and Declan Larkin in the half-back lines was key. An excellent point from the right boot of full-forward Damien McGing opened the second half scoring although the Mayo juniors did respond with 2 points of their own. Even though this final was played in a sporting manner, some of the challenges were of a Championship intensity as the Mayo Junior team were playing for places while Ballintubber wanted to continue their build-up to their must-win final group Championship game in Aghamore. Any time it looked as if the visitors were getting into the game the boys of the ‘tubber responded positively as further points from Alan Plunket, Damien McGing (free), the hard working Stephen Broderick while Michael Plunkett started and end his scoring move to push his side out 1-12 to 0-6 in front. While both teams exchanged a number of subs, the closest the Mayo Junior team was at 1-12 to 0-9. Substitute Ray Geraghty took over free taking duties with 2 converted chances while a classy strike with the outside of his boot from the impressive Michael Plunkett ended the proceedings as the Club helped celebrate the 800 years celebrations of Ballintubber Abbey with a promising performance. Ballintubber had impressive performers all over the field as Brendan Walsh in goal was at his solid best where Stephen Broderick also had his moments in his roving role. The attack looked menacing all through where Eoghan Vahey at centre-half-forward did a lot of the dirty work in a good shift while Bryan Walsh’s goal in the opening moments helped set the tone. Captain Damien Coleman covered his sweeper role impressively while the return of Alan Plunkett and Damien McGing with 3 points each in the full-forward line was important. Others to impress included Conor Finnerty who had to leave the field of play with a blood injury although he returned for the second half while Ray Geraghty was strong in possession while confidently pointing his free chances.
Ballintubber team that lined out – Brendan Walsh, Kevin Shannon, Cathal Hallinan, Brian Murphy (0-1), Myles Kelly, Michael Plunkett (0-3), Decaln Larkin, Danny Geraghty (0-1), Stephen Broderick (0-1), Damien Coleman (Capt), Eoghan Vahey, Bryan Walsh (1-1), Alan Plunkett (0-3), Damien McGing (0-3, 2f), Conor Finnerty. Subs used – Ray Geraghty (0-2, 2f) for Conor Finnerty blood sub, Conor Finnerty for Bryan Walsh, John Duffy for Damien McGing, Gary Loftus for Myles Kelly, Seamus Thomas for Kevin Shannon, Eoin Heneghan for Conor Fiinnerty.
Senior League Division 1A Sunday July 17th
Ballintubber 2-8 1-13 Hollymount-Carramore
Our Senior teams reign as Division 1A leaders came to an end when Hollymount-Carramore completed the double over the hosts in sunny Clogher on Sunday. The fact that this was a starred League game meant Ballintubber were without the County players while the Plunkett brothers were also unavailable. Despite being outplayed for long periods of the game, the Abbeysiders put it up to the South Mayo side and could have gained something out of the game. However the sharp shooting of Darren Coen particularly in the second half proved crucial as Ballintubber kept plugging away. The first half saw the homeside get off to the best possible start when Stephen Finnerty availed of good work from Bryan Walsh to find the net in the opening minute. However 2 Darren Coen pointed frees brought them back into the game . Then it was the turn of full-forward Damien McGing to impress when he kicked over 2 excellent points with Conor Finnerty next to score to push his side 4 points out in front at 1-3 to 0-2. The amalgamated side attacked next and scored a questionable point while they also scored their only goal to level the game. Ballintubber responded well with Damien McGing again the scorer where he scored 2 points in as many minutes with Conor Finnerty also involved. But the half saw Holly/Carra finish strong to score 3 more times to lead 1-6 to 1-5 at the break.
When Darren Coen scored his sides first score early in the second half from a free, it didn’t look good for the homeside. However good work from Danny Geraghty and Ruaidhri O’Connor as well as Stephen Broderick in his roving centre-half-forward role which saw Conor Finnerty reduce the deficit to the minimum. Further pressure by the forward line saw Bryan Walsh then score his sides second goal to push the Abbeysiders back in front at 2-6 to 1-7. However Ballintubber’s cause was not helped when Kevin Shannon got a black card for a late challenge with Darren Coen converting the resultant free while the same player levelled the game shortly after. Last years Intermediate winners then pushed for home with further points although Conor Finnerty again kept Ballintubber in touch. With the hosts behind 1-13 to 2-7 a late free from Ray Geraghty ended the game and meant the visitors go back to the top of Division 1A outright. It was disappointing to lose their first League game in Clogher this year although the unavailability of key players did not help. With Mayo still in the Qualifiers the final round of Club Championship games is still unclear which Ballintubber need to win well in Aghamore to have a chance of making the Quarter-Finals.
Ballintubber team that lined out : Brendan Walsh, Gary Loftus, Cathal Hallinan, Myles Kelly, Joe Geraghty, Brian Murphy, Kevin Shannon, Danny Geraghty, Ruaidhri O’Connor, Stephen Finnerty (1-0), Stephen Broderick, Bryan Walsh (1-0), Damien Coleman, Damien McGing (0-4), Conor Finnerty (0-3). Subs used : Eoghan Vahey for Joe Geraghty, Declan Larkin for Kevin Shannon (BC), Ray Geraghty (0-1,1f) for Stephen Finnerty.
West Mayo Under 14B Championship Final Thursday July 14th
Kilmeena 5-18 8-8 Ballintubber
If ever those who subscribe to the notion that Gaelic football is gone all defensive and negative should have been in a murky,damp Westport on Thursday evening when a game as open as you could ever see was witnessed. Two very determined Under 14 teams took to the field and gave all those present a game that will stick in the memory for a long time. Such a high scoring game resulted in reporters and officials totting up records from the game before Kilmeena were deemed winners after referee Mel Kenny verified his records. It was heartbreak for the Abbeysiders who deserved at least another evening out but the occasion may indeed stand to them in the future. Ballintubber started brightly with star full-forward Robbie Finnerty bagging the first of the games many goals. A fine pointed free from midfielder Caobhlin Flately saw the boys in red push further out in front before a purple patch for the coastal side who racked up 1-3 in the space of 3 minutes to suddenly lead 1-4 to 1-1. Ballintubber captain and ‘keeper Diarmuid Heneghan had to be smart to prevent a second goal before Robbie Finnerty at the other end hammered a rocket off the Kilmeena crossbar although he eventually got the ball back to point. The speedy full-forward then kicked a long range point before he scored his second goal of the evening this time from a penalty with one of the shortest run-ups to convert. Back came Kilmeena to reduce the deficit to just one point at 2-3 to 1-5 before the boys of the ‘tubber played their best football of the match. Midfielder Bobby Reilly came into his own as he carried the ball from deep to blast the ball to the roof of the net and the same player only minutes later had a rasper saved before he calmly left-footed his second goal to the net. It suddenly saw the score at 4-4 to 1-6 and try as they might Kilmeena could not stop the Ballintubber momentum. A shrewd move saw left-corner-back Damien Jennings moved into the opposite end of the field to top of the right and within minutes the switch reaped dividends as he added 2 more goals to the Abbeysiders remarkable goal haul to push his side 6-5 to 1-7 ahead at the interval.
The second half saw Kilmeena play with the wind and they kept tapping over the points although a Caobhlin Flately pointed free along with a third goal from Damien Jennings still had the boys in red well ahead at 7-6 to 1-9. But the tide was turning as point after point followed and when Kilmeena scored their second goal it gave massive belief to the side and its large support. Remarkably the dominance continued with a third goal this time from the penalty spot and the game was still alive as Ballintubber still led at 7-7 to 3-12. Further pressure yielded a fourth goal although a point from Robbie Finnerty still gave advantage to the Abbeysiders at 7-8 to 4-13 but wave after wave of Kilmeena attacks continued. They added a further 1-1 to suddenly level the game as their understandably vocal support realised the game was level where another attack saw them go ahead. Despite been outplayed for long periods of the second half, the Ballintubber boys gave one last massive effort and managed to get the games last goal thanks to persistence from Robbie Finnerty with the score now 8-8 to 5-15. But credit to the victors as they pointed 3 more times to break the hearts of a very game Ballintubber side who will have better days. Best for Ballintubber were goalkeeper and captain Diarmuid Heneghan who kept Ballintubber in the game with a string of fine saves. Josh Mahon at full-back is another to watch out for while Ciaran Heneghan played well before been harshly black-carded towards the end of the game. Darragh and Cillian Joyce in the half-back line also showed well while centre-half-back Sean McEvilly was another to impress. The midfield partnership of Caobhlin Flately and Bobby Reilly put in a huge effort throughout the hour with a combined return of 2-4 between them. The half-forward line of Matthew Coyne, James King and Stephen Burke may not have gotten on the scoreboard but they contributed to the many scoring chances during the match and will get their chance again. While Robbie Finnerty was the only star man in the attack with a total return of 3-4 including a penalty with Nathan Gibbons and Dean O’Malley giving their all. A special mention also to Damien Jennings who proved that corner-backs can be as dangerous in the opposite position where his hat-trick of goals was another highlight. A special mention that the enjoyable evening was some what hampered by the lack of a scoreboard as surely Divisional finals should not be played at a venue unless something as basic as that is available.
Ballintubber team that lined out : Diarmuid Heneghan (Capt), Ciaran Heneghan, Josh Mahon, Damien Jennings (3-0), Darragh Joyce, Sean McEvilly, Cillian Joyce, Caobhlin Flately (0-3,3f), Bobby Reilly (2-1,f), Matthew Coyne, James King, Stephen Burke, Nathan Gibbons, Robbie Finnerty (3-4,pen), Dean O’Malley. Subs used – Luke Biggins, James Lally, Noah Corbett, Colm Larkin.
Under 14s win County Final
Our under 14 squad had a fantastic and well deserved victory in Championship 'C' final played in McHale Park on Thursday 18th. Naomh Padraig ( an amalgamation of Kilala, Lacken, Kilfian and Balycastle) provided the opposition. The final score was Ballintubber 7-10 to Naomh Padraig 3-14. Well done to the management team of MJ Ruddy, Declan Joyce, Frank Walsh, Kevin Shannon and Damien Flately and the panel Diarmuid Heneghan, Ciaran Heneghan, Magnus Malone (capt), Sean McEvilly, James King, Josh Mahon, Darragh Joyce, Caobhlin Flately, Cillian Joyce, Stephen Burke, Bobby Reilly, Colm Larkin, Matthew Coyne, Robbie Finnerty, Damien Jennengs, Luke Biggins, James Lally, Noah Corbett, Sean Duffy, Nathan Gibbons, Jack Clarke, Dean O'Malley.