County Junior A Championship Saturday July 2nd
Ballintubber B 2-8 2-12 Ballycastle
Our Junior team exited the Championship on Saturday evening when a strong second half performance from the visitors saw them book a place in the knock-out stages. After a tremendous start to the Championship campaign against one of the favourites Kilmeena only a few weeks back, defeats against Killala and now Ballycastle puts the Abbeysiders in to the relegation mire to stay at this level. On a sunny, breezy evening in Clogher, the hosts were slow to get into their groove and were 3 down before a long range free from midfielder Daire Summerville got the Abbeysiders on the board. In fact the North Mayo side went 0-5 to 0-2 ahead after captain John Duffy got his first of the evening. The experienced Ray Geraghty reduced the deficit to just 2 points with a well taken point. Then in the space of minutes the game was turned on its head when a hopefully John Duffy high ball was not dealt with by the Ballycastle defence with the alert Dave Clarke on hand to rifle the ball to the corner of the net and suddenly the game was level. Further pressure from the hosts saw them go ahead for the first time courtesy of John Duffy. However at the other end a breakaway attack yielded a penalty for the visitors but the well struck shot hit the post and was cleared away. As the interval was approaching good work from substitute Jarleth Staunton saw John Duffy again in the scoring zone which he confidently slotted over to leave the half-time score 1-5 to 0-5 to the homeside.
The wind was now with Ballycastle for the second half and immediately they started to plough high ball into the Ballintubber defence with immediate success as they levelled the game with their first goal. This started a purple patch for the North Mayo side and they added 2 points before getting a second penalty which was well despatched to suddenly see them 2-7 to 1-5 in front early in the second half. A Ray Geraghty free broke the momentum slightly but 3 further points almost had them over the line. However the boys of the ‘tubber were given a brief glimmer of hope when a high ball towards Dave Clarke at full-forward saw him avail of a save from the Ballycastle ‘keeper to kick the ball into the net to leave just 4 between the sides at 2-6 to 2-10. When Dean Loftus added another point suddenly the game was still on. But 2 further points from Ballycastle saw the finish out deserving winners although Dean Loftus did point the last score of the match from a free. Ballintubber could meet either Kilfian, Swinford B or Charlestown B in the relegation play-off with details to be confirmed.
Ballintubber team that lined out : Frank Walsh, John Kerrigan, Declan Larkin, Sean Staunton, Gavin Roache, Sean Larkin, Seamus Thomas, David McHale, Daire Summerville (0-1), Eoin Heneghan, Dean Loftus (0-2,1f), Dave Clarke (2-0), Darragh McGovern, Ray Geraghty (0-2,1f), John Duffy Capt (0-3). Subs used – Jarleth Staunton for Eoin Heneghan (inj)