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.