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!