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.