County Under 21A Championship Group 3 Saturday November 7th
Ballina Stephenites 1-10 1-7 Ballintubber
Those who want to see the abandonment of the Under 21 Championship grade were shown the in stark reality the excellence of this grade in St James Stephen Park in Ballina on Saturday afternoon. For sheer spirit, excellent scores plus brave defending which saw this game go down right to the wire before 2 late points squeezed the North Mayo side in to the Quarter-Finals. But it was a game with a story as a brave Ballintubber side came from 1-6 to 0-3 down at the break despite losing full-forward Conor Finnerty with a hand injury while earlier the team had lost the services of the commanding Dave Clarke and not forgetting Michael Plunkett who injured his ankle against Bohola Moy-Davitts only 2 weeks previous. Losses like that would smother a team but the boys of the ‘tubber pushed their shoulders to the wheel and put in a second half that deserved better. Egged on by Young Player of the Year Diarmuid O’Connor with Bryan Walsh at centre-half-forward along with a brave defence led by captain Joe Geraghty, Ballintubber put pride back into the jersey where a lot of this team are underage again next season. It was the visitors who opened the scoring when they played into the hill end with the youthful Stephen O’Malley kicking over a fine point aided by the hard-working Patrick Burke. Unfortunately for a Championship game there was no programme as the Ballina number 9 proved to be a real thorn in the Ballintubber defence as he kicked over 2 long range frees as well as an excellent point from distance. In fact the Abbeysiders created an excellent move shortly after that which opened up the Ballina defence but Bryan Walsh’s goal attempt flew wide of the goal, however it was a warning of what was to come later in the match. That number 9 for Ballina scored again although a pointed free from Diarmuid O’Connor kept the ‘tubber in touch at 0-4 to 0-2. However the dominance of the Ballina midfield was beginning to tell as they scored a fifth point before flicking a high ball to the net courtesy of their number 11 and suddenly the game looked to be slipping away as full-forward Conor Finnerty also had to leave the action due to a hand injury. Ballintubber tried to keep in touch with another Diarmuid O’Connor point before the number 9 from Ballina kicked over his 5th point of the game and leave Ballintubber with a mountain to climb at the break as the halftime score read Ballina 1-6 0-3 Ballintubber.
Whatever was said in the Ballintubber dressing room at the interval began to reap dividends early after the restart as the comeback began. A Stephen Finnerty free was added to by an excellent team score finished by the industrious Diarmuid O’Connor. Further pressure followed with Stephen O’Malley kicking over one of the scores of the match from out on the right wing which was quickly followed by a patient score involving Diarmuid O’Connor with Bryan Walsh comfortably converting his sides 7th point at 0-7 to 1-6. A brief attack from Ballina however yielded a pointed free from who else but their number 9 and when substitute number 17 from Ballina pushed the hosts further out in from at 1-8 to 0-7 it looked as if they may have withstood the Abbeysiders comeback. However back came the boys in red with a patient build-up where a smart pass across from Stephen O’Malley found the attacking Joe Geraghty who passed the ball onto the Bryan Walsh where the Ballyglass ace spun around the Ballina netminder before blasting the ball to the roof of the net beyond the covering Ballina defenders with his left boot. It was a score that re-ingnited the Ballintubber comeback but they just couldn’t build on it as Ballina managed to somehow win the dirty ball and settle the nerves before kicking over 2 late scores as the unfortunate Jarleth Staunton received a black card when trying to prevent a certain goal. It was tough luck on this team who certainly did not get the rub of the green on the day and with most of this team still eligible in 2016 then hopefully they can reach their goal as it is the first year in a while that the knock-out stages were not achieved. Ballintubber were well served all over the field where Tom McGing in goal was solid as a rock throughout the Championship with the sometimes under pressure full-back line of Sean Staunton, John Kerrigan and Jarlaeth Staunton giving their all. Joe Geraghty also put in a good shift while his attacking wing backs looked dangerous when in attack as Arran Lally and Keelan McDonnell threatened on numerous occasions. Despite being under the cosh for periods of the match and particularly the latter end of the first half, Diarmuid O’Connor who ended with 0-3 and his midfield partner David McHale got through a huge amount of work. In attack Bryan Walsh put in his best performance of the season where his goal was as good as you will see anywhere this time of year. The spurts of Stephen Finnerty helped guide a number of the attacks while unselfish work from Patrick Burke also saw his have a good game at left-half-forward. Corner-forward Stephen O’Malley showed us glimpses of what he can do where at 17 years of age he is certainly one to watch out for. The unfortunate Conor Finnerty was sorely missed in what turned out to be his last game for our Under 21’s where Darragh McGovern tried hard before being replaced by Mark Golden with the strong Rory Murphy replacing Conor Finnerty in the opening half. Afterwards the Management team of Sean Corcoran, Tommy Kilcoyne, Pat Lally and Gary Dillon stepped down from their role and the Club wishes to thank them for their unselfish service.
Ballintubber team that lined out : Tom McGing, Sean Staunton, John Kerrigan, Jarleth Staunton, Aaron Lally, Joe Geraghty (Capt), Keelan McDonnell, David McHale, Diarmuid O’Connor (0-3, 2f), Stephen Finnerty (0-1,1f), Bryan Walsh (1-1), Patrick Burke, Darragh McGovern, Conor Finnerty, Stephen O’Malley (0-2). Subs used – Rory Murphy for Conor Finnerty (inj), Mark Golden for Darragh McGovern
Senior League Division 1A Sunday November 1st
Ballintubber 0-7 1-9 Kilmaine
Our Senior team signed off the 2015 season tamely when relegation threatened Kilmaine were deserving winners in sunny conditions in Clogher on Sunday. The fact that the homeside failed to score on the opening half is hard to imagine but the hangover of the Championship defeat to Breaffy was still in evidence as the South Mayo side led 0-5 to no score at the break. With hardly a puff of wind about, the motivated Kilmaine side were fully deserving of their lead with Alan Dillon blasting a goal chance wide in what was his sides best chance. With Joey Maloney in particular proving to be a real thorn in the Ballintubber defence, promptings from former Mayo player Pat Kelly and Brian Maloney also stood out with Brendan Walsh in the Ballintubber goal keeping the scoreline reasonable when he stopped a point-blank shot midway through the half.
The second half could only get better for the hosts and it did where Alan Plunkett and Damien Coleman finally added a few scores. Just when it looked like a comeback was on, Kilmaine attacked and eventually scored the games only goal. Good midfield play from Jason Gibbons guaranteed a good supply of ball towards the Ballintubber attack while smart play from Alan Dillon added 2 further scores. However Kilmaine did go further in front again as Joey Maloney pointed a long distant free where Alan Plunkett also pointed from a free shortly after to leave just 5 points between the sides at 0-5 to 1-7. The Abbeysiders needed a goal but they never really penetrated the Kilmaine defence enough where their indirect play has become predictable and easy to defend. As the game entered the closing moments Alan Plunkett pointed twice but that man Joey Maloney had the games last score to help secure his sides status in Division 1A for the 2016 season. In a season that has petered out disappointingly where 4 defeats in the Division 1A League have all occurred in Clogher, Ballintubber need to have a look at ways of getting back to what they were at this time last year which was winning games and playing football fast and more direct. The 3 time Moclair cup winners will be back but the players need to gain that hunger and desire which has been missing for a lot of the 2015 season. Our Under 21 team keep the football season going for another week anyway when they travel to Ballina where at least a draw is needed to book a place in the last 8.
Ballintubber team that lined out : Brendan Walsh, Gary Loftus, Joe Geraghty, Kevin Shannon, Dave Clarke, Cathal Hallinan, Declan Larkin, Ruaidhri O’Connor, Jason Gibbons, Damien Coleman (0-1), Alan Plunkett (0-4,2), David McHale, Gary Dillon, Alan Dillon (0-2), Stephen Finnerty. Subs used – John Kerrigan for Kevin Shannon Sean Staunton for Declan Larkin
County Under 21A Championship Group 3 Monday October 27th
Ballintubber 1-10 0-13 Bohola Moy-Davitts
Our Under 21 team finally got their season up and running in windy and wet Ray Prendergast Memorial Park in Clogher where a draw was the outcome with Bohola Moy-Davitts. On a day far from pleasant, the teams served up all that can be good at this grade with some excellent scores plus fine defending on a greasy surface. Both teams will have reason to regret missed chances as the game was waiting for a winner but a draw was a fair outcome as the result guarantees a Quarter-Final berth for the East Mayo side while the Abbeysiders need at least a draw in Ballina next Saturday to book their spot in the last 8.The game was delayed for at least 30 minutes as the appointed referee failed to show with Martin Walsh on hand to cover the role. It was the visitors who started brightly as they moved the ball fast while the wind was at their backs as they raced into a 0-5 to 0-1 lead in the opening 10 minutes. Full-forward Conor Finnerty kept the hosts in touch with 2 fine points with centre-half-forward Bryan Walsh also on hand to reduce the deficit. However Bohola Moy-Davitts hit back again as they responded with a further 3 points and suddenly it looked as if the game was slipping away from the ‘Tubber as it was now 0-8 to 0-3 to the visitors. The boys in red however had other ideas with County star Diarmuid O’Connor coming more into the game where again Conor Finnerty pointed his third point. Then the move of the match when right corner back Sean Staunton sneaked his way forward when an excellent cross-field pass from Michael Plunkett found the visiting number 22 who blasted the ball to the roof of the net. Suddenly Ballintubber were back in the match and they were level only moments later when the influential Michael Plunkett kicked over the levelling score. A rattled Bohola Moy-Davitts side did score before the break to lead 0-9 to 1-5 .
The homeside started the second half much brightly with Diarmuid O’Connor kicking over a huge score from the right wing to level. Back came the East Mayo side to lead again as play was going from end to end with Diarmuid O’Connor to score twice from frees to suddenly put Ballintubber into the lead for the first time at 1-8 to 0-10. The game was temporarily stopped on numerous occasions due to injuries where the unfortunate Michael Plunkett seemed to hurt his left ankle again as he had to be escorted off the field. Moments later the Moysiders were level as the game was heating up and when Ballintubber wing-back Aaron Lally broke forward he confidently pushed Ballintubber out in front again. The ball was fizzing up and down the field as nobody wanted to lose and when Bryan Walsh kicked over his second score and Ballintubber’s last score of the match it looked as if victory was in sight at 1-10 to 0-11. Credit however to the visitors as they never panicked and they picked away at the lead to level to leave a nervy final spell as both teams went for the win. However despite a number of chances both teams failed to raise the white flag again where close on 10 minutes of injury time was played with both teams to be credited on as enjoyable game of football you would see this time of the year. Indeed it is such a shame that the Under 21 grade is pushed aside most years as this grade of football can be the most enjoyable. Next Saturday at 3.30pm in Ballina sees the second game of this group where winner gets a place in the last 8. Best for Ballintubber were captain and full-back Joe Geraghty who put his body on the line as did Dave Clarke at centre-half-back with Sean Staunton bagging the games only goal while Jarlath Staunton also stood out. In the middle Diarmuid O’Connor stood out as usual where his free-taking role proved to be crucial while David McHale worked hard in his midfield shift. Up front full-forward Conor Finnerty always looked dangerous where he pointed 3 times and he nearly kicked over the winner. Outside of him Bryan Walsh and Michael Plunkett showed well with 3 points between them while the nippy Stephen Finnerty also had his moments.
Ballintubber team that lined out : Tom McGing, Sean Staunton (1-0), Joe Geraghty (Capt), Jarlath Staunton, Aaron Lally (0-1), Dave Clarke, John Kerrigan, Diarmuid O’Connor (0-3,2f), David McHale, Keelan McDonnell, Bryan Walsh (0-2), Michael Plunkett (0-1), Patrick Burke, Conor Finnerty (0-3), Stephen Finnerty. Subs used – Darragh McGovern for Patrick Burke, Adrian Murphy for Michael Plunkett (inj), Michael Conway for John Kerrigan
Senior League Division 1 Saturday October 17th
Ballintubber 2-10 2-14 Garrymore
Our Senior teams League aspirations all but ended in Clogher on Saturday evening when an impressive Garrymore side were well deserving winners against a Ballintubber side still smarting from the County Semi-Final defeat 6 days earlier. Despite missing a host of players, the homesides were never in the game except for the opening minutes after the teams were matched at 0-3 each. With Brendan Walsh in the Ballintubber goal kept busy, he was unlucky not to stop a blasting shot from Garrymore midfielder Shane Nally which found the corner of the Ballintubber net. Indeed the full-forward line of Jimmy Killeen, Enda Varley and Mark Tierney were causing endless problems for the Ballintubber defence. With Alan Dillon working tirelessly in the Ballintubber attack along with promptings of Stephen Broderick and Jason Gibbons in midfield, a number of goal chances were created where each time Morvan Connolly in the Garrymore goal saved well. The Abbeysiders last point of the half came from the boot of goalkeeper Brendan Walsh where he confidently pointed a ’45 before a Mark Tierney score gave Garrymore a 1-9 to 0-5 half-time lead.
Early points after the restart from Alan Dillon & Damien McGing left just 5 points in it but further scores from Jimmy Killeen and Mark Tierney followed before the Garrymore number 15 scored his sides second major to suddenly leave a 2-12 to 0-7 scoreline. The hosts did rally with Jason Gibbons pointing 3 times while Stephen Broderick did eventually find the net as did Stephen Finnerty to put a gloss on the final score. With one game left where Kilmaine will be the visitors in the coming weeks, Ballintubber who won this title last year will have to aim to finish the season with a win as the season has finished very disappointingly for a side that were undefeated in Mayo football last year. Worryingly also that the 3 defeats suffered in Division 1A happened in Clogher while our away form has been excellent.
Ballintubber team that lined out : Brendan Walsh (0-1, ‘45), Kevin Shannon, Cathal Hallinan, Brian Murphy, Dave Clarke, Joe Geraghty, Damien Coleman, Jason Gibbons (0-3), Stephen Broderick (1-0), Stephen Finnerty (1-1), Alan Dillon (Capt) (0-1), Bryan Walsh, Damien McGing (0-2,1f), Ray Geraghty (0-1), Conor Finnerty (0-1). Subs used – Alan Plunkett for Conor Finnerty, Michael Plunkett for Dave Clarke, Sean Larkin for Damien Coleman, David McHale for Bryan Walsh.
Senior Championship Semi-Final Sunday October 11th
Breaffy 4-7 1-12 Ballintubber
Our Senior teams reign as Mayo Senior Champions came to an end in sunny McHale Park on Sunday when a goal hungry Breaffy side did enough to make it to their second County final in 3 years. The old adage goals wins games came to the fore as the underdogs came out of the traps in blistering pace and put their mark on the game from the start. With local rivalry at stake neither team wanted to lose this and when Alan Plunkett opened the scoring for the Abbeysiders inside the opening minutes, it looked as if the experienced Ballintubber side were ready for the challenge. However Breaffy had other ideas and when the first of a number of high balls were targeted at Aidan O’Shea who lined most of the game at full-forward, the games first goal resulted. The score gave the boys in the blue and white stripes an unbelievable boost and they added a point shortly afterwards courtesy of Gary Walsh. Their dominance continued when they found the net again courtesy of Tommy Reilly after the Ballintubber defence was opened up. Indeed the same player was on hand to put over a pointed free and suddenly the boys of the ‘tubber had a mountain to climb at 2-2 to 0-1. It was the fit-again Alan Dillon who began the Ballintubber fight-back when he kicked over an excellent right wing point which was quickly followed by a Cillian O’Connor free. Back again came Breaffy with Tommy Reilly kicking over impressively from a tight angle where play was going from end to end as Cillian O’Connor was next to score to leave just 5 points between the sides. As the half entered its final 10 minutes, last years County Champions seemed to be finally hitting a patch of form where again Cillian O’Connor was the main man when they cancelled another Tommy Reilly free as he left his best score of the half towards the end to leave the interval score at 2-4 to 0-6.
The Abbeysiders continued where they left off as further pressure resulted in a pointed Cillian O’Connor free with wing back Michael Plunkett pointing following excellent work by Diarmuid & Ruaidhri O’Connor where the introduction of Stephen Broderick as half-time was important. However the comeback was temporarily thwarted when Breaffy wing forward Matthew Ruane kicked over to leave a major between the sides at 0-8 to 2-5. When Damien McGing scored next it was still looking good for Ballintubber. However the high ball that broke the down the Ballintubber rearguard was used again as Aidan O’Shea fielded and was fouled which resulted in a converted Mícheál Jennings penalty. The score rattled the Abbeysiders and only moments later the net was hit again as Aidan O’Shea bagged his second goal. With the game seemingly out of sight Ballintubber kept trying to come back with substitute Conor Finnerty kicking over following a patient move. But the next score came courtesy of the games main player when Aidan O’Shea pointed with the score now Ballintubber 0-10 to 4-6. Ballintubber had failed to really threaten the Breaffy game until Robbie Hennelly in the Breaffy goal had to be smart twice to keep out strikes. Indeed the game next score came courtesy of the youngest of the O’Sheas when Conor kicked over his sides last score. The boys in red kept at it until the end where Alan Dillon added his second point while substitute Dave Clarke also got his name on the scoresheet. In the final moments Cillian O’Connor managed to somehow squeeze a free past load of Breaffy players into the net to give the scoreline a somewhat fairer reflection. The game ended shortly after and so did Ballintubber’s interest in the 2015 Championship. This team have given so many special moments over the years and they will no doubt come back again. They still have interest in the Division 1 Senior League title as they are tied at the top with Castlebar Mitchels and Hollymount-Carramore while our Under 21 team begin their Championship campaign next Saturday evening in Clogher. Check Fixtures for further details.
Ballintubber team that lined out : Brendan Walsh, Gary Loftus, Cathal Hallinan, Brian Murphy, Michael Plunkett (0-1), Danny Geraghty, Myles Kelly, Jason Gibbons, Ruaidhri O’Connor, Diarmuid O’Connor, Alan Plunkett (0-1), Damien Coleman, Damien McGing (0-1), Cillian O’Connor (1-5, 3f), Alan Dillon (0-2). Subs used : Stephen Broderick for Gary Loftus, Conor Finnerty (0-1) for Alan Plunkett, Bryan Walsh for Damien McGing, Stephen Finnerty for Damien Coleman, Dave Clarke (0-1) for Myles Kelly.
Senior League Division 1A Saturday October 3rd
Crossmolina 1-6 0-15 Ballintubber
Congrats to our Senior team who came away from Crossmolina on Saturday evening with the 2 League points on offer to keep up their push for League honours. The game was played in calm,cloudy conditions and was always competitive where the extra fitness and sharpness seen the visitors over the line. It was far from a vintage performance however with a number of fringe players given their chance to stake a claim for next weekends County Semi-Final . A highlight of the opening half was the place kicking of centre-half-back Danny Geraghty who pointed a ’45 along with 2 long range points while his brother Ray also shone at full-forward. Other scores in the half came from the experienced Gary Dillon who wore the number 15 jersey while Damien McGing scored 2 points with one a pointed free. However the Deel Rovers side also had their chances with the dangerous Fionnan Duffy comfortably converting the games only goal courtesy of a penalty just before the break to leave the interval score 0-6 to 1-3.
The sides continued to match each other early in the second half with Ray Geraghty’s point matched by a pointed free from the homeside. Again Ray Geraghty was on the scoreboard while his brother Danny kicked over another long range free where the Geraghty show continued when Ray pointed a free to suddenly have the scoreline at 0-10 to 1-4. The thorn in the Ballintubber defence Fionnan Duffy kept his side in touch when he scored twice to reduce the deficit to the minimum. It was then the 2014 County Champions introduced some of the their big guns with Jason Gibbons, Myles Kelly and Brian Murphy brought on and they helped to close out the win. However further scores were required and the busy Alan Plunkett got his name on the scoreboard with Ray Geraghty kicking over his sides twelfth point with Cathal Hallinan and Cillian O’Connor now on the field. Indeed 2 fine pointed frees from the Mayo vice-captain followed while the hard-working Damien Coleman calmly pointed his chance with the Abbeysiders joining Hollymount-Carramore on 14points with just 2 games to go. Next weekend its the big game against Breaffy in the County Semi-Final with fixture details to be confirmed shortly!
Ballintubber team that lined : Tom McGing, Gary Loftus (Capt), Joe Geraghty, Declan Larkin, Michael Plunkett, Danny Geraghty (0-4, 3f, ’45), Dave Clarke, Dean Loftus, Stephen Broderick, Damien Coleman (0-1), Alan Plunkett (0-1), Bryan Walsh, Damien McGing (0-2, 1f), Ray Geraghty (0-4, 1f), Gary Dillon (0-1). Subs used – Myles Kelly for Michael Plunkett, Jason Gibbons for Gary Dillon, Brian Murphy for Dave Clarke (inj), Cathal Hallinan for Danny Geraghty, Cillian O’Connor (0-2, 2f) for Damien McGing
Mayo Senior Championship Quarter-Final Sunday September 27th
Ballintubber 0-16 0-7 Ballina Stephenites
Congrats to our Senior team who booked a place in the last 4 of Championship following a hard-earned win over a stubborn Ballina side played in Elvery’s McHale park on Sunday. This game never quite got the pulses going but you always felt Ballintubber were comfortable throughout although it took a rasper of a shot from Ballina ace Evan Regan that smacked against the Ballintubber crossbar which seemed to ignite the Abbeysiders into action when the game was poised at 0-10 to 0-6 midway through the second half. A number of key substitutes were made where the introduction of Stephen Broderick, Conor Finnerty and Bryan Walsh helped to push the boys in red over the finish line. Ballintubber were dealt a blow before the ball was thrown in when the influential Alan Dillon was unable to start where Damien McGing was called upon to replace him. The 2014 County champions played against the stiff wind in the opening half and controlled matters for most of the half but only led 0-7 to 0-5 at the break. The West Mayo side started impressively and were 3 points up following scores from Cillian O’Connor (f) where Damien McGing scored twice while Player of the Match Diarmuid O’Connor courtesy of his left boot tested the Ballina crossbar. However the North Mayo side slowly began to come more into the game with midfielder Mikey Murray scoring his sides opening score from a free. Scores from Diarmuid O’Connor, Alan Plunkett & Stephen Finnerty pushed Ballintubber into a commanding position at 0-6 to 0-1. However the Stephenites kept plugging away with the well-marshalled Evan Regan pointing a free with David Clarke in the Ballina goal blocking a Stephen Finnerty goal attempt at the other end before Cillian O’Connor casually chipping over his sides final score of the half from the ground. Strangely it was Ballina who finished the half stronger when they scored 3 times before the interval whistle where Levi Tierney and Evan Regan (1 free) that left the game still live at half-time where there was only 2 points between the teams at 0-7 to 0-5.
The second half saw the Abbeysiders take the initiative again with the selfless Diarmuid O’Connor keeping the ball alive to set up Damien Coleman for the halves first score. Another Mikey Murray free meant a 0-8 to 0-6 scoreline and Ballintubber’s cause was not helped when corner-back Gary Loftus was black-carded for a late pull-down . However a pointed free from the right wing courtesy of Cillian O’Connor was added to by substitute Bryan Walsh where now it was 0-10 to 0-6 . Just when it looked as if the Abbeysiders were beginning to drift away Ballina ace Even Regan hit a sweet shot beyond Ballintubber ‘keeper Brendan Walsh which thankfully came back off the crossbar . However Evan Regan did point a free shortly after which turned out to be his sides last score of the match. A fine long range point from Jason Gibbons began to closing spell of dominance with Diarmuid O’Connor sensibly fisting over shortly after. Substitute Conor Finnerty got in on the scoring to put 6 between the teams at 0-13 to 0-7. Over the remaining minutes Cillian O’Connor scored 3 times to put more gloss on the scoreline . Ballintubber had other fine performances from Captain Ruaidhri O’Connor and Jason Gibbons in the middle while Brian Murphy whose dual with Evan Regan was one of the interesting features of the game. Gary Loftus was also doing well before his removal with substitute Declan Larkin in control with the promptings of wing-back Myles Kelly was also noted. However todays performance would not get over their Semi-Final opponents Breaffy in 2 weeks time with loads for the Management & Players to work on . Next up however is a trip to Crossmolina at 5pm next Saturday evening in the Division 1A Senior League.
Ballintubber team that lined out : Brendan Walsh, Gary Loftus, Cathal Hallinan, Brian Murphy, Alan Plunkett, Danny Geraghty, Myles Kelly, Jason Gibbons (0-1), Ruaidhri O’Connor (Captain, Diarmuid O’Connor (0-2), Alan Plunkett (0-1), Damien Coleman (0-1), Stephen Finnerty (0-1), Cillian O’Connor (0-6, 3f), Damien McGing (0-2). Subs used : Declan Larkin for Gary Loftus, Bryan Walsh (0-1) for Alan Plunkett, Conor Finnerty (0-1) for Stephen Finnerty, Stephen Broderick for Damien Coleman, Joe Geraghty for Michael Plunkett, Gary Dillon for Damien McGing.
County Junior A Championship Quarter-Final Sunday August 23rd
Ardagh 1-12 1-8 Ballintubber B
Our Junior teams interest in the County Junior championship ended in McHale Park on Sunday evening when a driven Ardagh side did enough to book a place in the last 4. On a murky,damp evening the North Mayo sides ability to score at crucial times along with a fortunate goal in the opening half turned out to be the main difference. The Abbeysiders matched their opponents for long periods but a sluggish start meant Ballintubber were always chasing the game. The opening half saw Ardagh out the gate quickly as they raced into a 3 points lead, however a cracking David McHale goal levelled the sides after 10 minutes. Back came Ardagh with a fine point from wing forward Kevin Moran and indeed they could have had a goal but for great defending from Sean Staunton at the expense of a point. The experienced Tommy Kilcoyne then sensibly fisted over the Abbeysiders first point to reduce the leeway to the minimum. But disaster struck when a high ball from Ardagh centre-half-forward James Carr was caught by midfielder Michael Hoban on the goal line but the ball was flicked from his hands into the net by an onrushing Ardagh forward . Suddenly the game was 1-5 to 1-1 although a fine point from Conor Finnerty did settle Ballintubber. The sides swapped points over the closing 10 minutes when again Conor Finnerty availed of a short ’45 from midfielder Dean Loftus to reduce the deficit to 3 points at 1-6 to 1-3. The unfortunate Michael Hoban who was carrying a knee injury into the game had to be replaced by Eoghan Vahey who engineered an excellent point after starting the move from deep before Ardagh kicked over their last point of the half to leave the interval score at 1-7 to 1-4.
Ballintubber needed to start the second half well as the mist continued to fall but it was the North Mayo side who raised the halves first point. Back came the boys of the ‘tubber prompted by the experienced Seamus Thomas in defence with midfielder Dean Loftus kicking over one of the scores of the match from distance. But that was quickly cancelled before a Tommy Kilcoyne free again left just one score between the teams at 1-9 to 1-6. That was as close as it got for the boys in red as 2 fine points from Ardagh side was responded to by youthful substitute Stephen O’Malley who kicked over his sides final point from play. The game was fully decided when 2 points in quick succession from the impressive James Carr at centre-half-forward who proved to be a real thorn in the Ballintubber defence throughout the hour. Dean Loftus did kick over Ballintubber’s last point from a free before Ardagh full-forward Sean Carey’s careless challenge on Seamus Thomas meant he saw red in the closing seconds. It was a battling performance from Ballintubber’s second string but on the evening Ardagh just had that little bit more and deserved their victory. Best for Ballintubber were Seamus Thomas, Sean Staunton and Kevin Shannon in defence with Sean Larkin helping out as the extra defender, Dean Loftus kept battling to the end in midfield while the experienced Tommy Kilcoyne at full-forward gave everything before he was replaced with Conor Finnerty scoring twice where David McHales goal as good as you will see in this years Junior Championship while substitute Stephen O’Malley is one to watch out for in the coming years. This team still have the matter of survival in Division 1C with 4 games left which is still very much in their own hands.
Ballintubber team that lined out – Tom McGing, Sean Staunton, Dave Clarke, Seamus Thomas, John Kerrigan, Kevin Shannon, Keith Coleman, Michael Hoban, Dean Loftus (0-2, 1f), David McHale (1-0), Conor Finnerty (0-2), Bryan Walsh, Stephen Finnerty, Tommy Kilcoyne (0-2,1f), Sean Larkin. Subs used – Eoghan Vahey (0-1) for Michael Hoban, Jonathan Nolan for John Kerrigan, Stephen O’Malley (0-1) for Sean Larkin, Eoin Heneghan for Tommy Kilcoyne
Ballintubber B 0-7 2-18 Parke/Keelogues/Crimlin
Our Junior teams survival hopes in Division 1C took another setback when a ruthless second half performance from the visitors saw them run out easy winners in sometimes sunny Clogher. The hosts had put it up to the PKC side in the opening half and were only 0-6 to 0-5 behind at the break. However the unavailability of a number of players including the ever-present Michael Hoban who got injured while playing for our Senior team on Saturday evening was central as Parke/Keelogues/Crimlin dominated around the midfield sector. The opening half saw both teams spurn a number of scoring chances, however 2 points from Dean Loftus (one free), 2 pointed frees from full-forward Tommy Kilcoyne along with an excellent long range point from centre-half-back Kevin Shannon kept the boys of the ‘tubber in touch. But the second half was a much different affair as the visitors were ruthless and bagged 2 goals along with a host of points to kill the game off as a contest well before the end. Ballintubber scores in the second half came from Dean Loftus and wing forward Aaron Lally as their position in this Divisions 1C is very much dependent on picking up a few wins out of their last 4 games. They will have to pick themselves up quickly however as next Sunday evening they play in the County A Junior Championship Quarter-Finals in McHale Park against Ardagh at 5.30 where a strong performance will be required.
Ballintubber team that lined out – Tom McGing, Sean Staunton, Dave Clarke, Nial Hession, Keith Coleman, Kevin Shannon (0-1), Jonathan Nolan, Seamus Thomas, David McHale, Sean Larkin, Dean Loftus (0-2, 1f), Aaron Lally (0-1), Stephen Finnerty, Tommy Kilcoyne (0-2, 2f), James McGing. Subs used – Eoin Heneghan for Sean Staunton, James Corbett for Nial Hession, Brian Feeney for Dave Clarke (inj), Adrian Murphy for Stephen Finnerty, Oran Scully for Jonathan Nolan
Ballintubber 0-14 0-9 Davitts
Our Senior team kept up the push for League honours when a late surge saw them overcome a dogged Davitts side in sometimes sunny Clogher on Saturday evening. The game saw the Abbeysiders without a number of key players including Jason Gibbons (operation) and Padraig O’Connor (ankle) as well as the County contingent. However Davitts were able to have Michael Conroy in their ranks but he picked up a serious looking shoulder/collarbone injury early in the opening half. The sides matched each other for long periods of the opening half and the Abbeysiders cause was not helped when the experienced midfielder Michael Hoban aggravated an old knee injury . However the hosts still managed to lead 0-7 to 0-5 at the break where Alan Plunkett (0-2), Bryan Walsh (0-2) along with a number of outrageous points from Damien McGing (0-3) had the homeside out in front. It should be noted that the visitors almost has the ball in the net but for a fine Brendan Walsh save along with alert defending from Gary Loftus earlier in the half.
A Stephen Finnerty point early in the second half pushed the hosts further out in front. But a string of poor shooting kept the South Mayo side in touch and it was no surprise midway through the second half when Davitts reduced the deficit to just the minimum 0-9 to 0-8 where Damien McGing kicked another impressive point. With substitute Myles Kelly driving the ‘tubber boys on from the half-back line along with the quick thinking Stephen Broderick now further back the field, it took an inspirational point from captain Ruaidhri O’Connor to swing the game towards the Abbeysiders following a patient build-up. During the closing minutes Ballintubber managed to close out the game following points from Stephen Finnerty (fisted), Alan Plunkett (0-2) and substitute Conor Finnerty (fisted) before the visitors blasted a goal attempt over the bar. The win pushes Ballintubber to joint top with 3 other teams on 10 points as Castlebar Mitchels lead the table on scoring average with Ballintubber second closely followed by Hollymount-Carramore and Garrymore.
Ballintubber team that lined out : Brendan Walsh, Gary Loftus, Cathal Hallinan, Brian Murphy, Joe Geraghty, Ruaidhri O’Connor (Capt) (0-1), Michael Plunkett, Danny Geraghty, Michael Hoban, Damien Coleman, Alan Plunkett (0-4), Bryan Walsh (0-2), Stephen Finnerty (0-2), Stephen Broderick, Damien McGing (0-4). Subs used : Myles Kelly for Michael Hoban (inj), Declan Larkin for Cathal Hallinan, Conor Finnerty (0-1) for Damien Coleman, Dave Clarke for Joe Geraghty, Dean Loftus for Damien McGing
Senior League Division 1A Sunday July 5th
Ballintubber 2-7 1-13 Castlebar Mitchels
Our Senior teams suffered its second league defeat in Clogher of 2015 when a determined second half from visiting Castlebar Mitchels saw them deservedly claim the 2 league points on offer. Played in cracking sunshine on a fast surface, the game had a bite about not normally associated to league games and in truth the hosts will have a number of matters to resolve if they aim to be fighting for honours later in the season. With the game being a starred encounter it meant no County players were available although it still wouldn't explain for the second half collapse. The opening half saw the homeside boss the game and were deserving of their 1-7 to 0-4 with the goal coming from corner-back Gary Loftus who was at the end of a move started by Declan Larkin in defence with Jason Gibbons providing the final pass. Earlier the eldest of the O'Connor's Padraig showed his accuracy with 3 out of his sides opening 4 points with Conor Finnerty getting enough space to pop over his only score of the game. It was Ballintubber resident Richie Feeney who opened the scoring from his roving full-forward position to give the Mitchels a decent start. However strong midfield play from Jason Gibbons and captain Ruaidhri O'Connor guaranteed good play into the threatening full-forward line where the trickery of Damien McGing was also evident. A top class left-footed point from wing forward Damien Coleman put 3 between the sides at 0-5 to 0-2 with the free-taking of Castlebar midfielder Aidan Walsh kept the townside in touch. With Brian Murphy impressing at full-back with the power of Danny Geraghty driving from the centre of the defence it was no surprise to see further scores to follow with captain Ruaidhri O'Connor pointing following good work from Conor Finnerty. Indicipline from the Abbeysiders rearguard however saw Castlebar midfielder Aidan Walsh point his second free with Padraig O'Connor closing out the half with a well taken left-footed point to leave 6 between the teams at the break at 1-7 to 0-4.
From the restart the visitors started off strongly when they almost had the ball in the Ballintubber net only for a Brendan Walsh save and a goal line clearance from wing forward Stephen Broderick. It was only a sign of things to come and moments later the Mitchels bagged their only goal with the impressive Richie Feeney pointing shortly after to suddenly leave just 2 points btween the teams. The Abbeysiders needed to respond and that they did with Stephen Broderick calmly striking the net following a pass from Padraig O'Connor. Amazingly instead of pushing on, the goal only seemed to inspire the 2013 County champions as they took a huge stranglehold of the game to outscore the homeside 0-8 to 0-0 over the final 20 minutes. Key to this was the introduction of the inspirational Neil Douglas from the subs bench with Richie Feeney also thriving. With Aidan Walsh pointing twice from frees during this spell with wing back Donal Newcombe and 2 more points from Richie Feeney had the sides level at 2-7 to 1-10. The key to the dominance was the crowding out of the midfield area as Ballintubber were living on crumbs and struggled to find a way to change the momentum. Over the final moments 3 more points were delivered for the Mitchels to book the league points which means they are now level on points with the 'boys of the 'tubber in the Division 1A League table. The best way to get over a defeat is to win the next game with further details to be announced in Fixtures shortly.
Ballintubber team that lined out : Brendan Walsh, Gary Loftus (1-0), Brian Murphy, Declan Larkin, Myles Kelly, Danny Geraghty, Michael Plunkett, Ruaidhri O'Connor (0-1), Jason Gibbons, Damien Coleman (0-1), Alan Plunkett, Stephen Broderick (1-0), Conor Finnerty (0-1), Damien McGing, Padraig O'Connor (0-4, 3f). Sub used : Ray Geraghty for Conor Finnerty
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.