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
Senior Championship Group C Saturday evening June 27th
Ballintubber 2-11 0-7 Crossmolina
Congrats to our Senior team and management after an excellent second half showing to brush aside Crossmolina and book a place into the last 8 for a remarkably consistent 8th season in a row. Despite being behind 0-6 to 0-5 at the break following a sharp opening half from the visitors, the hosts eventually grinded down the North Mayo side where again they were forced to start without their County contingent who were all togged. 2-4 from the boot of the in-form Alan Plunkett was a big boost, however there were also powerful performances from the likes of Gary Loftus in defence and Jason Gibbons in midfield who dominated and complimented with 2 fine points. Conditions on the evening were far from ideal with patches of rain mixed with a swirling crossfield wind on an otherwise mild evening where Cross’ had the benefit of the conditions in the first half. The Abbeysiders were somewhat sluggish in the first half and had to depend on the boot of Padraig O’Connor who pointed 3 times from frees while Alan Plunkett and Jason Gibbons were the other scorers. It has to be said the some of the Crossmolina scores were top drawer stuff as points from the likes of Conor Loftus, the returned Gabriel Walsh, wing-backs Tom Cafferty & Chris Myles along with key forward Brian Benson had the Deel Rovers side well worth their interval lead.
However the second half brought the best in the boys in red with Brian Murphy, Michael Plunkett and Danny Geraghty in particular snuffing out any scoring attempts, captain Ruaidhri O’Connor complimenting the work of his midfield partner while the honest prompting of Damien Coleman in the wing forward position was also significant. The game was level at 6 apiece after Jason Gibbons kicked over his second score of the match when he pointed from distance. On a difficult evening a traditional high ball was popped into the Crossmolina full-back-line where Padraig O’Connor helped break the ball to Alan Plunkett who didn’t need to be asked twice to find the net. This score seemed to allow the game to open up a bit more despite the visitors continuing to bring their half-forward line back, where the patience of the homeside was needed to get the scores. Ballintubber were now managing to win more of the dirty ball and this pressure allowed Damien Coleman to kick over his side 7th point. With further prompting from the likes of the busy Myles Kelly and Michael Plunkett, it was no surprise the see further scores result with Alan Plunkett at the end of a patient move to put further daylight between the teams. With substitute Alan Dillon now on the field of play, his brother Gary was also introduced and he casually kicked over a top class point from the right wing. Despite being on the back foot from most of the second half Cross did eventually break through with Conor Loftus kicking over their only point of the half. However further pressure from the ‘Tubber boys saw Alan Plunkett score again before the games second goal. It all stemmed from a short kick-out from the Crossmolina ‘keeper where another substitute Cillian O’Connor managed to win the ball and find that man again Alan Plunkett with a fine pass who wrong-footed both defender and ‘keeper to calmly find the net with his left-foot this time. Before referee Kevin Connelly blew his whistle for the last time Alan Plunkett kicked over the games final point to rubber-stamp the win and maintain Ballintubber’s remarkable consistency. After winning the Intermediate title in 2007 this team have qualified for the last 8 of the Senior Championship for an amazing 8 seasons in a row with 3 of this seasons resulting in Moclair Cup wins. The fact that they managed to win almost 2 games without their County trio tells you of the remarkable determination to keep their hands on Mayo’s top prize for as long as possible. The Quarter-Final stage of the Championship is all dependent of the fortunes of Mayo where the Connacht final is July 19th and usually in September those Quarter-final games may be played. Next Sunday sees a return to League fare where our neighbours Castlebar Mitchels come to Clogher for a 12noon start!
Ballintubber team that lined out : Brendan Walsh, Myles Kelly, Brian Murphy, Gary Loftus, Michael Plunkett, Danny Geraghty, Declan Larkin, Jason Gibbons (0-2), Ruaidhri O’Connor (Capt), Alan Plunkett (2-4), Stephen Broderick, Damien Coleman (0-1), Damien McGing, Ray Geraghty, Padraig O’Connor (0-3, 3f). Subs used : Alan Dillon for Ray Geraghty, Gary Dillon (0-1) for Stephen Broderick, Cillian O’Connor for Padraig O’Connor
Senior Championship Group 3 Sunday June 21st
Aghamore 0-10 2-8 Ballintubber
Our Senior team made it to the Quarter-Finals of the Mayo Senior Championship for a remarkable 8th season in a row following a hard-earned win over hosts Aghamore on Sunday. In a game that never sparkled, it was the ability of the visitors to get 2 crucial goals in the opening half with the advantage of the swirling wind that probably swung it but the East Mayo side can only wonder had Ballintubber custodian Brendan Walsh not pulled off at 2 top class saves in each half would the game have been different. Added to Ballintubber’s second goal from the boot of Jason Gibbons whose long ball eluded an Aghamore defender and ended up hopping into the net after ‘keeper Niall Walsh appeared to be unsighted only minutes before the interval. In fairness to the holders, their cause was not helped without the availability of the injured County trio Alan Dillon (hamstring), Cillian O’Connor (knee) and Diarmuid O’Connor (hand injury) along with the reliable Cathal Hallinan who is sidelined due to a hamstring injury also. The playing conditions were not ideal as a stiff and sometimes swirling wind made it difficult for both teams at various stages and when the homeside led 0-3 to 0-2 against the wind midway through the opening half it didn’t look good for the out of sorts ‘tubber side. However over the years we have seen this side turn games around and today it took a breaking ball to help turn the tide after opening scores from Padraig O’Connor (free) and the alert Alan Plunkett. In fact in the opening minute netminder Brendan Walsh had to be brave to make a point blank save as the hosts started strongly. It was County player Alan Freeman lining out in midfield who created a lot of Aghamore’s chances where he pointed a fine free against the wind to open his account while further points from corner-back Ciaran Harrison and his midfield partner Kenny Feeney suddenly pushed the locals in front in what turned out to be the only time in the game. The Abbeysiders then upped the ante by bagging 1-2 in a matter of minutes to swing the game where a second Padraig O’Connor free was added to by a well taken goal by Alan Plunkett. It was a Jason Gibbons long pass then was aided to by Damien McGing to the onrushing Padraig O’Connor who smartly passed the ball to his right before Ballyglass man Alan Plunkett shot to the left corner of the Aghamore net. With the score now suddenly 1-4 to 0-3 back came the boys in white where midfielder Kenny Feeney pointed his second of the match before the games second green flag. It was a fortunate goal for the Abbeysiders but it turned out to be a crucial score as Jason Gibbons will hardly score a more fortunate goal. Then the powerful Danny Geraghty from centre-half-back drove himself through a host of Aghamore players to score an excellent point , however a point deep into injury time from Alan Freeman left the interval score 2-5 to 0-5 to the visitors.
The homeside were revved up for the second half and they showed they meant business when they kicked over the halves opening points courtesy of the midfield partnership of Alan Freeman and Kenny Feeney. With the strong wind against the boys in red, they managed to eventually finally get a bit of momentum when one of the best moves of the match saw corner-back Myles Kelly sensibly fist over his sides first score of the second half. The Ballintubber defence were holding their own and when corner-forward Damien McGing pointed one of the scores of the match from an acute angle it looked good again for the boys of the ‘tubber. Back came Aghamore however and when Alan Freeman pointed another free it kept the game alive. However indicipline in the East Mayo sides ranks saw County player Brendan Harrison red carded for an off the ball incident but it didn’t seem to stop their push. Further pressure from the homeside saw Alan Freeman hit a rocket of a left-footed goal attempt towards the corner of the Ballintubber net but once again Brendan Walsh made another outstanding save to parry the ball wide where the alert wing back Declan Larkin was on hand to clear the ball to safety courtesy of a ’45 which was pointed by Alan Freeman to reduce the deficit to just 4 points at 2-7 to 0-9. Once again Aghamore dominated possession and when right corner-forward Colm Caulfield kicked over a sweet point courtesy of his left boot there was just one score between the sides. Again the experience of captain Ruaidhri O’Connor and Stephen Broderick saw the visitors create the games final scoring chance which resulted in further indiscipline in the Aghamore defence where Padraig O’Connor pointed over the games final free to seal the win. Their final game in the group sees a home game against Crossmolina who were surprisingly beaten at home last night by Ballinrobe with fixture details indicating next weekend although that may be subject to change.
Ballintubber team that lined out : Brendan Walsh, Myles Kelly (0-1), Brian Murphy, Gary Loftus, Michael Plunkett, Danny Geraghty (0-1), Declan Larkin, Jason Gibbons (1-0), Ruaidhri O’Connor (capt), Alan Plunkett (1-2), Stephen Broderick, Damien Coleman, Damien McGing (0-1), Ray Geraghty, Padraig O’Connor (0-3, 3f). Sub used – Gary Dillon for Ray Geraghty
Ballintubber 1-18 to 1-6 Knockmore
Our Senior team kept up their quest for quest for Division 1A League honours after a pretty comprehensive win over visitors Knockmore in sunny but sometimes blustery weather in Clogher on Sunday. With teams not having County players available for this fixture, it didn't seem to bother the hosts who took the game by the scruff of the neck from the start to rush in to a 0-11 to 0-1 lead at the break. The homeside had the advantage of a strong wind in the opening half where they played some fine passages of play with 0-3 from Alan Plunkett while midfielder Jason Gibbons also got in on the scoring with 0-2 points of his own where Padraig O'Connor added 0-4 with 2 from frees as Ray Geraghty and Damien Coleman also joined the scorers in the opening half.
Any chance of a second half comeback were well and truly closed out as the Abbeysiders kicked over the 3 opening points of the half where a pointed Padraig O'Connor free, a second Damien Coleman point along with one from the impressive Myles Kelly from the half-back-line via his fist left 13 points between the sides. And when Brendan Walsh pulled off another of his point blank stops it looked as if there was no way through. However the North Mayo kept battling away as they added to their opening score before Alan Plunkett popped up with his 4th score of the match with the game now 0-15 to 0-3. However a harmless challenge on the Knockmore number 14 resulted in a penalty for the Knockmore side which they duly converted. The goal seemed to re-awaken the boys in red as another Padraig O'Connor point following unselfish from Damien Coleman was then followed by Ballintubber's only goal of the game with full-forward Stephen Broderick getting the final touch to tap the ball to the net. Ray Geraghty was next to score while Alan Plunkett scored his sides final score with Knockmore tapping on a few more points before Referee Eamonn McAndrew blew his whistle for the last time. Others to impress included the impressive Gary Loftus whose anticipation was excellent all throughout while Brian Murphy once again impressed in the other corner with Cathal Hallinan steady at number 3. Danny Geraghty was comfortable at 6 while Declan Larkin also had his moments. This win pushes the Abbeysiders into second place just one point behind league leaders Crossmolina.
Ballintubber team that lined out : Brendan Walsh, Gary Loftus, Cathal Hallinan, Brian Murphy, Myles Kelly (0-1), Danny Geraghty, Declan Larkin, Jason Gibbons (0-2), Ruaidhri O'Connor (Capt), Damien Coleman (0-2), Alan Plunkett (0-5), David McHale, Padraig O'Connor (0-6, 3f), Stephen Broderick (1-0), Ray Geraghty (0-2). Subs used : Dean Loftus for David McHale, Stephen Finnerty for Ray Geraghty, Kevin Shannon for Declan Larkin, David McHale for Jason Gibbons
Ballintubber B 0-4 5-18 Ardnaree Sarsfields
Our Junior team suffered one of its worst ever defeats in the opening round of the County Junior A Championship when title pretenders Ardnaree Sarsfields were much too good for the Abbeysiders in sunny but chilly Clogher on Saturday evening. The visitors were relentless from the start as their pace and swift movement gave the Ballintubber defence major problems through out the hour and unfortunately the scoreline does not lie. The first half saw the homeside enjoy the benefit of the wind but it did little to thwart the visitors who got into their groove to deservedly led 1-7 to 0-2 at the interval where an Eddie Burke point and a fine strike from midfielder Dean Loftus were the Abbeysiders only scorers. The second half saw the North Mayo side push on to demolish whatever hopes there may have been of a comeback with 4 goals and a raft of points to bury the game as a contest. Ballintubber's second half scores came from the boot of Jonny Nolan and the tireless Michael Hoban in midfield on a disappointing evening for the hosts who will have to lift themselves for the remaining games again Charlestown B & Lahardane. Ardnaree have been the nearly men of the Junior Championship where they will no doubt come across more difficult challenges, however if they can maintain the same intensity then they will be thereabouts again come the business end of the season.
Ballintubber team that lined out : Tom McGing, Sean Staunton, Keith Coleman, James Corbett, Kevin Shannon, Seamus Thomas, Jonny Nolan (0-1), Michael Hoban (0-1), Dean Loftus (0-1), David McHale, Eoghan Vahey, Gary Dillon (Capt), Stephen Finnerty, Tommy Kilcoyne, Eddie Burke (0-1). Subs used Shane Concannon for Tommy Kilcoyne, Aaron Lally for James Corbett, John Kerrigan for Eoghan Vahey, James McGing for Seamus Thomas, Eoin Heneghan for Eddie Burke
Our Senior team began the defence of the Moclair cup in sometimes sunny but blustery Clogher on Sunday to deservedly overcome a youthful Ballinrobe side who battled to the end. The Abbeysiders, who had suffered some surprise early season losses in Clogher came out of the gates at a 100 miles an hour and blitzed the visitors in the opening half. While the South Mayo side did stage a mini revival inside the closing 10 minutes to score a cracking goal courtesy of midfielder James Murphy to reduce the deficit to just 3 points it was the only blip for the Abbeysiders. The response was exactly what you would expect from the holders when 1-2 was scored before the interval whistle where Diarmuid O'Connor pointed while the same player helped create the goal opportunity for Damien McGing while the recent Connacht Junior Championship medal holder also kicked over a classy point with the outside of his right boot to guarantee an 8 points half time lead at 1-13 to 1-5. Earlier in the half Alan Plunkett who was busy all throughout kicked over 0-4 in the first half while Diarmuid O'Connor took over the free-taking duties and he looked comfortable when pointing twice from the ground. Other scores came from corner-back Brian Murphy while centre-half-back Danny Geraghty also got on the scoreboard while Damien Coleman also helped to raise the while flag.
The second half saw captain and midfielder Ruaidhri O'Connor point over a fine score as his partnership with Jason Gibbons worked well as both complimented each other. The hard-working Damien Coleman added his second point as the homeside had the advantage of the stiff wind although a number of wides were also totted. With Cillian O'Connor now on the field it added a new focal point for the attack where another Alan Plunkett score along with a Diarmuid O'Connor point before one of the biggest cheers came for Cillian O'Connor who managed to evade his marker to fist over to push the 'tubber 1-18 to 1-7. Key player Alan Dillon who was involved in a lot of the scores managed to kick over a deserved point before referee Liam Devenney flashed a black card to Cillian O'Connor for a challenge on County team-mate Donal Vaughan much to the dismay of most present. It didn't stop the scoring however as Alan Plunkett added another 2 points to bring his tally for the game to 0-7 all from play while substitute Padraig O'Connor reminded the Ballintubber management of what he can do when he pointed twice in as many minutes to get the 19th and 20th points from play for the boys in red before referee Liam Devenney blew his whistle for the last time. Others to catch the eye included the ever dependable Gary Loftus at corner-back while Michael Plunkett looked more comfortable at number 5 in a strong performance. Next up in the Championship will be a tricky visit to Aghamore in June probably while next Saturday evening Round 2 of the Kelly Cup takes place in Clogher when Achill visit Clogher for a 7pm start.
Ballintubber team that lined out : Brendan Walsh, Brian Murphy (0-1), Cathal Hallinan, Gary Loftus, Michael Plunkett, Danny Geraghty (0-1), Declan Larkin, Jason Gibbons, Ruaidhri O'Connor Capt (0-1), Alan Plunkett (0-7), Stephen Broderick, Damien Coleman (0-2), Damien McGing (1-3, 1f), Alan Dillon (0-1), Diarmuid O'Connor (0-4, 2f). Subs used : Cillian O'Connor (0-1) for Stephen Broderick, Myles Kelly for Declan Larkin, Padraig O'Connor (0-2) for Damien Coleman, Joe Geraghty for Danny Geraghty, Ray Geraghty for Cillian O'Connor (Black Card)
Ballintubber 0-11 2-7 Breaffy
Our Senior team suffered a disappointing home defeat in Clogher when a late Breaffy goal decided the game in the opening round of the Kelly Cup. The game was well matched for long periods with the teams cancelling each other out as the half-time score of 0-8 to 1-5 was a fair reflection. The holders suffered a setback just before the interval when Dean Loftus who was going well in midfield after kicking over 2 fine points, suffered what appeared a head injury where he had to be escorted off the field. The second half was another well matched affair with some careless defending seeing the visitors pounce for their second goal of the match which turned out to be the winning score in the closing moments. With the Championship stating next weekend, the boys of the 'tubber have lots to work on with Ballinrobe the visitors to Clogher with fixture details to be confirmed!
Ballintubber team that lined out - Brendan Walsh, Brian Murphy (0-1), Cathal Hallinan, Declan Larkin, Myles Kelly, Danny Geraghty (0-1), Gary Loftus (Capt), Dean Loftus (0-2), Jason Gibbons (0-1), Alan Plunkett (0-1), Stephen Broderick (0-1), Michael Plunkett, Stephen Finnerty, Ray Geraghty (0-2, 1f), Padraig O'Connor (0-2, '45). Subs used : Michael Hoban for Dean Loftus (inj), Joe Geraghty for Myles Kelly, Damien Coleman for Jason Gibbons, Keith Coleman for Alan Plunkett.
Senior League Division 1A Sunday May 3rd
Hollymount-Carramore 1-13 3-9 Ballintubber
Our Senior team left it late before they overcame a sometimes impressive Hollymount-Carramore side in the saucer on Sunday. The Abbeysiders can thanks the Plunkett brothers who bagged the goals but they can also thank substitute Damien McGing who caused the homeside all sorts of trouble during the final 15 minutes when the visitors had to come from 4 points down. It was a game that may have been slow to start but once the teams got their bearings the large crowd were treated to some excellent passages of football particularly in the second half. Ballintubber had Jason Gibbons back in action following his lengthy injury while captain Ruaidhri O’Connor was back following his suspension. For the second game in a row it took the West Mayo side almost 20 minutes before they opened their account courtesy of quick thinking from Padraig O’Connor who spotted the unmarked Stephen Broderick who popped over the point after the hosts centre-half-back Stephen Coen had opened the scoring. Indeed the movement from the South Mayo sides attack caused a lot of problems for the Ballintubber defence as full-forward Darren Coen was the target man on a lot of occasions. It was 0-3 to 0-2 to the hosts when the games opening goal was created following a threatening long ball from Padraig O’Connor where Michael Plunkett was brave to attack the ball as the Hollymount-Carramore’s ‘keeper came out with the ball finding its way to the back of the net. It was a brief respite as Darren Coen pointed the first of his frees before a similar long ball was targeted towards the homesides goal with that man again Michael Plunkett making contact before the games second goal came about. Before the interval the hosts pointed the halves final point with the interval score 2-2 to 0-5 in favour of the visitors.
The second half saw the County Champions begin strongly with a pointed free from Padraig O’Connor while Alan Plunkett kicked over a fine point from a difficult angle to put 5 between the sides. However despite the best efforts of full-back Brian Murphy who was outstanding, some quick movement saw the hosts slowly come back into the game where Darren Coen was prominent. One of the best scores of the game was the long distant strike from Padraig O’Connor but further missed chances from the Abbeysiders attack allowed the amalgamated side back into the game with one of the biggest roars of the day when Darren Coen was at the end of a passing move to score his sides only goal. With the Ballintubber lead down to the minimum, the game saw the homeside took their chance with again Darren Coen pointing from play to level while he also kicked over a huge free to put his side in front while further pressure on the over-worked Ballintubber defence saw the Hollymount-Carramore full-forward score another point. The Abbeysiders were rattled and when Alan Plunkett’s goal attempt hammered off the woodwork the hosts went down the other end to extend their lead at 1-11 to 2-5. In fact last years County Intermediate finalists could have scored their second goal but for a top class save from Brendan Walsh in the Ballintubber goal although the homeside did eventually get a point. At the other end selfless play from the tireless Alan Dillon plus prompting from the Plunketts as well as substitute Damien McGing whose pace was beginning to open up the South Mayo sides defence. The afore mentioned was next to score after more build-up play from Alan Dillon while the games final and crucial goal was also created by the County star with Alan Plunkett following the pass to batt the ball to the net. Suddenly the game was level with the youngest of the O’Connor’s Diarmuid kicking over an excellent point from the right wing while he took over the free-taking duties where he calmly pointed a free to push 2 between the sides at 3-8 to 1-12. The sides exchanged points where Darren Coen pointed his sides last score from a free while Alan Dillon got his name on the scoresheet to ensure the Abbeysiders were back to winning ways. It was a good test for both sides as the Championship is just around the corner but the Abbeysiders are still without Cathal Hallinan and Cillian O’Connor due to injury. Next up is a home game in Clogher against Knockmore next Sunday at 2pm. Best for Ballintubber were Brendan Walsh who keeps making crucial saves while Brian Murphy, Danny Geraghty and captain Ruaidhri O’Connor impressed in defence while it was great to see Jason Gibbons back in the middle with Diarmuid O’Connor getting on the scoreboard in another busy performance. The attack always looked likely to open up the hosts defence where Alan Dillon was behind a lot of the scores with both Alan & Michael Plunkett getting the crucial goals with Padraig O’Connor as well as substitute Damien McGing also making key contributions.
Ballintubber team that lined out – Brendan Walsh, Gary Loftus, Brian Murphy, Declan Larkin, Myles Kelly, Danny Geraghty, Ruaidhri O’Connor (Capt), Jason Gibbons, Diarmuid O’Connor (0-2,1f), Damien Coleman, Stephen Broderick (0-1), Michael Plunkett (2-0), Alan Plunkett (1-2), Alan Dillon (0-1), Padraig O’Connor (0-2,1f). Subs used – Damien McGing (0-1) for Damien Coleman, Joe Geraghty for Gary Loftus, Stephen Finnerty for Padraig O’Connor.
Senior League Division 1A Sunday April 26th
Ballintubber 0-9 0-10 Ballina Stephenites
Our Senior team suffered their first League defeat since 2013 when a plucky Ballina side did enough to hold out and claim the spoils in cold, windy and sometimes sunny conditions in Clogher. The hosts can look back on a number of missed chances as well as a poor first half but in truth the North Mayo side probably did enough to warrant the 2 points on offer. While the Abbeysiders were without the Mayo duo of Jason Gibbons and Cillian O’Connor while the influential Cathal Hallinan and the recently returned Damien McGing were all unavailable due to injury with Ruaidhri O’Connor suspended, the boys in red had enough opportunities to nick the win but it was not to be. The opening half saw the Stephenites settle early where their possession game frustrated their opponents and also resulted in a half-time lead of 0-6 to 0-2 where full-forward Ray Geraghty was the homesides only scorer with 2 pointed frees.
Indeed the early moments of the second half saw the visitors extent their lead although Ballintubber were slowly beginning the turn the tide. It was a Brendan Walsh save that lifted the siege followed by persistence from left-half-back Declan Larkin who somehow won a ’45 at the other end of the pitch. Padraig O’Connor expertly pointed the resulting ’45 to help kick-start the comeback. With Diarmuid O’Connor impressing in midfield, further scores followed where the crafty Alan Dillon pointed twice during this spell while another Ray Geraghty point had suddenly livened the game as there was just one score between the teams at 7 to 6 to Ballina. A brief Ballina attack seen them score only their second point of the half with the 2 Plunkett brothers turning the game on its head when they both pointed. It was Michael who was at the end of move to point while his brother Alan fisted over after Ballina ‘keeper David Clarke had saved a goal attempt. It looked as if the Abbeysiders had made the comeback complete when Alan Plunkett kicked over a fine point from the right wing to put his side into the lead for the only time in the game. However the lead only lasted moments before the 2005 All-Ireland Club champions levelled the game before a late free saw them pick up their first win of the League. In truth they didn’t deserve to lose although the comeback from the hosts should have at least warranted a share of the points. However there is loads to work on before the opening Championship encounter in a few weeks time against Ballinrobe while next Sunday sees a visit to Hollymount to take on recently promoted and high flying Hollymount-Carramore at 2pm. Others to shine for the Abbeysiders included Gary Loftus, Brian Murphy and Myles Kelly in defence, Diarmuid O’Connor in midfield while the Plunkett brothers as well as Alan Dillon in attack kept the ‘tubber boys in the game.
Ballintubber team that lined out : Brendan Walsh, Gary Loftus, Brian Murphy, Joe Geraghty, Myles Kelly, Danny Geraghty, Declan Larkin, Stephen Broderick, Diarmuid O’Connor, Damien Coleman, Alan Plunkett (0-2), Alan Plunkett (0-2), Michael Plunkett (0-1), Ray Geraghty (0-3, 3f), Padraig O’Connor (0-1, ’45). Subs used : Michael Hoban for Damien Coleman (inj), Daniel Loftus for Michael Hoban (black card), David McHale for Padraig O’Connor (black card).
Senior League Division 1A Saturday April 11th
Breaffy 0-7 1-13 Ballintubber
Our Senior team began the 2015 Division 1A League with a comfortable win over an indiscipled Breaffy side who self-destructed in the opening 15 minutes. On an ideal evening for the opening round in Breaffy with mainly cool,calm, cloudy and sometimes showery conditions, the Abbeysiders began the game with nearly half their Championship winning team missing. Out due to injury included Alan Dillon, Jason Gibbons, Cillian O'Connor while Cathal Hallinan and Stephen Broderick are also on the injury list so the win is even more worthy. It was the hosts who opened the scoring as Ballintubber fielded all but two of the team that claimed the County Cup last Monday evening in Knockmore. With Diarmuid O'Connor and the fit-again Declan Larkin back, it wasn't long before the teams were level following good build-up play from Diarmuid O'Connor who supplied Alan Plunkett with his first scoring chance which he calmly converted. With the hosts using Aidan O'Shea at centre-half-back, it didn't cause much problem to the visitors however as his marker Alan Plunkett pointed his second in as many minutes. The game began tense as neither side wanted to lose the bragging rights as well as the points on offer although it blew up when a number of players got involved in a few brawls following a strike on Ballintubber midfielder Dean Loftus . Referee Kevin Connelly had little choice but to flash the red card to Seamus O'Shea with the next score coming courtesy of Diarmuid O'Connor when he sensibly fisted over his sides third score of the game after the game calmed down for a brief period. The next major incident occured when Breaffy's Aidan O'Shea seemed to stamp on Ballintubber's centre-half-back Danny Geraghty when coming out with the ball. Again Referee Kevin Connelly had to flash the red card and suddenly the game seemed to drop its intensity. It was full-forward Ray Geraghty who was next to score following a patient move from deep to leave 3 points between the sides. Amazingly the homeside managed to level the game in a matter of minutes following pointed frees from Conor O'Shea and goalie Robert Hennelly along with a fine point from their wing forward. But up stood the hard-working Damien Coleman who kicked one of his trademark left-footed points while left wing back Declan Larkin kicked over a classy long range point from the outside of his boot. The pressure continued and when an unusual hop seemed to skip by Breaffy keeper Robert Hennelly to the waiting hands of midfielder Ruaidhri O'Connor inside the '14 yard line, it resulted in the games only goal. Despite the dominance the boys of the 'tubber did miss a number of scoring chances before Ruaidhri O'Connor finished out the opening halves scoring to leave the interval score 1-7 to 0-5 to the visitors.
The second half was a much quieter affair as the hosts managed to snuff out a number of Ballintubber attacks while even managing to reduce the deficit in the opening 10 minutes. Gradually scores started to come once again where the busy Alan Plunkett led the way with 2 more Damien Coleman points following as well as Ruaidhri O'Connor who ended as the games top scorer with 1-2. His brother substitute Padraig joined the action and he added to the scoreboard before the third sending off happened when Ruaidhri O'Connor reacted to a dangerous tackle which was deemed a sending-off offence, a first for this player. The game petered off with both sides exchanging points where the lion-hearted Gary Loftus pointed the games final score before the large crowd left. Next up is home game in Clogher against Ballina Stephenites who were surprisingly beaten this evening by recently promoted Hollymount-Carramore in Ballina.
Ballintubber team that lined out : Brendan Walsh, Gary Loftus (0-1), Brian Murphy, Joe Geraghty, Myles Kelly, Danny Geraghty, Declan Larkin (0-1), Dean Loftus, Ruaidhri O'Connor (1-2), Damien Coleman (0-3), Alan Plunkett (0-3), Diarmuid O'Connor (0-1), Michael Plunkett, Ray Geraghty (0-1), Damien McGing. Subs used : Padraig O'Connor (0-1) for Ray Geraghty, David McHale for Dean Loftus, Stephen Finnerty for Diarmuid O'Connor
County Cup Final 2014 Easter Monday April 6th
Ballintubber 2-19 1-8 Kiltane
Our Senior team managed to finally close out last years historic campaign following the impressive 14 points win over a game Kiltane team in Knockmore to get its hand on the County Cup. This competition was formed for the Divisional winners with the Abbeysiders first winning the Kelly Cup last Spring where they got a bye to the County Cup final before the long wait to close out the 2014 season, however they showed today even without a host of regulars they will be in the shake-up come the business end of the season. The County Champions took the game by the scruff of the neck from the throw-in and and raced into a 2-7 to no score lead inside the opening 15 minutes as their quick movement and pace caused all sorts of pressure for the North Mayo sides rearguard. With conditions dry and mainly cool where a crossfield wind blew, it was centre-half-forward Alan Plunkett who pointed inside the opening minute and he was to have a fine game as he ended the games top scorer with a tally of 1-4. Indeed scores were coming from all over the field as Damien McGings pace reaped dividends where the three Geraghty brothers all got on the scoreboard which may indeed be a first. Full-forward Ray was a target with his customary points while Danny scored twice in the half while the youngest of the Geraghty's Joe travelled from his corner-back role to also calmly slot over. It was Alan Plunkett who scored the games first goal in off the post following unselfish work from Ray Geraghty while the roles were reversed for the second goal. With Brian Murphy at full-back making numerous attacks from defence while captain Ruaidhri O'Connor and fit-again Dean Loftus winning a lot around the middle, the boys of the 'tubber were full value for impressive start. However Kiltane reminded them that the game was far from over when they bagged 1-1 in minutes, however normal service resumed with Michael Plunkett also getting in on the scoring before the half-time break with the score 2-10 to 1-4 .
Any chance of a Kiltane comeback was thwarted early on as again as points from Alan Plunkett, Damien McGing and a fisted David McHale point kept matters under control. Indeed further scores followed for Ballintubber with Damien Coleman completing the forward lines 6th scorer along with a third Danny Geraghty point as the game petered out with Ray Geraghty and Michael Plunkett as well as a second Damien Coleman point from a difficult angle where the games opening scorer Alan Plunkett also closed out his sides last score of the game. Late Kiltane points did bring a bit more respectability to the scoreline before referee Ronan Gurren blew for the last time. The Abbeysiders looked refreshed on the evening and with a number of key players not back from injury along with the County contingent, team selection will be getting more difficult as the season unfolds. Afterwards Captain Ruaidhri O'Connor accepted the cup from County Board Delegate Sean McHale where he congratulated Kiltane on the Comórtos success over the weekend. However the new Management haven't much time to dwell on this success as the new League season begins next weekend as the Abbeysiders make the short trip to Breaffy to take on the hosts at 6pm next Saturday evening. While on Sunday our Junior team make the long trip to Achill for a 2pm start. The 2015 season is really only beginning, lets hope it has as much success as the one we have just closed out.
Ballintubber team that lined out : Brendan Walsh, Gary Loftus, Brian Murphy, Joe Geraghty (0-1), Myles Kelly, Danny Geraghty (0-3), Sean Larkin, Dean Loftus, Ruaidhri O'Connor, Damien Coleman (0-2), Alan Plunkett (1-4), David McHale (0-2), Michael Plunkett (0-2), Ray Geraghty (1-2, 1f), Damien McGing (0-3). Subs used : Kieran Shannon for Sean Larkin (inj), Alan Larkin for Damien McGing, John Kerrigan for David McHale.
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.