Match Reports

Connacht Semi Final 2019

November 10th 2019
Connacht Senior Football Championship Semi-Final
Corofin 1-10 Ballintubber 0-11
Yet another Connacht campaign has come to an end at the hands of the all-conquering Corofin. In a bitterly cold Tuam Stadium, the Galway kingpins proved once again why they are the All-Ireland champions as they refused to be ground down by our Seniors.
No one Corofin player tipped the balance on this occasion, but the class, skills, athleticism, and experience they displayed collectively meant they never looked like losing.
Once again, the Red and White could not be faulted for effort and left absolutely everything out on the field. Our lads threw everything at them during this intense and physical encounter and managed a late rally, but Corofin managed to hold on. Both teams defended in large numbers, were evenly matched at midfield where Jason Gibbons and Diarmuid O’Connor put up a huge battle.
 
Just like last year, it was a Corofin goal early in the second half which proved to be the game's critical score. Barely two minutes had passed in the second half when Micháel Lundy appeared to over-carry the ball before launching it into corner-back Liam Silke who caught it in space before finishing past Brendan Walsh. Having lead 0-5 0-4 at half-time, this goal put the Galway men into a commanding position.
Wing-forward Jason Leonard was lethal on the frees and converted three crucial kicks from the ground in the second half. When full-forward Martin Farragher kicked his second point of the afternoon, Corofin were six points in front and look as if they would pull away. However, our lads dug even deeper.
The Red and White fought like hungry wolves for every ball and persevered to grind out five successive scores in the final twenty minutes. Points from play from Brian Murphy and Alan Plunkett, plus three Cillian O’Connor frees brought us back to within a point of Corofin.
With the game in injury time, we went in search of a leveller. We won Bernard Power’s next kick-out but were eventually turned over on the end line. The All-Ireland champions got the ball up the field and eventually won a free, which substitute Darragh Silke dispatched shortly before the full-time whistle.
It was obvious early on that this wasn’t going to be a shoot-out. Both teams defended and attacked in large numbers, meaning scores were hard to come by. Although the game was played at a break-neck speed, the early exchanges were very tit-for-tat. Despite the low scoring, tough tackles were given and taken and the game saw its fair share of yellow cards.
Corofin landed the opening two points through Michael Farragher and Kieran Molloy. Ballintubber eventually got off the mark after ten minutes when a shot from Diarmuid O’Connor went over the bar before bouncing off the top of the net.
We made amends for the concession of the two earlier scores as our backs kept Micháel Lundy and Ian Burke while Martin Farragher wouldn’t score until the second half.
 
Neat scores from Stephen O’Malley and Michael Plunkett levelled the game before Corofin’s attacking corner-back Liam Silke pointed to nudge the Galway men back in front.
They had a guilt-edge goal chance stopped when Silke drove through before forcing a fine save from Brendan Walsh. Amidst a scramble, the ball eventually trickled to Kieran Molloy who trickled his shot wide.
We levelled once more through a well-taken Cillian O’Connor free from the right-hand side, but a placed ball from Jason Leonard saw the All-Ireland champions lead 0-5 0-4 at the break.
Just as Ian Burke had done last year, the hammer blow was dealt by Liam Silke when the Galway panellist landed the game’s only goal shortly after half-time.
 
Jason Leonard cancelled out frees from Ciaran Gavin and Cillian O’Connor with three superbly-taken dead balls to push Corofin five ahead.
Almost through sheer force of will alone, we pointed five times in a row to bring the game back to within a point. However, it just wasn’t meant to be.
Darragh Silke’s clincher in injury time sent Corofin into the Connacht Final, once more cementing their legacy as one of the greatest club teams ever to play the game.
Ballintubber team that lined out: (1)Brendan Walsh (2)Gary Loftus (3)Brian Murphy (0-1) (4)Ruaidhri O’Connor (5)Damien Coleman (6)Michael Plunkett (0-1) (7)Myles Kelly (8)Jason Gibbons (9)Diarmuid O’Connor (0-1) (10)Ciarán Gavin (0-1, 1f) (11)Cillian O’Connor (0-5, 5f) (12)Bryan Walsh (13)Alan Plunkett (0-1) (14)Alan Dillon (15)Stephen O’Malley (0-1)
Substitutions used: Keelan McDonnell for Alan Plunkett, Padraig O’Connor for Ciarán Gavin, Joe Geraghty for Myles Kelly

Connacht Senior Quarter Final 2019

November 3rd 2019
Connacht Senior Club Championship Quarter-Final
Ballintubber 1-11 Glencar/Manhorhamilton 0-9
Our seniors ground out yet another hard-fought win today against Leitrim champions Glencar/Manorhamilton to book their place in the Connacht Semi-Final for the second year in a row.
With Noel Geraghty and Cillian O’Connor among our chief injury concerns, an almighty challenge awaits us as we prepare for battle with All-Ireland champions Corofin yet again next Sunday.
With the wind and wet making for difficult playing conditions, our lads had that bit extra in defence and midfield against a valiant opposition. The difficult playing conditions saw both teams hit their fair share of wide and concede several turnovers. Alan Plunkett’s goal early in the second half proved to be the game’s key moment as the men from Leitrim pushed us all the way to end. The sending off of Killian McGriskin for Glencar/Manorhamilton early in the second half also proved to be decisive in ensuring we maintained our lead.
Decked out with at least seven current and former Leitrim county panellists, the likes of James Glancy, Evan Sweeney and captain Conor Dolan clicked well as a unit and posed a threat up front, particularly in the first half.
However, the Ballintubber defence came out on top in the second half, with key interventions from the likes of Brian Murphy and Gary Loftus restricting them to two points from play.
Similarly, Jason Gibbons excelled at midfield and out-fetched Leitrim panellists Darren Sweeney and Paddy McGuire to help drive us forward. In the end, the scores dried up for Glencar/Hamilton as points from Alan Dillon and Stephen
O’Malley saw us prevail by five points.
The game started very positively for the Abbeysiders as we landed the opening three scores. Ciaran Gavin and Stephen O’Malley pointed a free each before Ciaran kicked our first point from play after a good move.
In the absence of Cillian O’Connor, we kicked some good long ball into Stephen early on. Indeed, he had the ball in the net at one stage but the goal was ruled out due to him picking the ball off the ground.
Glencar/Manorhamilton then got up and running with three successive scores to level the game. Former Leitrim star James Glancy kicked their first before captain Conor Dolan kicked two frees from near the goal.
A tightly-contested first half ticked along, with three scores from Ciaran Gavin and Stephen O’Malley helping us to a narrow 0-6 0-5 half-time lead.
Needing an improvement in the second half, we landed our only goal not long after the throw-in. A good team move saw Damien Coleman assist Alan Plunkett to blast the ball to the roof of the net with barely a minute played in the third quarter.
Glencar/Manorhamilton responded with a massive free from James Glancy and were still very much in contention.
However, we upped our game as the excellent Jason Gibbons pointed to put us four in front. As the Annies man got the better of the Leitrim champions at midfield, we took greater control of the game. Our opponents were reduced to 14 men when Killian McGriskin received a second yellow but still defended stubbornly, turning over a lot of our attacks.
What scores Glencar/Hamilton did manage were cancelled out by points from Alan Plunkett, Alan Dillon and Stephen O’Malley, meaning we got over the line with 5 points to spare.
 
Ballintubber team that line out: (1)Brendan Walsh (2)Gary Loftys (3)Brian Murphy (4)Ruaidhri O’Connor (5)Damien Coleman (6)Michael Plunkett (7)Myles Kelly (8)Jason Gibbons (0-1) (9)Diarmuid O’Connor (10)Ciarán Gavin (0-4, 1f) (20)Alan Plunkett (1-1) (12)Bryan Walsh (13)Noel Geraghty (14)Alan Dillon (0-1) (15)Stephen O’Malley (0-4, 4f)
Substitutions used: Keelan McDonnell for Noel Geraghty (inj.), Joe Geraghty for Myles Kelly, Padraic O’Connor for Alan Plunkett, Jamsie Finnerty for Alan Dillon

SENIOR COUNTY FINAL 2019

County Final Match Report
October 19th 2019
Mayo Senior Football Championship County Final
Ballintubber 1-14 Ballaghaderreen 1-11
Another glorious chapter in our club’s 109-year history was written last night as our Seniors battled their way to a fifth Senior County Title in 10 years. Much like last year’s victory, this was as much a testament to the character of this team as to their footballing ability. No man could be faulted as Kevin Johnson’s men edged out Ballaghaderreen in what was an extremely tight contest. Every player played their part and stood up to the occasion as our experience and calmness under pressure extended our lead to three in the dying minutes.
Ballaghaderreen were gallant opponents throughout a game in which the teams were level ten times. However, our defence held out manfully in the last ten minutes as Keelan McDonnell and Cillian O’Connor kicked vital insurance scores. An excellent goal from Michael Plunkett before half-time, as well as a super second-half point from Diarmuid O’Connor, would also prove to be crucial scores.
Many had predicted this would be a close and cagey encounter, and that is how it panned out. For most of this game, neither the scoreboard nor the run of play gave an indication as to who would prevail. Ballagh’s forwards looked threatening early on, with the legendary Andy Moran kicking their opening two scores. At the other end, Cillian O’Connor kicked points from play off both feet either side of Moran’s points.
As Ballagh’s midfield put it up to Jason Gibbons and Diarmuid O’Connor, scores from Cormac Doohan, Luke O’Grady, Stephen O’Malley and Cillian brought the scores to 0-4 each.
We came within centimetres of a three-pointer at one stage when Cillian volleyed a long ball from Jason Gibbons, but his shot was cleared off the line.
A free from Ciaran Gavin was then cancelled out by a point from Owen Jordan before Ballagh’ manufactured their only goal. Corner-forward Cormac Doohan got on the end of a long ball over the ‘Tubber defence before rounding Brendan Walsh to finish from point-blank. Noel Geraghty saw a shot at goal smothered at one point before a close-range Andy Moran free put the East Mayo men four in front.
We clawed the gap back to one point in the final minutes of the second half when landed one of our most important scores. Centre-back Michael Plunkett drove past a few Ballaghadereen men, played a clever one-two with Jason Gibbons, and then went past Patrick Sharkey before tapping the ball into the net.
This score was no more than we deserved for the enormous shift we had put in all over the field. A Stephen O’Malley point right at the very end of the half levelled the scores, which read 1-6 apiece at the break.
The second half was a similar affair, with teams being level on four occasions. With David Drake constantly on his case, Cillian O’Connor got the scoring going from a free. Ballaghaderreen wing-back David McBrien drove forward fisted a score before Andy Moran pointed after seeing a goal shot saved by Brendan Walsh. The game was levelled yet again when Moran’s effort was cancelled out by a Stephen O’Malley effort.
With a light raining falling in fits and starts, there was still very little to separate the two sides. All of our backs made key interventions on several occasions and started to lock down Ballagh’s forwards. Indeed, Cian Hanley’s point mid-way through the half would prove to be the last score our backs would yield to them from play.
Substitute Keelan McDonnell announced his arrival by pointing shortly after being introduced, bringing the game to 1-9 each.
Diarmuid O’Connor then landed one of his specialities from way out the field to put us one point in front mid-way through the half. After Cillian O’Connor and Andy Moran traded frees, Alan Dillon was sprung from the bench. The Mayo veteran’s guile and experience stood to us enormously when he set up Keelan McDonnell to kick us two points ahead.
An Andy Moran free brought Ballagh back to within a point of us as we looked set for a grandstand finish. However, the East Mayo men were kept out by a warrior-like Ballintubber defence and failed to score in the final few minutes.
Our lads closed the game out like real champions as a pair of Cillian O’Connor scores gave us a more comfortable three-point lead. Following five long minutes of added time, the final whistle sounded and Ballintubber were deservedly crowned champions.
When Damien Coleman raised Paddy Moclair to the sky once again, this group cemented their legacy as one of the finest teams ever to wear the Red and White jersey.
 
Another Connacht campaign beckons, with Leitrim champions Glencar/Manorhamilton providing the opposition in two weeks time.
“We are Ballintubber!”
Ballintubber team that lined out: (1) Brendan Walsh (2)Gary Loftus (3)Brian Murphy (4)Ruaidhri O’Connor (5)Damien Coleman (6)Michael Plunkett (1-0) (7)Myles Kelly (8)Jason Gibbons (9)Diarmuid O’Connor (0-1) (10)Ciaran Gavin (0-1, 1f) (11)Cillian O’Connor (0-7, 4f) (12)Bryan Walsh (13)Noel Geraghty (20)Alan Plunkett (15)Stephen O’Malley (0-3)
Substitutions used: Alan Dillon for Alan Plunkett, Keelan McDonnell (0-2) for Noel Geraghty, Padraic O’Connor for Stephen O’Malley

Senior League Div 4 v Killala

September 29th 2019
Mayo Senior League Division 4
Ballintubber 2-14 Killala 2-8
Our Juniors came out on top convincingly in this mid-table Division 4 fixture in Ballintubber today. Yet again, Michael Kerrigan’s charges churned out another workman-like performance and looked the better team for the entire game.  With Killala missing a number of players, our juniors defended tigerishly and showed superior accuracy in front of the posts for most of this game. With six unique scorers, we pulled well away in the second half when Stephen Broderick and David McHale got two goals in the space of a minute. Lead by the excellent Darragh Herbert, the North Mayo men plugged away and clawed back a goal, but by then the gap between the teams was too far to bridge.
The opening exchanges were very even, with both teams sharing 0-2 with fifteen minute played. Killala then took the lead when Darragh Herbert sent a rasper of a shot to the roof of the net from close range. However, our lads worked their way back into the lead slowly but surely.
Brothers Hugh and Ray Geraghty pointed two fine efforts before Alan McHale kicked his first point of the afternoon. The impressive Hugh Geraghty then kicked the pick of the scores before McHale pointed again to give us a 0-7 to 1-2 lead at half-time.
Playing on a rather slippery turf, our lads played their best football in the second half. Stephen Broderick and Hugh Geraghty pointed the first scores before Seanie Larkin got his first point from a very acute angle.
We then dealt our opponents the first of two killer blows. The first came when substitute Matthew Fox passed to Stephen Broderick who flicked the ball towards the net before it was touched in accidently by Killala’s goalie. A minute later Alan McHale sent a beautiful kick pass across the goal to his cousin David who fisted it to the back of the net. With the scores now reading 2-10 to 1-3, it was very hard to see away back for Killala.
Nonetheless, the North May men plugged away, with the excellent Darragh Herbert ploughing a lone furrow at times. The experienced Paul Earley stopped a Killala goal attempt on the line at one point as our opponents continued to ask questions.
Seanie Larkin pointed his second of the effort of the afternoon before Killala’s Herbert blasted home his second goal. A Herbert free left six between the sides, but the game was as good as over by now. David McHale pointed our last while Herbert kicked two more frees. Garryown McMahon blew the whistle exactly on the half-hour mark to hand us a deserved six-point victory.
Ballintubber team that lined out: (1)Niall Staunton (2)Kevin Shannon (3)Paul Earley (4)Finian Bourke (5)Jack Walsh (6)Tom Earley (7)John Kerrigan (18)David McHale (1-1) (9)Dean Loftus (10)Hugh Geraghty (0-6, 3f) (11)Stephen Broderick (1-1) (12)Seanie Larkin (0-2) 13)Alan Larkin (14)Ray Geraghty (0-2, 1f) (15)Alan McHale (0-2)
Substitutions used: Matthew Fox for Alan Larkin, Gavin Roache for Kevin Shannon, Aaron Lally for Stephen Broderick, Liam Feeney for Ray Geraghty, Seamus Thomas for Seanie Larkin

Senior League Div 1 v Ballaghadereen

28th September 2019
Mayo Senior League Division 1
Ballintubber 1-12 Ballaghaderreen 1-9
Our Seniors survived a late rally from Ballaghaderreen in Ballintubber this evening to claim both points in this Mayo Senior League fixture. Although we were certainly the better for most of the game, Ballaghaderreen rallied late in the game and very nearly equalized right at the death. However, Sharoize Akram miscued a volley with the goal at his mercy and the ball went out for a ’45 before the final whistle was blown.
The tempo of this game and the team selection of both sides indicated that both teams had one eye on their respective Championship Semi-Finals. We lined out without the injured Alan Dillon while Cathal Hallinan started at wing-back for the first time since last year’s Connacht club final. Diarmuid O’Connor and Damien Coleman made substitute appearances for while Ballagh’ were without the likes of Seamus Cunniffe, Cian Hanley, David Drake and Owen Jordan.
It was the Red and White who were definitely the better team in the first half. Mayo star Cillian O’Connor didn’t get on the scoreboard but was heavily involved in many scores. The most crucial of these was our only goal which came when O’Connor caught a long ball from Jason Gibbons before assisting Stephen O’Malley who palmed it into an empty net. We strung together some nice moves which resulted in six points being shared between Stephen O’Malley, Ciaran Gavin, Brian Walsh and Alan Plunkett. Meanwhile, Ballaghaderreen only managed three points, with Cormac Doohan landing a solitary score from play from close range.
 
Mayo legend Andy Moran landed two frees in the first half but was closely watched by Gary Loftus, who kept the Ballagh’ Bomber scoreless from play while he was on him. Kuba Callaghan showed well for the visitors with his direct running, but Ballagh' lacked a clear attacking outlet outside of Moran early on.
Leading 1-6 to 0-3 at half-time, we looked to be in control early on in the second half. Jason Gibbons had a stormer around the middle and kicked the half’s opening point before Stephen O’Malley cancelled out an Andy Moran free. Cillian O’Connor was rested after ten minutes after Noel Geraghty pointed to put the Abbeysiders seven points ahead. Andy Moran (who finished with seven points) then kicked two frees before Jason Gibbons pointed his second.
Ballaghaderreen hit their stride in the 40th minute when Cormac Doohan set up Kuba Callaghan to finish a goal which was almost identical to Ballintubber’s earlier one. Having played well within themselves up to this point, the East Mayo side really began to play ball, with Andy Moran pointing his only score from play from a fair distance.
Ballagh’ nearly hit the net a second time but for Brian Murphy, who palmed a piledriver from Ryan Lynch up and over the bar. We had certainly slipped back a few gears in the second half and were wasteful at times. However, Jason Gibbons and Michael Plunkett played impressively and we eventually worked a score when Stephen O’Malley swung over a crucial free to put us three ahead.
Ballagh’ were not finished though. A late goal chance went astray when the newly-introduced Stephen Drake won a ball at full-forward before blasting it high and wide. The visitors nearly snatched a last-gasp equaliser when Kuba Callaghan’s shot was stopped by Tom McGing before Shoroize Akram scoffed the rebound. Time ran out for Ballagh’ and we left with both points.
Ballintubber team that lined out: (1)Brendan Walsh (2)Gary Loftus (3)Brian Murphy (4)Joe Geraghty (5)Cathal Hallinan (6)Michael Plunkett (7)Myles Kelly (8)Jason Gibbons (0-2) (9)Ciaran Gavin (0-2, 1f) (10)Noel Geraghty (0-1) (11)Brian Walsh (0-1) (12)Keelan McDonnell (13)Alan Plunkett (0-1) (14)Cillian O’Connor (15)Stephen O’Malley (1-5, 1f)
Substitutions used: Diarmuid O’Connor for Keelan McDonnell, Damien Coleman for Cathal Hallinan, Finian Bourke for Gary Loftus, Jamsie Finnerty for Cillian O’Connor, Hugh Geraghty for Brian Walsh.

Senior Championship Q-Final 2019

September 21st 2019
Mayo Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final
Ballintubber 1-12 Belmullet 1-8
Our seniors were made to work in Ballina today as they advanced to the semi-finals of the Mayo Senior Football Championship for the sixth consecutive season. A hard-fought display was given by Kevin Johnson’s charges who will face Ballina Stephenites in a fortnight’s time. Despite falling behind early on, a crucial goal by Cillian O’Connor before half-time gave us a lead which we never let slip. A Trojan display from Diarmuid O’Connor and Jason Gibbons at midfield, coupled with the accuracy of Cillian O’Connor and Stephen O’Malley, ensured we remained at least three points in front until the end.
Played out in a wet and windy James Stephen’s Park, Intermediate champions Belmullet asked plenty of questions of our team and threatened to cause an upset in the opening stages. Belmullet landed the first score before Brian Walsh and Cillian O’Connor shared three unanswered points. With the wind at their backs, the Erris men cancelled out these scores when corner-forward Ryan O’Donoghue soloed through our defence to fire in a superb goal. Belmullet then took a three-point lead when O’Donoghue and Gary Boylan pointed.
The North Mayo men were making life hard for our lads, forcing numerous turnovers in the slippery conditions. Diarmuid O’Connor helped launch a Ballintubber comeback when he landed a point before sending a long-range free into brother Cillian, who turned and sent the ball to the back of the net. Not long after the game’s most crucial score, Stephen O’Malley landed a fine score to ensure we lead 1-6 to 1-4 at the break
With the wind and the rain dying down somewhat after half-time, we upped our performance notably in the second half. With the injured Alan Dillon having withdrawn in the first half, scores from Stephen O’Malley, Cillian O’Connor and the tireless Jason Gibbons gave us a convincing five-point lead.
The Erris men kept up the pressure with the likes of Gary Boylan, Ryan O’Donoghue and Shane Nallen giving us plenty to think about. However, we played the better football as Jason Gibbons and Diarmuid O’Connor ran themselves to a standstill while Bryan Walsh had numerous possessions and linked the play well. Despite Belmullet’s efforts, our defence tightened up and kept Ryan O’Donoghue scoreless in the second half while Cillian O’Connor kept Chris Barrett occupied for most of the time. Our main marksmen in Stephen O’Malley and Cillian O’Connor shared a point each before full-time, meaning we prevailed by a relatively comfortable four-point margin.
Ballintubber team that lined out: (1)Brendan Walsh (2)Gary Loftus (19)Ruaidhri O’Connor (4)Brian Murphy (5)Damien Coleman (6)Michael Plunkett (7)Myles Kelly (8)Jason Gibbons (0-1) (9)Diarmuid O’Connor (0-1) (10)Ciarán Gavin (11)Alan Dillon (12)Bryan Walsh (0-1) (20)Noel Geraghty (14)Cillian O’Connor (1-6, 3f, 1 ’45) (15)Stephen O’Malley (0-3)
Substitutions used: Keelan McDonnell for Alan Dillon (injured), Alan Plunkett for Ciarán Gavin, Joe Geraghty for Ruaidhri O’Connor, Padraic O’Connor for Noel Geraghty, Jamsie Finnerty for Bryan Walsh (Black Card)

League Div 1 Ballintubber v Hollymont/Carramore

September 15th 2019
Mayo Senior League Division 1

Ballintubber 1-13 Hollymount/Carramore 2-8
The score-line may have suggested a tighter affair, but our Seniors looked well on their way to claiming both points for most of this League fixture
Facing into next weekend’s vital Championship games, both teams gave a good account of themselves and looked fit and sharp. However, it was Ballintubber who had that bit extra, with the home side relying a bit too much on the Darren Coen and Conor Keane for scores. Hollymount’s dynamic duo were kept on a short lead throughout by Brian Murphy and Gary Loftus who played a big part in curtailing their influence. We also created more chances and kicked fewer wides than our opponents and had the better of our neighbours around the middle of the field.
We were nearly always five or six points ahead and were able to withdraw the likes of Alan Dillon, Cillian O’Connor and Diarmuid O’Connor at relatively early stages. But for a stunning goal from Darren Coen in the final minute, we would’ve won by a more convincing margin.
 
As a soft rain made for very slippery playing conditions, a real contest unfolded in the early stages. Noel Geraghty landed the Abbeysiders’ opening score before Alan Dillon launched a long ball towards Cillian O’Connor who fielded before firing a goal past Cian Ferriter. The home side quickly set out to cancel out this score as Darren Coen hit the side netting with a goal attempt. The South Mayo men made no mistake second time around when Kevin Feerick teed up Conor Keane who sent his shot between the posts and into the net. Stephen O’Malley then pointed from an acute angle before Hollymount/Carramore’s dynamic duo of Keane and Coen forced two excellent saves from Brendan Walsh on two separate occasions.
When the ball going into Keane and Coen dried up, we proceeded to pull ahead. Five successive scores from Brian Walsh, Ciaran Gavin, Cillian O’Connor, Jason Gibbons and Stephen O’Malley pushed the Abbeysiders into a six-point lead. Points from Robert Molloy and Dylan Jennings were promptly cancelled out by a pair of scores from Cillian O’Connor, meaning we lead 1-9 to 1-3 at half time.
The tempo of the game dropped a few gears in the second half, with both teams defending and attacking in big numbers. Substitute Padraic O’Connor landed our first point before Conor Keane pointed for Holly’ after some good work by Stephen Coen. Stephen’s cousin Darren added his first point from play while Keane landed a fine point later on. Despite big shifts from likes of Kevin Feerick, Robert Molloy and Stephen Coen, the home side lacked a cutting edge upfront and were too dependent on Darren Coen and Conor Keane for scores.
Frees from Ciaran Gavin and Cillian O’Connor kept the Abbeysiders comfortably in front before Hollymount/Carrmore’s Nathan Moran was red-carded.
Despite being a man down, the home side managed to land points from Darren Coen and wing-back Dylan Jennings. With a minute remaining and the result settled, Coen gave spectators a reminder of why he is in James Horan’s plans when he somehow threaded a shot into the net past through two Ballintubber defenders and goalkeeper Brendan Walsh.
This coming Saturday sees us travel to Ballina to take on Belmullet in the Quarter-Final of the Mayo Senior Football Championship. Ar aghaidh linn le chéile!
Ballintubber team: Brendan Walsh, Gary Loftus, Brian Murphy, Myles Kelly, Damien Coleman, Michael Plunkett, Ruaidhri O’Connor, Jason Gibbons (0-1), Diarmuid O’Connor, Ciarán Gavin (0-2, 2f), Alan Dillon, Brian Walsh (0-1), Noel Geraghty (0-1), Cillian O’Connor (1-4, 2f), Stephen O’Malley (0-3)
Substitutions used: Padraic O’Connor (0-1) for Noel Geraghty, Joe Geraghty for Gary Loftus, Alan Plunkett for Diarmuid O’Connor, Keelan McDonnell for Alan Dillon, Noel Geraghty for Cillian O’Connor

Junior A Championship Q/Final

September 8th 2019
Mayo Junior Football Championship
Ballintubber 0-8 Ardagh 1-8
Despite a brave effort, it just wasn’t to be for our Juniors as we fell just short against Ardagh in Swinford today. With both teams finishing with 14 players each, this was a proper winner-take-all affair, played in a full-blooded and physical manner. In the end, we couldn’t cancel out Ardagh’s only goal which came when Mayo forward James Carr nearly burst the net with a penalty kick before half-time.
Regardless, this has undoubtedly been our Juniors’ best campaign for many years. A number of our younger players have come on leaps and bounds, with some lads almost certain to become staples of the Senior team in years to come. Similarly, our more experienced players rolled back the years on several occasions and provided enormous leadership throughout the league and championship campaign. In the white heat of championship, it was a day on which boys became men, with youngsters like Finian Bourke, Jack Walsh, Matthew Fox and Alan McHale all giving fine accounts of themselves. The experienced heads of Tom Earley, Stephen Broderick and Paul Earley certainly weren’t found wanting either and provided steadying hands throughout.
Having been arguably the better team in the first half, we let ourselves down somewhat in the second half with inaccuracy and poor decision-making at crucial moments. Were it not for some occasional mistakes and poor shot selection, we had the winning of this game throughout. We had started brightly with three successive scores from Alan McHale and Matthew Fox. Ardagh’s Kevin Moran had just pointed their opening score before their wing-back Declan Kelly was sent-off for receiving two yellow cards in the space of two minutes.
With the Red and White now a man up, we added a fourth point through a Matthew Fox free before Kevin Moran and James Carr shared a point each. The aforementioned Carr caused trouble with his direct running whenever he got possession, but a well-organised Ballintubber defence would hold him to two scores from play.
We went two ahead once more when Minor panellist Alan McHale converted a tidy ’45. However, disaster struck when Alan Larkin was black-carded and then subsequently red-carded for dissent three minutes before half-time. We were dealt a second blow when Ardagh’s Dean Martin was fouled in the box, with James Carr proceeding to blast the resulting penalty past Niall Staunton.
Now leading for the first time, the half-time score read 1-3 to 0-5 in Ardagh’s favour. The North Mayo men went two in front when the lively Kevin Moran pointed the first score of the second half with a free. As tough tackling was dealt and received by both teams, the Abbeysiders found scores hard to come by. Hugh Geraghty pointed what would be our only point from play in the second half as we begin to let ourselves down with some poor shooting.
While a number of yellow cards were flashed, Ballintubber’s Alan McHale was then black-carded quite harshly heading into the final quarter. Neither team managed to really throw off the shackles, but Ardagh kept their noses in front with a well-taken free from the ground by James Carr. Matthew Fox added two frees for us, but a free from Kevin Moran at the other end ensured that we remained a single point adrift.
With victory there for the taking, Ardagh punished us ruthlessly when a wayward hand-pass was intercepted by substitute Enda Flanagan, who proceeded to land a crucial score from the right-hand side. Brendan Carr then capped an excellent display with when he pointed the insurance score to send Ardagh through to the semi-finals with three to spare.
Ballintubber team that lined out: (1)Niall Staunton (2)Jack Walsh (3)Kevin Shannon (4)Finian Bourke (5)Jarlath Staunton (6)Paul Earley (7)John Kerrigan (8)David McHale (9)Tom Earley (10)Stephen Broderick (11)Hugh Geraghty (0-1) (12)Seanie Larkin (13)Matthew Fox (0-5, 3f) (14)Alan Larkin (15)Alan McHale (0-2, 1 ’45)
Substitutions used: Gavin Roache for Alan McHale (Black Card), Dean Loftus for Hugh Geraghty

Senior Championship Game 3

August 7th 2019

Mayo Senior Football Championship Round 3

Ballintubber 1-12 Garrymore 2-12

It was a case of “two steps forward and one step back” for our Seniors today as we progressed to the Quarter Finals of the Mayo Senior Football Championship despite losing to Garrymore. With progression to the knockout stages already assured beforehand, Kevin Johnson’s men have topped the group while Knockmore’s defeat of Hollymount/Carramore gave them safe passage to the next round.

The final score may have suggested a tighter game but this was certainly not the case. With our lads lining out without Alan Dillon and Diarmuid O’Connor, Garrymore dominated this game from the start. To their credit, ‘Garry’ gave a fine performance and will undoubtedly feel unlucky that their 2019 Championship journey is at an end. Their forwards clicked well as a unit while the likes of Shane Nally, Gary Golden, Caolan Crowe and a number of other players gave fine individual displays.

Two key first-half goals from Gary Golden and Shane Nally proved key for the South Mayo men as we frequently struggled to create chances and win primary possession. Although our lads kept within a few points of them for the entire game, we never looked like clawing back the lead. We found Garrymore’s defensive system difficult to break down while our opponents controlled possession well and created many more scoring chances.

Garry’ started both halves brightly with three unanswered scores from an even spread of players. Our first and only goal came against the run of play when a point attempt from Damien Coleman fell short to Ciarán Gavin who fisted to the net to level the game. The Mayo U20 panellist then landed two quick points to give us a very short-lived lead. Our opponents fought back ruthlessly and it wasn’t long before Gary Golden shook the net with a rebound after Gary Loftus had valiantly blocked Paul Deely’s effort on the line.

Our best spell of the game followed shortly as Keelan McDonnell, Bryan Walsh and Stephen O’Malley landed three unanswered scores. A Cillian O’Connor free briefly gave us the lead before the excellent Shane Nally drove up the middle before blasting an absolute rocket to the net past Brendan Walsh. A single point from Darren Quinn saw Garry’ run in at half-time with a deserved 2-6 to 1-6 lead.

As they had done in the first half, our opponents burst out of the traps from the throw-in. Brendan Cunningham fisted a point before Shane Nally added two more scores, including an outrageous over-the-shoulder effort from the left-hand side.

Certainly not found wanting for effort, we had our only genuine goal chance of the second half when Michael Plunkett drove a goal attempt up and over the bar. Ciaran Gavin and Bryan Walsh added two points from close range, but we still trailed by four.

Caolan Crowe added his second score of the day and would outscore Cillian O’Connor from play by the finish. A score from the lively Enda Hession put Garry’ five in front, and it became all the more obvious that they had this one wrapped up. In the face of a very tight Garrymore defence, we managed to land three scores through Ciarán Gavin, Noel Geraghty and Cillian O’Connor, leaving three between us at full-time.

 On a day in which Garrymore’s big players stood up to be counted, their three-point winning margin was arguably an unfair reflection of their dominance. Nonetheless, despite today’s setback, the Quarter Finals  beckon once more for Kevin Johnson’s men. An Tobair Abú!

 

Ballintubber team that lined out: (1)Brendan Walsh (2)Gary Loftus (3)Joe Geraghty (4)Brian Murphy (5)Damien Coleman (19)Ruaidhri O’Connor (7)Myles Kelly (8)Jason Gibbons (6)Michael Plunkett (0-1) (10)Ciaran Gavin (1-3, 1f) (21)Keelan McDonnell (0-1) (12)Bryan Walsh (0-2) (13)Padraig O’Connor (14)Cillian O’Connor (0-3, 3f) (15)Stephen O’Malley (0-1)

Substitutions used: Noel Geraghty (0-1) for Padraig O’Connor

 

U16 A West Mayo Championship

U16 A West Mayo Championship

August 25th 2019

U16 ‘A’ West Mayo Championship

Ballintubber 2-12 Castlebar Mitchels 4-13

Our U16s lost out to Castlebar Mitchels in an entertaining clash in pleasant conditions in Clogher this evening. The gap between the two sides was arguably narrower than the final score suggests, but Mitchels were undoubtedly the better team. They made far better use of the ball in possession and would kill the game with three second half goals from Mark Cunningham and Peter Basquel.

Despite a number of fine displays, we did ourselves no favours at times with some poor passing and inaccuracy from placed balls. Josh Mahon excelled for the Red and White at full-forward and midfield while Stephen Burke was superb throughout the entire game. However, their efforts weren’t enough as Mitchels were simply too strong for us in the end.

A fairly even first half saw us match Mitchels’ tally of 1-5 before the break. Caoibhlinn Flatley pointed the opening score before Josh Mahon goaled when he sent a looping shot into the top corner of the net. Mitchels soon responded with a point from play before the excellent Eoin Hughes landed their first goal, reducing the deficit to one.

The remainder of the half saw both sides trade scores with neither gaining a notable foothold. The similarity between the two sets of jerseys’ led to a few occasional misplaced passes on our part. Stephen Burke clocked up two points before half-time, including one superb solo effort. Wing-back Luke Biggins also raised a white flag while a fine Josh Mahon from a tight angle levelled the game before half-time.

The introduction of Mark Cunningham and Peter Basquel for Castlebar Mitchels made a huge difference in the second half. Five minutes had elapsed when Cunningham ran through the middle before firing home his sides second goal, putting Mitchels three in front. As our opponents began to hit their stride, we hampered our own efforts with some poor passing and decision-making. We also failed to make any significant headway from any of the free kicks which we were awarded.

Despite a warrior-like display from Stephen Burke at midfield, Mitchels continued to nose ahead. ‘Tubber goalkeeper Matthew Coyne produced two excellent saves in less than five seconds at one point as Mitchels really hit their stride. A badly-needed Josh Mahon point pulled us back to within four points mid-way through the second half while we still very much in contention. Mitchels’ star man Eoin Hughes then pointed a free before substitute Peter Basquel got on the end of a flowing move to soccer-style the ball past Matthew Coyne.

Although this had dealt us a considerable blow, Ballintubber’s dynamic duo of Burke and Mahon stood up to the plate. The two of them gave the opposition the perfect response when they combined for Burke to drive through a number of Mitchels bodies before rifling home our second goal. Another point from the outstanding Burke brought the gap back to four. However, Peter Basquel’s second goal minutes from the end meant victory for the Mitchels was all but assured. Substitute Jamsie Lally and Josh Mahon added a point each before the finish, but it was the lads from Castlebar who ran out winners with seven points to spare.

Ballintubber team that lined out: (1)Matthew Coyne (2)Martin Fox (3)Darragh Joyce (4)Jack Prendergast (5)Ciaran Heneghan (6)James King (7)Luke Biggins (0-1) (8)Stephen Burke (1-5) (9)Cillian Joyce (10)Sean Duffy (11)Caoibhlinn Flatley (0-2) (12)Dean O’Malley (13)Cathal Flannery (1-3, 1f) (15)Noah Corbett

Substitutions used: Nathan Gibbons for Dean O’Malley, Jamsie Lally (0-1) for Cathal Flannery, Brendan McNally for Noah Corbett

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