July 30 2020
Mayo Senior Football League Round 7
Ballintubber 0-5 Castlebar Mitchels 3-9
Our seniors have finished second from bottom of Division 1B of the Mayo Senior Football League after failing to score from play in a thirteen-point defeat to Castlebar Mitchels.
There have been so many ferocious, highly competitive clashes between ourselves and Mitchels over the years, but this wasn’t one of them.
The absence of several key players caught up with us more than ever as a near-full strength Mitchels had the game won at half-time.
Operating with fifteen men behind the ball at times, Mitchels were nearly impossible to break down in wet, greasy conditions that made the ball like an indestructible water balloon.
David Stenson, Ethan Gibbons and James Durcan were all to the fore in the Castlebar forward line as we struggled to get the ball into the danger zone, almost to the point of failure.
It took thirteen minutes for this game to produce any kind of a score when David Stenson kicked his first before the opposition landed their first goal two minutes later.
This blow was met with a positive reply from Cillian O’Connor, who’s low shot forced an excellent save form Mitchels goalie Rory Byrne.
It was all of 24 minutes before a long-range O’Connor free finally got us off the mark, but by then we were four points behind.
The half ended on a complete downer when the flying James Durcan blasted over the bar after aiming for the goal.
But the worst came five minutes later when Durcan caught a wet ball brilliantly before turning and forcing a great block from Finian Bourke, but neither Finian nor Frank Walsh could keep out Durcan’s rebound.
Little changed regarding the run of play in the second half - Mitchels continued to defend in big numbers and we were unable to find a way though the yellow phalanx.
The visitors made it 2-4 to 0-1 within a minute of the throw in before David Stenson ended the contest when he raised a green flag in the 32nd minute.
Any score we did get over the next half hour came from frees, which were mere bandages on a gaping wound.
This turned the second half into a rain-sodden procession, which ended with Mitchels topping the league and our seniors finishing second from bottom.
Ballintubber team that lined out: (1) Frank Walsh (2) Gary Loftus (3) John Kerrigan (4) Finian Bourke (5) Jack Walsh (6) Joe Geraghty (7) Hugh Geraghty (8) David McHale (9) Ciaran Gavin (0-1, 1 mark) (10) Josh Mahon (11) Alan Plunkett (12) Keelan McDonnell (13) Noel Geraghty (14) Cillian O’Connor (0-4, 3f, 1 mark)
Substitutions used: Nathan Gibbons for Noel Geraghty (55), Cathal Flannerty for Matthew Fox (60), Martin Fox for Gary Loftus (60)
Referee: John Glavey