26 March 2022
Kelly Cup Round 1
Ballintubber 2-14 Louisburgh 0-7
Our seniors kick-started their season with a comprehensive and convincing away win over Louisburgh on an evening where the sun shone its heavenly rays on Clew Bay.
Enda Gilvarry’s young side, nearly all under the age of 30, were a step about their opponents in every area of the field and had the game wrapped up at half time.
It was an altogether different performance to what we produced when the Clew Bay men defeated us convincingly in Clogher last year.
Our superior fitness and conditioning yielded dividends in the amount of possession, turnovers and scores we created throughout the sixty minutes.
Our use of the kick pass was particularly incisive, allowing Ciaran Gavin and Stephen O’Malley to cause all sorts of problems for a Louisburgh full-back line that was a yard or two off the pace.
There was little sign of any early season cobwebs as we tackled well, passed the ball impressively and kicked some fine scores along the way.
The opening fifteen minutes were fairly even, with Louisburgh’s big men Oisín Lally and Padraic Prendergast looking like they might cause some trouble for a Ballintubber defence that was missing Gary Loftus.
However, with Kevin Gibbons and Dylan Prendergast missing for the West Mayo men, our full-backs didn’t have much to trouble them for most of the game.
Our opponents’ poor passing was easily mopped up by a ‘Tubber defence that was sharp and tenacious all evening.
Frank Walsh’s only major action was to produce a save after Padraic Prendergast put a powerful fist to an innocuous looking high ball.
We began to properly rock and roll mid-way through the second half when Stephen Burke – lining out at wing-back for the first time – sent a beautiful pass into Stephen O’Malley, who took his mark before kicking us 0-4 0-3 ahead.
Then began a period of play which in which we left our opponents reeling by kicking 1-8 before half-time.
Ciaran Gavin, Keelan McDonnell, Jason Gibbons and Stephen Burke all got in on the scoring act was we began to totally dominate proceedings.
We were eight points to the good just before half-time when Hugh Geraghty played in Gavin, who raised a green flag with a powerful shot into the bottom of the net.
Come half-time we were in cruise control, with the scoreboard reading 1-12 to 0-4.
Large parts of the second half were a non-event.
The gap between senior and intermediate was magnified as a frustrated Louisburgh side looked devoid of ideas and completely outplayed by our men.
The hosts would not find the posts until the 55th minute when Oisín Lally knocked over a monster score from out near the butt of Croagh Patrick.
Likewise, our lads didn’t produce anywhere near the same number of scores as they did in the first half.
The loss of the game’s top scorer Stephen O’Malley to a second yellow card blunted our attack, but we were still a long way in front.
For a long time, it appeared as if an O’Malley free and a point from Alan McHale would be our only scores of the second half.
Undeterred, we conjured a lovely move at the end which ended in Hugh Geraghty hand passing across the goal mouth for Ciaran Gavin to palm home.
Louisburgh hit the last three scores of the evening, but it was far too little, far too late for the intermediate outfit.
Onwards an upwards!
Ballintubber team that lined out: (1)Frank Walsh (2)Jack Walsh (3)John Kerrigan (4)Finian Bourke (5)Stephen Burke (0-1) (6)Joe Geraghty (7)Gavin Roache (8)Jason Gibbons (0-1) (9)David McHale (10)Darragh McGovern (11)Keelan McDonnell (0-1) (12)Hugh Geraghty (0-1) (13)Ciaran Gavin (2-3, 1f) (14)Stephen O’Malley (0-6, 3f, 2 mark) (15) Aaron Lally (0-1)
Substitutions used: Alan McHale for Keelan McDonnell (39), Cillian Joyce for Gavin Roache (42), Tom McGing for Frank Walsh (52), Aaron Lally for Dean Loftus (55), Sean McEvilly (56)
Referee: Brian Kilkelly