Kelly Cup Round 1

Kelly Cup Round 1
February 17th 2019 
Kelly Cup Round 1 
Ballintubber 0-8 Breaffy 0-8 
There’s rarely more than a kick of a ball between these two teams and that was exactly how it panned out today as we shared the points with Breaffy in Ballyheane. In truth, this was true February football as far as the scoreboard and the overall atmosphere was concerned. Nonetheless, a relatively young Ballintubber team showed well for most of the game against a very evenly matched Breaffy team. Senior debuts were handed out to Keelan McDonnell and substitutes Finian Bourke and Matthew Fox, with manager Kevin Johnson no doubt looking to strengthen the depth of his panel in the run-up to the opening round of the championship. 
With both teams lining out without any of their Mayo Senior or U20 players, corner-forward Stephen Finnerty opened the scoring for the Red and White followed by points from team captain Alan Plunkett and Stephen O’Malley. All the while full-back battled diligently with Breaffy danger man Liam Irwin, with the Cartoonbower man ensuring that the former Minor and U21 All-Ireland winner didn’t register a score from play by full time. 
Although we strung together some nice passing moves against the wind, we only registered one more score before the half time whistle through Noel Geraghty as the score read 0-4 a piece at the break. 
With neither team firing on all cylinders, the second half would prove to be a similar low-scoring affair, far removed from the white heat of the championship which we witnessed back in October. A pair of frees from Stephen O’Malley and a single from Alan Plunkett put us a point ahead before Darragh McGovern was red-carded for a high challenge midway through the half. Now with an extra man, the home team pressed forward, threatening the goal on at least two occasions without forcing a save from Brendan Walsh. However, their accuracy was very poor and we went a point in front when substitute Padraic O’Connor pointed after a neat exchange with Alan Plunkett. Breaffy struck an equalizer shortly afterwords but neither team could strike the killer blow in the remaining seven minutes, meaning it was honours even at Jarlath Killeen’s full-time whistle. A home encounter with Mitchels awaits us in Round 2. 
Ballintubber team that lined out: (16)Brendan Walsh (2)Gary Loftus (3)Joe Geraghty (4)Jarlath Staunton (5)Seanie Larkin (6)Hugh Geraghty (7)John Kerrigan (8)David McHale (9)Brian Walsh (10)Keelan McDonnell (17)Alan Plunkett  (0-2) (12) Noel Geraghty (0-1, 1f) (13)Stephen Finnerty (0-1) (14)Darragh McGovern (15)Stephen O’Malley (0-3, 3f) 
Subs used: Padraic O’Connor (0-1) for Stephen Finnerty, Finian Bourke for Jarlath Staunton, Matthew Fox for Stephen O’Malley, Kevin Shannon for John Kerrigan
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