KELLY CUP Round 1 Ballintubber v Breaffy

February 25th 2018 Kelly Cup Ballintubber 0-12 Breaffy 0-9

Our seniors put in a solid shift today to kick off their season with a win against local rivals Breaffy in a freezing cold Ray Prendergast Memorial Park. A superb first half scoring display from Mayo captain Cillian O’Connor spearheaded a Ballintubber attack buttressed by the experience and guile of Alan Dillon and Padraic O’Connor. Senior newcomers Jamsie Finnerty and Noel Geraghty also brought pace and freshness to the attack with telling contributions in both halves. It was an ideal start to the tenure of new manager Kevin Johnson, who will no doubt look to build up on the good groundwork laid by Tom Prendergast last season.

Playing with an Arctic breeze in the first half, Mayo regular Cillian O’Connor led the line for the Red and White, helping himself to eight well-taken points in the first half from frees and from play. A point from the left boot of senior debutant Jamsie Finnerty put us five points ahead before Breaffy’s Gary Walsh kicked three unanswered points before Robert Fadden reduced the deficit to one. However three more precise dead balls from O’Connor gave us a three point-half point lead.

With Mayo panellist Jason Gibbons being introduced after half-time to battle Seamus O’Shea and Matthew Ruane at midfield the visitors did claw back some of this lead in the second half. Brendan Walsh was forced to tip a looping shot over his own crossbar before a fisted Conor O’Shea score reduced the deficit back to a single point.

In spite of the withdrawal of our main attacking threat in Cillian O’Connor, the Abbeysiders responded positively with older brother Padraic and Mayo veteran Alan Dillon kicking three splendid scores between them. A late free from Tommy O’Reilly was all the Breaffy attack could muster in the face of a stubborn Ballintubber defence, ensuring that we left a Baltic Clogher pitch with a well-earned win against our championship rivals.

Ballintubber team that lined out: (1)Brendan Walsh (2)Joe Geraghty (3)Cathal Hallinan (4)Declan Larkin (5)Myles Kelly (6)Damien Coleman (7)Brian Murphy (8)David McHale (9)Michael Plunkett (10)Padraic O’Connor (0-2) (11)Alan Plunkett (12)Stephen Finnerty (13)Jamsie Finnerty (0-1) (14)Cillian O’Connor (0-8, 5f) (15)Alan Dillon (0-1)

Substitutions used: Jason Gibbons for David McHale, John Kerrigan for Declan Larkin, Kevin Shannon for Joe Geraghty, Darragh McGovern for Cillian O’Connor, Noel Geraghty for Jamsie Finnerty

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