M Walsh Rd 1 V Claremorris

July 18 2020 - Michael Walsh Senior League Round 1
Ballintubber 0-10 Claremorris 0-8

Our Seniors marked their long-awaited return to football with a hard-earned victory away to Claremorris in the Michael Walsh Senior League this evening.

For the first time since our Connacht semi-final meeting with Corofin, men from Annies, Errew, Newtown, Clogher, Ballyglass, Ballitubber and Killawalla took to a football field once more for our 110th season.
A beautiful July evening in Claremorris provided the perfect setting on a day that was a long time coming for those who have followed the club for so many years.

The tempo was high, and plenty of fair belts were given and taken by both teams.

In the end, it was a Ballintubber team without the likes of Cillian O’Connor, Brian Walsh, and Michael Plunkett that had that bit more than the hosts, who put it up to us right until the end.

A bright start from the Abbeysiders saw us take a five-point lead at one point in the first half.

However, Claremorris had some good spells and even managed a few goal chances here and there. The likes of James Shaughnessy, Conor Diskin and Stephen McGreal asked questions of our defence, which were held out resolutely for the entire game.

Every forward left their mark on the game, with Noel Geraghty acting impressively as playmaker. Jason Gibbons and Dean Loftus paired up well together at midfield while our back six were solid throughout. Alan Dillon also showed well after coming on as a sub at half-time.

Claremorris looked threatening all the while, with James Shaughnessy adding a score to reduce the gap to two. However, Finian Bourke’s good man-marking ensured that the former Mayo panellist wasn’t allowed cut loose.

Our bright start stood to us throughout the entire game. Noel Geraghty was first to point before being cancelled out shortly after by Claremorris’ Stephen McGreal.

From then on, we hit five unanswered points with Diarmuid O’Connor’s signature long-range strike the pick of them.

Stephen O’Malley showed well, hitting a point from a free and two from play while the lively Jamsie Finnerty also hit the target.

Claremorris then hit their own purple patch, hitting four scores without reply. The South Mayo men mustered several incisive counter-attacks after turning over ball at various stages.
Indeed, they missed a serious chance on goal when Fergus McCormack sent a goal attempt flying up and over the crossbar.
A second Jamsie Finnerty strike saw Kevin Johnson’s men go in 0-7 0-5 ahead at half-time.

The second half was much more nip and tuck, with no team getting more than two scores in a row for the full thirty-odd minutes.

Both worked the ball up patiently, with neither managing to gain a foothold. However, the Red and White never surrendered the lead.
Claremorris looked threatening all the while, with James Shaughnessy adding a score to reduce the gap to two. However, Finian Bourke’s good man-marking ensured that the former Mayo panellist wasn’t allowed cut loose.

Keelan McDonnell kicked our tenth and final score after a lovely team move before Claremorris full-forward Conor Diskin brought the deficit to two.

Time ran out though, and the Boys from The ‘Tubber got their summer debut off to winning ways.

Next up, Charlestown in Clogher for Round Two of the Michael Walsh.

We go again.

Ballintubber team that lined out: (1)Brendan Walsh (2)Gary Loftus (3)Joe Geraghty (17)Finian Bourke (5)Damien Coleman (6)Brian Murphy (7)Myles Kelly (8)Jason Gibbons (9)Dean Loftus (10)Ciarán Gavin (11)Diarmuid O’Connor (0-1) (18)Keelan McDonnell (0-1) (13)Noel Geraghty (0-1) (14)Stephen O’Malley (0-4, 2f) (15)Jamsie Finnerty (0-3)

Substitutions used: Alan Dillon for Dean Loftus, Jack Walsh for Damien Coleman, Hugh Geraghty for Brian Murphy, Jarlath Staunton for Brian Murphy

Referee: Garryowen McMahon
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