Mayo Senior Championship April 7th 2018-04-07
Ballintubber 1-13 Davitts 1-9
Our seniors got their championship campaign off to the ideal start with a vital away win at Davitt Park today. On a day in which we were deprived the services of Mayo captain Cillian O’Connor our remaining forwards stepped up collectively, with substitute Stephen O’Malley also kicking two points at crucial stages after his second-half introduction. Jason Gibbons anchored midfield competently, while Mayo veteran Alan Dillon gave another fine playmaking display at centre-forward. While a comprehensive defeat of a plucky Davitts side was never on the cards this was nonetheless a solid team performance which sets us up nicely for the remaining rounds of the group stages.
On the day of their sister’s wedding, Alan and Michael Plunkett led the way in the opening few minutes with a point each. The brothers combined superbly again twelve minutes in when two-time All-Ireland winner Michael set up his older brother who finished sublimely into the bottom corner of the Davitts’ net. Singles from Bryan Walsh and Alan Dillon pushed our lead out to five before Josh Ronayne rattled the ‘Tubber net after Andy Peters was let through our defence far too easily to provide the assist for the Davitt’s captain. White flags for Peters and Aiden McTigue levelled the score before the conclusion of an evenly matched first half.
The border men opened the scoring after the interval to take the lead for the first time with a Josh Ronayne point. However four unanswered Ballintubber scores followed, with the irrepressible Alan Dillon kicking the score of the match from an acute angle midway through the second half. The home side replied with points from Ronayne and Aidan McTigue before Bryan Walsh and substitute Stephen O’Malley stretched our lead back to three, raising white flags within a minute of each other.
A fine point from the left boot of the London-based Ruaidhri O’Connor and another single from Dillon gave us breathing room in the closing stages as we eventually ran out four-point winners. Today’s victory has no doubt taken some weight off the shoulders of Kevin Johnson’s men as they begin the long wait for the visit of Breaffy in the second round.
Ballintubber team that lined out: (1)Brendan Walsh (2)Myles Kelly (3)Cathal Hallinan (4)Brian Murphy (5)Joe Geraghty (6)Damien Coleman (7)Ruaidhri O’Connor (0-1) (8)Jason Gibbons (9)Michael Plunkett (0-2) (10)Stephen Finnerty (0-1) (11)Alan Dillon (0-3, 1f) (12)Diarmuid O’Connor (0-1) (13)Bryan Walsh (0-2) (14)Alan Plunkett (1-1) (15)Padraig O’Connor
Substitutions used: Jarlath Staunton for Cathal Hallinan, Stephen O’Malley (0-2) for Padraic O'Connor
REPORT BY OISIN MCGOVERN