August 24th 2019
Mayo Senior Football Championship Round 2
Ballintubber 2-10 Knockmore 1-8
Our seniors have made it two wins from two in the Mayo Senior Football Championship today as we accounted for Knockmore in Ballintubber this afternoon. With another good performance under our belts, Kevin Johnson’s men have all but secured their passage to the knockout stages of the 2019 championship. Our current and former Mayo players all stood out while in a game in which our use of possession, midfield and kicking accuracy were superior.
Although this game was sometimes below championship tempo, we never let the lead slip once. Even when Knockmore levelled the game in the second half through a sudden Darren McHale goal, we managed to keep them at arm’s length. Having played a long-kicking game in the first half, we then switched to a running game which resulted in goals from Damien Coleman and Stephen O’Malley. This gave us breathing room in the face of a plucky Knockmore outfit who arguably failed to get the best out of some of their key men.
With Cillian O’ Connor spearheading the attack impressively we lead 0-7 to 0-4 at half time. In the face of a defensive Knockmore set-up, we didn’t create any serious goal chances but did enough to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Knockmore did level the game at one point early in the second half through Darren McHale. From almost out of nowhere, the Knockmore centre-forward rifled a low shot past Brendan Walsh to equalise for the North Mayo men. However, our experience stood us in good stead as Cillian O’Connor pointed two frees to nudge us back in front.
With both Aidan Kilcoyne and Brendan Walsh constantly kicking long, Jason Gibbons and Diarmuid O’Connor continued to win primary possession around the middle. With Kevin McLoughlin playing a more defensive role, Mayo U-20 Aiden Orme was the main man for the visitors, asking serious questions of our defence. However Brian Murphy and Joe Geraghty successfully nullified their main scoring threats in Keith Ruttledge and Colm Reape.
Our first and most crucial goal came midway through the second half. Cillian O’Connor found himself close to goal before brilliantly picking out Damien Coleman with a hand pass before our captain fisted the ball into the net. O’Connor would add another free before Connell Dempsey and Peter Naughton reduced the deficit to three points.
We made certain of the result with five minutes remaining when Jason Gibbons drove up the middle before passing to Stephen O’Malley. The corner-forward then got himself into position before firing a low shot past Aidan Kilcoyne. Knockmore’s Peter Naughton pointed the last score of the game, but the result was in the bag.
Ballintubber team that line out: (1)Brendan Walsh (2)Gary Loftus (3)Joe Geraghty (4)Brian Murphy (5)Damien Coleman (1-0) (6)Michael Plunkett (0-1) (7)Myles Kelly (8)Jason Gibbons (9)Diarmuid O’Connor (0-1) (10)Ciaran Gavin (11)Alan Dillon (12)Bryan Walsh (0-1) (13)Padraig O’Connor (14)Cillian O’Connor (0-6, 5f) (15)Stephen O’Malley (1-1)
Substitutions used: Noel Geraghty for Padraig O’Connor, Keelan McDonnell for Ciaran Gavin