June 18 2022
Mayo Senior League Round 3
Westport 1-11 Ballintubber 0-12
Our seniors have suffered their third defeat in three Mayo Senior League games despite a spirited comeback against Westport yesterday evening.
Despite falling seven points behind at three different stages, our lads fought back as only they can to push the Covies all the way until the end.
Ultimately, it was a second half goal from Conal Dawson which made the difference, a goal which came from one of several turnovers we conceded.
Still without the O’Connors, Bryan Walsh, Michael Plunkett, Brian Murphy and Damien Coleman, we once again place out bets on youth and experience.
We had some good flashes of play, but we still yielded far too many turnovers and saw too many of our attacks come a cropper.
We have Frank Walsh to thank for keeping us in the game with a number of impressive saves.
Likewise, the experience of Alan Plunkett, Jason Gibbons and Gary Loftus wasn’t found wanting when the heat came on.
Stephen O’Malley’s six points, including one super effort late in the second half, made him our top scorer once again.
However, the had his work cut out with the amount that we conceded in the first half.
After ‘Pudsy’ opened our account in the third minute, Westport hit eight points without reply over the next 22 minutes.
Shane Scott was a real handful at full-forward, hitting three points before moving to midfield in the second half where he also excelled.
Frank Walsh stopped one of his goal attempts with his legs while another shot flew narrowly over his crossbar.
Westport could have been way out of sight by the time Stephen O’Malley broke a 25-minute scoring drought with a free.
Trailing 0-9 0-2 at the break, we began the second half positively with scores from O’Malley and Noel Geraghty.
Frank then came to our rescue yet again when he stopped Paul Lambert’s attempt after Finbarr McLaughlin turnover over the ball near our goal.
We responded with three points in a row, including one tasty over-the-shoulder effort from ‘Bales’.
We restricted Westport to one score from play in the second half, but it was the score that would win them the game.
With 46 minutes gone, corner-forward Finbarr McLaughlin won the ball back before it had cleared ‘Tubber’s 20-yard line and handed it off to Conal Dawson.
Not even Frank Walsh could keep out the finish from young Dawson, who was one of Westport’s best performers.
True to the spirit that won five county titles, our men pressed on and hit the game’s last five scores through Plunkett, Noel Geraghty and O’Malley before Gibbons kicked our twelfth.
If we had more time, we might well have squeezed out the two-point gap. But it was not to be, and we remain winless at the bottom of Division 1B.
Ballintubber team that lined out: Frank Walsh; Gavin Roache, John Kerrigan, Jack Walsh; Stephen Burke, Finian Bourke, Myles Kelly; Hugh Geraghty, Jason Gibbons (0-1), Ciarán Gavin, Alan McHale, Keelan McDonnell; Noel Geraghty (0-3, 3f), Stephen O’Malley (0-6, 4f), Alan Plunkett (0-2)
Substitutions: Gary Loftus for Myles Kelly (39), Martin Fox for Stephen Burke (49), Matthew Fox for Ciarán Gavin (54), David McHale for Hugh Geraghty (55)
Referee: Shane Corcoran (Islandeady)