August 25th 2019
U16 ‘A’ West Mayo Championship
Ballintubber 2-12 Castlebar Mitchels 4-13
Our U16s lost out to Castlebar Mitchels in an entertaining clash in pleasant conditions in Clogher this evening. The gap between the two sides was arguably narrower than the final score suggests, but Mitchels were undoubtedly the better team. They made far better use of the ball in possession and would kill the game with three second half goals from Mark Cunningham and Peter Basquel.
Despite a number of fine displays, we did ourselves no favours at times with some poor passing and inaccuracy from placed balls. Josh Mahon excelled for the Red and White at full-forward and midfield while Stephen Burke was superb throughout the entire game. However, their efforts weren’t enough as Mitchels were simply too strong for us in the end.
A fairly even first half saw us match Mitchels’ tally of 1-5 before the break. Caoibhlinn Flatley pointed the opening score before Josh Mahon goaled when he sent a looping shot into the top corner of the net. Mitchels soon responded with a point from play before the excellent Eoin Hughes landed their first goal, reducing the deficit to one.
The remainder of the half saw both sides trade scores with neither gaining a notable foothold. The similarity between the two sets of jerseys’ led to a few occasional misplaced passes on our part. Stephen Burke clocked up two points before half-time, including one superb solo effort. Wing-back Luke Biggins also raised a white flag while a fine Josh Mahon from a tight angle levelled the game before half-time.
The introduction of Mark Cunningham and Peter Basquel for Castlebar Mitchels made a huge difference in the second half. Five minutes had elapsed when Cunningham ran through the middle before firing home his sides second goal, putting Mitchels three in front. As our opponents began to hit their stride, we hampered our own efforts with some poor passing and decision-making. We also failed to make any significant headway from any of the free kicks which we were awarded.
Despite a warrior-like display from Stephen Burke at midfield, Mitchels continued to nose ahead. ‘Tubber goalkeeper Matthew Coyne produced two excellent saves in less than five seconds at one point as Mitchels really hit their stride. A badly-needed Josh Mahon point pulled us back to within four points mid-way through the second half while we still very much in contention. Mitchels’ star man Eoin Hughes then pointed a free before substitute Peter Basquel got on the end of a flowing move to soccer-style the ball past Matthew Coyne.
Although this had dealt us a considerable blow, Ballintubber’s dynamic duo of Burke and Mahon stood up to the plate. The two of them gave the opposition the perfect response when they combined for Burke to drive through a number of Mitchels bodies before rifling home our second goal. Another point from the outstanding Burke brought the gap back to four. However, Peter Basquel’s second goal minutes from the end meant victory for the Mitchels was all but assured. Substitute Jamsie Lally and Josh Mahon added a point each before the finish, but it was the lads from Castlebar who ran out winners with seven points to spare.
Ballintubber team that lined out: (1)Matthew Coyne (2)Martin Fox (3)Darragh Joyce (4)Jack Prendergast (5)Ciaran Heneghan (6)James King (7)Luke Biggins (0-1) (8)Stephen Burke (1-5) (9)Cillian Joyce (10)Sean Duffy (11)Caoibhlinn Flatley (0-2) (12)Dean O’Malley (13)Cathal Flannery (1-3, 1f) (15)Noah Corbett
Substitutions used: Nathan Gibbons for Dean O’Malley, Jamsie Lally (0-1) for Cathal Flannery, Brendan McNally for Noah Corbett