December 2nd 2018
Mayo U21 ‘B’ Championship Group 3
Kilmeena 4-9 Ballintubber 0-17
Our interest in the U21 ‘B’ Championship was ended in Ballintubber this afternoon at the hands of a battling Kilmeena outfit. Having beaten us at home in this competition last year, an audacious four-goal smash ‘n’ grab in the second half was enough to see the lads from Clew Bay run out four-point winners.
Despite falling short at the group stages today without the services of the inured Stephen O’Malley and Finian Bourke, this group has certainly shown some promise under the mentorship of Damien Coleman, Cathal Hallinan, Stephen Broderick and Seanie Larkin. All but a few of those that featured today will be eligible for this grade next year, and will no doubt feature heavily for our Juniors and Seniors in the near future.
Played out in wet, slippery conditions, we pointed in the first minute through Parke native Jack Doocey, who gave an excellent display at midfield today in his adopted Red and White jersey. Kilmeena then rattled off five unanswered scores, with danger man Jack Carney leading the way in the scoring. Matthew Fox and Hugh Geraghty then pointed before Noel Geraghty took his point when a goal was on. Three frees from Senior regular Ciarán Gavin and a neat point from Jamsie Finnerty left us us 0-8 0-6 ahead at the break.
We shifted up a gear after the throw-in, with Jack Doocey, Cillian Redmond, Darragh McGovern and Keelan McDonnell all pointing to give us a commanding seven-point lead. The white flag had barely been raised to signal Keelan McDonnell’s score when a slick passing move from the visitors saw Jack Carney firing home their first goal. We were hit another right hook a minute later when a high ball was fielded on the end line by a Kilmeena player who passed to his midfield partner Ryan McGonigle to raise a second green flag.
A point from Jamsie Finnerty stretched our lead back to two as we headed into the final ten minutes, but Kilmeena were very much now smelling blood. Disaster struck in the twenty-fifth minute when a high ball was mishandled by ‘Tubber shot-stopper Niall Staunton before being bundled into the net by an alert Kilmeena player.
Having been seven points ahead earlier on in the half, we now found ourselves trailing a rampant opposition by a point. Despite our best efforts, Kilmeena were now very much in the driver’s seat as Jack Carney fired over a single. We were then clinically finished off when one of the visitors’ subs drove a piledriver of a shot past Aaron Mannion towards the end of normal time.
Not content to accept our fate, we pushed hard in injury time for a draw that may have seen us through to the knock-out stages. Jamsie Finnerty fired over the last score of 2018 by a Ballintubber player to bring the deficit back to four, but it made little difference to a Kilmeena outfit that ran out deserved winners in the end.
Ballintubber team that lined out: (1)Niall Staunton (2)Jack Walsh (4)Luke Murphy (5)Aaron Lally (6)Hugh Geraghty (0-1) (7)Ciarán Gavin (0-5, 5f) (8)Jack Doocey (0-2) (9)Keelan McDonnell (0-1) (10)Matthew Fox (0-2, 1f) (11)Noel Geraghty (0-1) (12)Cillian Redmond (0-1) (13)Jamsie Finnerty (0-3) (15)Darragh McGovern (0-1)
Substitutions used: Alan McHale for Matthew Fox, Paddy Burke for Darragh McGovern, Gavin Roache for Aaron Lally, Louis Hoban for Noel Geraghty
REPORT BY OISIN MCGOVERN