Match Reports

County Senior Championship Q Final 2020

August 29 2020

Mayo Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final

Ballintubber 0-12 Knockmore 2-11

Our interest in the Mayo Senior Football Championship has been ended by a young and dynamic Knockmore outfit, who ran out deserving winners.

While McHale Park has been the site of many great victories and sporting moments for our club, this evening it just wasn’t to be.

The North Mayo side played the superior football evening and were far more impressive upfront.

Two fabulous goals in either half from Aidan Orme and Darren McHale were the highlights an excellent attacking display from Ray Dempsey’s men.

Despite an honest effort by all who wore the Red and White, we simply didn’t have enough in the scoring department to see the game out.

The likes of McHale, Orme and Peter Naughton were superb up front for Knockmore and accounted for 2-10 of their 2-11.

The injury to Diarmuid O’Connor in the second half did us no favours, but we simply didn’t produce enough scores to catch our opponents when they pulled away in the second half.

True to their unfailing character, our lads never gave in and almost managed to a goal late on when Michael Plunkett drove through a few players before handing off to Cillian who had a shot blocked down.

While O’Connor and Jason Gibbons were a match for Kevin McLoughlin and Kieran King at midfield, it was our opponents that won the battle in front of goal.  

The first half was actually a very even affair. Even though we were playing well within ourselves, both teams were level on five occasions.

Jason Gibbons was colossal in the air and kicked an impressive score in the sixth minutes.

At times Cillian O’Connor was our only serious threat up front and ended up with 0-6 of our 0-12. The Cranmore man showed his class at one point when he blasted a rasper of a shot at Knockmore goalie Colm Reape.

At the other end, Knockmore’s kicking game was paying dividends, with the likes of Peter Naughton and Aiden Orme causing us all sorts of bother.

Darren McHale put them three in front in the 21st minute with a class finish to a move that featured a fabulous kick-pass from Naughton and then a brilliant hand pass from Orme.

We dragged the deficit back with excellent scores from Bryan Walsh and substitute Keelan McDonnell, who came on for the injured Alan Dillon.

With Knockmore leading 1-5 to 0-8 at half-time, it was still anybody’s game.

With Doc operating around full-forward after landing on his ankle in the first half, we didn’t make any great strides after the restart.

At the other end, Knockmore had their heads up and continued to defend doggedly and hassle our full-back line.

The real sickener came just before the water break when Darren Ruttledge set up Darren McHale who slid a daisy-cutter into the net past Gary Loftus and Brendan Walsh.

Now trailing 2-7 to 0-9 and looking in serious trouble, Stephen O’Malley gave us hope when he kicked a point from the right from an extremely tight angle.

However, Knockmore were now playing like men possessed and landed two further blows when Kevin McLoughlin and Darren McHale pointed in the final five minutes.

With hope fading and the clock ticking towards sixty minutes, we clawed back two more through a straightforward Cillian O’Connor free and a point from way out on the wing by Ciaran Gavin.

However, with four points separating the teams heading into the seven minutes injury time, Knockmore appeared to have done enough.

Kevin Johnson’s men made one last valiant charge at the goal when Michael Plunkett set up Cillian who saw his shot smothered by a Knockmore defence that impressed all evening.

The North Mayo men made certain when Peter Naughton kicked a free from an advanced mark before the excellent Aidan Orme kicked the clincher after a neat dummy solo.

It was a championship many thought would never take place, and one which ultimately didn’t finish the way we wanted.

A season unlike any other saw Ballintubber teams tog out in the open just like the days of old, in front of limited spectators, and eventually behind closed doors.

While strange and uncertain times are here to stay, the pride in the Red and White jersey will outlive Covid-19 and we will live to fight another day.

“Because we’re the Boys from The ‘Tubber until the very end.”

Ballintubber team that line out: (1)Brendan Walsh (2)Gary Loftus (3)Joe Geraghty (4)Myles Kelly (5)Damien Coleman (6)Michael Plunkett (7)Brian Murphy (8)Jason Gibbons (0-1) (8)Diarmuid O’Connor (10)Ciaran Gavin (0-1) (11)Alan Dillon (12)Bryan Walsh (0-2) (13)Jamsie Finnerty (14)Cillian O’Connor (0-6, 5f) (15)Stephen O’Malley (0-1)

Substitutions used: Keelan McDonnell (0-1) for Alan Dillon, Noel Geraghty for Jamsie Finnerty, Alan Plunkett for Diarmuid O’Connor, Hugh Geraghty for Joe Geraghty, Ray Geraghty for Stephen O’Malley

Referee: Garryowen McMahon 

Ballintubber v Davitts Rd.3 Championship

Mayo Senior Football Championship Round 3
August 22 2020 – Ballintubber 1-16 Davitts 0-5
Our Seniors have qualified for the Quarter-Finals of the Mayo Senior Football Championship with an impressive fourteen-point win over Davitts in Ballinrobe this evening.
Aghamore’s win over Moy Davitts means that we have topped the group on scoring difference, and will contest the knockout stages along with Aghamore, Westport, Breaffy and Ballina.
In the absence of the injured Cillian O’Connor and Brian Murphy, the rest of the lads stepped up to deliver an impressive and clinical team performance.
With ten different players scoring, every man played their part in a game which we held a six-point lead from the tenth minute.
With fluid attacking play and another assertive midfield display from Jason and Diarmuid, we dominated every area of the field.
Likewise, we were rock solid in defence, where Michael Plunkett gave an outstanding display at centre half-back.
While Davitts’ long ball strategy helped yield four points in the first half, their effort wilted in a second half in which we pulled out of sight.
Indeed the South Mayo men only managed a single point in the second half before we reeled 1-6 without reply over the remainder of the game.
Played out in an eerily quiet Flanagan Park in Ballinrobe, we impressed right from the beginning.
No man was left to do it all himself as Ciaran Gavin, Jason Gibbons, Diarmuid O’Connor, Stephen O’Malley and Bryan Walsh pointed 0-6 after only 11 minutes.
With Davitts posting big Ronan McNamara at full-forward, the border men had some success hitting long ball in his direction, managing 0-2 from advanced marks.
However, we were far more impressive, continuing to rattle off scores before a clever move ended with Jamsie Finnerty blasting a goal attempt off the upright.
While Evan and Jack Ronayne looked lively for Davitts, the likes of Gary Loftus and Joe Geraghty matched nearly everything that was thrown at them in the full-back line.
Michael Plunkett was also superb in guarding the defence from centre-back, making a number of key interventions.
Points from Jamsie, Alan Dillon, Ciaran Gavin and Bryan Walsh saw us take a 0-10 to 0-4 lead at half time, with no clear way back for Davitts.
The third quarter was a quieter affair, yet we still outscored our opponents 0-3 0-1 before the water break.
Davitts became more competitive at midfield when Ronan McNamara moved into the engine room with Stephen Nyland. However, with Colm Boyle having a quiet display, their attack was unable to penetrate the Red and White defence.
Any hope of a Davitts revival was snuffed out when Diarmuid O’Connor fired in our only goal with a low shot after receiving a clever pass from Stephen O’Malley.
Victory was a mere formality at this point, with veteran forward Alan Plunkett getting on the scoreboard shortly after being introduced.
The younger brother Michael capped a superb display when he made a rare burst forward before sending the ball straight over the black dot for the game’s last score.
Ballintubber team that lined out: (1)Brendan Walsh (2)Gary Loftus (3)Joe Geraghty (4)Myles Kelly (5)Damien Coleman (6)Michael Plunkett (0-1) (21)Hugh Geraghty (8)Jason Gibbons (0-1) (8)Diarmuid O’Connor (1-2) (10)Ciaran Gavin (0-3, 2f; 1am) (11)Keelan McDonnell (0-1) (12)Bryan Walsh (0-2) (13)Jamsie Finnerty (0-1) (18)Alan Dillon (0-1) (15)Stephen O’Malley (0-3, 1f)
Substitutions used: Alan Plunkett (0-1) for Jamsie Finnerty, Jack Walsh for Damien Coleman, Finian Bourke for Myles Kelly, Jarlath Staunton for Hugh Geraghty, Noel Geraghty for Alan Dillon
Referee: Paul Lydon
Report by Oisín McGovern

Senior Championship Rd 2 v Bohola Moy Davtts

Mayo Senior Football Championship Round 2
Ballintubber 3-19 Bohola Moy Davitts 1-7
August 8 2020
After a disappointing display against Aghamore last Saturday, our Seniors made a serious statement of intent with a superb victory over Bohola Moy Davitts in Foxford this evening.
With the banks of the River Moy glistening on a beautiful summer’s evening, our lads reminded the limited number of spectators why they are county champions.
Our play was far more fluid and our finishing more clinical than what we produced against Aghamore.
Some of our foot-passing was a joy to behold as we played with a real sense of adventure and ruthlessness.
We were particularly impressive in the final two thirds of the field, where Jason Gibbons and Bryan Walsh gave outstanding displays.
Cillian O’Connor spearheaded an attack that saw eight different players kick nineteen unique scores from play.
Our attacking intent was apparent from early on in the game. We had the ball in the net after only eight minutes when Michael Plunkett fed Jamsie Finnerty who fisted cleverly across the square for Alan Dillon to fire home.
Diarmuid O’Connor nearly had the ball in the net a minute later after dragging a daisy-cutter of a shot narrowly wide.
At the other end, Moy Davitts fed quick ball into corner-forward Brian Heneghan, who caused us some trouble with his pace.
Former Mayo panellist Brian Reape – who finished with two simple frees to his name - operated mainly around the middle where Diarmuid and Jason ran the show.
The hosts had just knocked over their fourth point when Diarmuid sent a clever ball in the direction of Stephen O’Malley who buried the ball home for our second goal.
With the scores now at 2-3 to 0-4 in our favour, the ‘Tubber were very much on the ascendency.
Michael Plunkett was hugely influential at centre-back while Jason Gibbons and Bryan Walsh caused havoc with their darting runs.
We delivered quality ball time and again and were awarded a penalty when Jamsie Finnerty was fouled in the square after being set up by Jason. Up stepped Cillian O’Connor, who sent the Moy Davitts goalie the wrong way with his conversion, putting us ten points ahead.
The Moysiders continued to cause our full-back line hassle via the long ball and managed to get their only goal when a Noel Regan free was fisted into the net on the stroke of half-time.
It proved a minor setback, as we were already in cruise control with a comfortable 3-6 to 1-4 lead.
We continued to impress in the second half, firing over four successive scores from Stephen O’Malley, Jason Gibbons and Cillian O’Connor in the space of ten minutes.
Moy Davitts managed their first points since the middle of the first half when Anthony Jordan and Brian Reape shared a free each.
However, the hosts were set back when they saw a man black-carded, which allowed us to push further ahead.
Cillian O’Connor, Jason Gibbons and Bryan Walsh continued to excel and added a point to each of their tallies. Substitutes Alan Plunkett, Noel Geraghty and Keelan McDonnell all contributed after being introduced, with Noel and Keelan hitting 0-3 between them while Plunkett was his usual lively self.
Our unrelenting effort and superb team play saw us amass 3-19 before the final whistle, leaving nobody in any doubt that Kevin Johnson’s troops are on the march once more.
Ballintubber team that lined out: (1)Brendan Walsh (2)Gary Loftus (20)Finian Bourke (4)Myles Kelly (5)Damien Coleman (6)Michael Plunkett (7)Brian Murphy (8)Jason Gibbons (0-3), (9)Diarmuid O’Connor (0-1) (10)Ciarán Gavin (18)Alan Dillon (1-0) (12)Brian Walsh (0-4) (13)Jamsie Finnerty (14)Cillian O’Connor (1-6, 1 pen, 2f)(15)Stephen O’Malley (1-2)
Substitutions used: Noel Geraghty (0-1) for Jamsie Finnerty, Keelan McDonnell (0-2) for Alan Dillon, Alan Plunkett for Stephen O’Malley, Joe Geraghty for Brian Murphy, Hugh Geraghty for Myles Kelly
Referee: Eamon McAndrew

M Walsh Rd 1 V Claremorris

July 18 2020 - Michael Walsh Senior League Round 1
Ballintubber 0-10 Claremorris 0-8

Our Seniors marked their long-awaited return to football with a hard-earned victory away to Claremorris in the Michael Walsh Senior League this evening.

For the first time since our Connacht semi-final meeting with Corofin, men from Annies, Errew, Newtown, Clogher, Ballyglass, Ballitubber and Killawalla took to a football field once more for our 110th season.
A beautiful July evening in Claremorris provided the perfect setting on a day that was a long time coming for those who have followed the club for so many years.

The tempo was high, and plenty of fair belts were given and taken by both teams.

In the end, it was a Ballintubber team without the likes of Cillian O’Connor, Brian Walsh, and Michael Plunkett that had that bit more than the hosts, who put it up to us right until the end.

A bright start from the Abbeysiders saw us take a five-point lead at one point in the first half.

However, Claremorris had some good spells and even managed a few goal chances here and there. The likes of James Shaughnessy, Conor Diskin and Stephen McGreal asked questions of our defence, which were held out resolutely for the entire game.

Every forward left their mark on the game, with Noel Geraghty acting impressively as playmaker. Jason Gibbons and Dean Loftus paired up well together at midfield while our back six were solid throughout. Alan Dillon also showed well after coming on as a sub at half-time.

Claremorris looked threatening all the while, with James Shaughnessy adding a score to reduce the gap to two. However, Finian Bourke’s good man-marking ensured that the former Mayo panellist wasn’t allowed cut loose.

Our bright start stood to us throughout the entire game. Noel Geraghty was first to point before being cancelled out shortly after by Claremorris’ Stephen McGreal.

From then on, we hit five unanswered points with Diarmuid O’Connor’s signature long-range strike the pick of them.

Stephen O’Malley showed well, hitting a point from a free and two from play while the lively Jamsie Finnerty also hit the target.

Claremorris then hit their own purple patch, hitting four scores without reply. The South Mayo men mustered several incisive counter-attacks after turning over ball at various stages.
Indeed, they missed a serious chance on goal when Fergus McCormack sent a goal attempt flying up and over the crossbar.
A second Jamsie Finnerty strike saw Kevin Johnson’s men go in 0-7 0-5 ahead at half-time.

The second half was much more nip and tuck, with no team getting more than two scores in a row for the full thirty-odd minutes.

Both worked the ball up patiently, with neither managing to gain a foothold. However, the Red and White never surrendered the lead.
Claremorris looked threatening all the while, with James Shaughnessy adding a score to reduce the gap to two. However, Finian Bourke’s good man-marking ensured that the former Mayo panellist wasn’t allowed cut loose.

Keelan McDonnell kicked our tenth and final score after a lovely team move before Claremorris full-forward Conor Diskin brought the deficit to two.

Time ran out though, and the Boys from The ‘Tubber got their summer debut off to winning ways.

Next up, Charlestown in Clogher for Round Two of the Michael Walsh.

We go again.

Ballintubber team that lined out: (1)Brendan Walsh (2)Gary Loftus (3)Joe Geraghty (17)Finian Bourke (5)Damien Coleman (6)Brian Murphy (7)Myles Kelly (8)Jason Gibbons (9)Dean Loftus (10)Ciarán Gavin (11)Diarmuid O’Connor (0-1) (18)Keelan McDonnell (0-1) (13)Noel Geraghty (0-1) (14)Stephen O’Malley (0-4, 2f) (15)Jamsie Finnerty (0-3)

Substitutions used: Alan Dillon for Dean Loftus, Jack Walsh for Damien Coleman, Hugh Geraghty for Brian Murphy, Jarlath Staunton for Brian Murphy

Referee: Garryowen McMahon

Connacht Semi Final 2019

November 10th 2019
Connacht Senior Football Championship Semi-Final
Corofin 1-10 Ballintubber 0-11
Yet another Connacht campaign has come to an end at the hands of the all-conquering Corofin. In a bitterly cold Tuam Stadium, the Galway kingpins proved once again why they are the All-Ireland champions as they refused to be ground down by our Seniors.
No one Corofin player tipped the balance on this occasion, but the class, skills, athleticism, and experience they displayed collectively meant they never looked like losing.
Once again, the Red and White could not be faulted for effort and left absolutely everything out on the field. Our lads threw everything at them during this intense and physical encounter and managed a late rally, but Corofin managed to hold on. Both teams defended in large numbers, were evenly matched at midfield where Jason Gibbons and Diarmuid O’Connor put up a huge battle.
 
Just like last year, it was a Corofin goal early in the second half which proved to be the game's critical score. Barely two minutes had passed in the second half when Micháel Lundy appeared to over-carry the ball before launching it into corner-back Liam Silke who caught it in space before finishing past Brendan Walsh. Having lead 0-5 0-4 at half-time, this goal put the Galway men into a commanding position.
Wing-forward Jason Leonard was lethal on the frees and converted three crucial kicks from the ground in the second half. When full-forward Martin Farragher kicked his second point of the afternoon, Corofin were six points in front and look as if they would pull away. However, our lads dug even deeper.
The Red and White fought like hungry wolves for every ball and persevered to grind out five successive scores in the final twenty minutes. Points from play from Brian Murphy and Alan Plunkett, plus three Cillian O’Connor frees brought us back to within a point of Corofin.
With the game in injury time, we went in search of a leveller. We won Bernard Power’s next kick-out but were eventually turned over on the end line. The All-Ireland champions got the ball up the field and eventually won a free, which substitute Darragh Silke dispatched shortly before the full-time whistle.
It was obvious early on that this wasn’t going to be a shoot-out. Both teams defended and attacked in large numbers, meaning scores were hard to come by. Although the game was played at a break-neck speed, the early exchanges were very tit-for-tat. Despite the low scoring, tough tackles were given and taken and the game saw its fair share of yellow cards.
Corofin landed the opening two points through Michael Farragher and Kieran Molloy. Ballintubber eventually got off the mark after ten minutes when a shot from Diarmuid O’Connor went over the bar before bouncing off the top of the net.
We made amends for the concession of the two earlier scores as our backs kept Micháel Lundy and Ian Burke while Martin Farragher wouldn’t score until the second half.
 
Neat scores from Stephen O’Malley and Michael Plunkett levelled the game before Corofin’s attacking corner-back Liam Silke pointed to nudge the Galway men back in front.
They had a guilt-edge goal chance stopped when Silke drove through before forcing a fine save from Brendan Walsh. Amidst a scramble, the ball eventually trickled to Kieran Molloy who trickled his shot wide.
We levelled once more through a well-taken Cillian O’Connor free from the right-hand side, but a placed ball from Jason Leonard saw the All-Ireland champions lead 0-5 0-4 at the break.
Just as Ian Burke had done last year, the hammer blow was dealt by Liam Silke when the Galway panellist landed the game’s only goal shortly after half-time.
 
Jason Leonard cancelled out frees from Ciaran Gavin and Cillian O’Connor with three superbly-taken dead balls to push Corofin five ahead.
Almost through sheer force of will alone, we pointed five times in a row to bring the game back to within a point. However, it just wasn’t meant to be.
Darragh Silke’s clincher in injury time sent Corofin into the Connacht Final, once more cementing their legacy as one of the greatest club teams ever to play the game.
Ballintubber team that lined out: (1)Brendan Walsh (2)Gary Loftus (3)Brian Murphy (0-1) (4)Ruaidhri O’Connor (5)Damien Coleman (6)Michael Plunkett (0-1) (7)Myles Kelly (8)Jason Gibbons (9)Diarmuid O’Connor (0-1) (10)Ciarán Gavin (0-1, 1f) (11)Cillian O’Connor (0-5, 5f) (12)Bryan Walsh (13)Alan Plunkett (0-1) (14)Alan Dillon (15)Stephen O’Malley (0-1)
Substitutions used: Keelan McDonnell for Alan Plunkett, Padraig O’Connor for Ciarán Gavin, Joe Geraghty for Myles Kelly

Connacht Senior Quarter Final 2019

November 3rd 2019
Connacht Senior Club Championship Quarter-Final
Ballintubber 1-11 Glencar/Manhorhamilton 0-9
Our seniors ground out yet another hard-fought win today against Leitrim champions Glencar/Manorhamilton to book their place in the Connacht Semi-Final for the second year in a row.
With Noel Geraghty and Cillian O’Connor among our chief injury concerns, an almighty challenge awaits us as we prepare for battle with All-Ireland champions Corofin yet again next Sunday.
With the wind and wet making for difficult playing conditions, our lads had that bit extra in defence and midfield against a valiant opposition. The difficult playing conditions saw both teams hit their fair share of wide and concede several turnovers. Alan Plunkett’s goal early in the second half proved to be the game’s key moment as the men from Leitrim pushed us all the way to end. The sending off of Killian McGriskin for Glencar/Manorhamilton early in the second half also proved to be decisive in ensuring we maintained our lead.
Decked out with at least seven current and former Leitrim county panellists, the likes of James Glancy, Evan Sweeney and captain Conor Dolan clicked well as a unit and posed a threat up front, particularly in the first half.
However, the Ballintubber defence came out on top in the second half, with key interventions from the likes of Brian Murphy and Gary Loftus restricting them to two points from play.
Similarly, Jason Gibbons excelled at midfield and out-fetched Leitrim panellists Darren Sweeney and Paddy McGuire to help drive us forward. In the end, the scores dried up for Glencar/Hamilton as points from Alan Dillon and Stephen
O’Malley saw us prevail by five points.
The game started very positively for the Abbeysiders as we landed the opening three scores. Ciaran Gavin and Stephen O’Malley pointed a free each before Ciaran kicked our first point from play after a good move.
In the absence of Cillian O’Connor, we kicked some good long ball into Stephen early on. Indeed, he had the ball in the net at one stage but the goal was ruled out due to him picking the ball off the ground.
Glencar/Manorhamilton then got up and running with three successive scores to level the game. Former Leitrim star James Glancy kicked their first before captain Conor Dolan kicked two frees from near the goal.
A tightly-contested first half ticked along, with three scores from Ciaran Gavin and Stephen O’Malley helping us to a narrow 0-6 0-5 half-time lead.
Needing an improvement in the second half, we landed our only goal not long after the throw-in. A good team move saw Damien Coleman assist Alan Plunkett to blast the ball to the roof of the net with barely a minute played in the third quarter.
Glencar/Manorhamilton responded with a massive free from James Glancy and were still very much in contention.
However, we upped our game as the excellent Jason Gibbons pointed to put us four in front. As the Annies man got the better of the Leitrim champions at midfield, we took greater control of the game. Our opponents were reduced to 14 men when Killian McGriskin received a second yellow but still defended stubbornly, turning over a lot of our attacks.
What scores Glencar/Hamilton did manage were cancelled out by points from Alan Plunkett, Alan Dillon and Stephen O’Malley, meaning we got over the line with 5 points to spare.
 
Ballintubber team that line out: (1)Brendan Walsh (2)Gary Loftys (3)Brian Murphy (4)Ruaidhri O’Connor (5)Damien Coleman (6)Michael Plunkett (7)Myles Kelly (8)Jason Gibbons (0-1) (9)Diarmuid O’Connor (10)Ciarán Gavin (0-4, 1f) (20)Alan Plunkett (1-1) (12)Bryan Walsh (13)Noel Geraghty (14)Alan Dillon (0-1) (15)Stephen O’Malley (0-4, 4f)
Substitutions used: Keelan McDonnell for Noel Geraghty (inj.), Joe Geraghty for Myles Kelly, Padraic O’Connor for Alan Plunkett, Jamsie Finnerty for Alan Dillon

SENIOR COUNTY FINAL 2019

County Final Match Report
October 19th 2019
Mayo Senior Football Championship County Final
Ballintubber 1-14 Ballaghaderreen 1-11
Another glorious chapter in our club’s 109-year history was written last night as our Seniors battled their way to a fifth Senior County Title in 10 years. Much like last year’s victory, this was as much a testament to the character of this team as to their footballing ability. No man could be faulted as Kevin Johnson’s men edged out Ballaghaderreen in what was an extremely tight contest. Every player played their part and stood up to the occasion as our experience and calmness under pressure extended our lead to three in the dying minutes.
Ballaghaderreen were gallant opponents throughout a game in which the teams were level ten times. However, our defence held out manfully in the last ten minutes as Keelan McDonnell and Cillian O’Connor kicked vital insurance scores. An excellent goal from Michael Plunkett before half-time, as well as a super second-half point from Diarmuid O’Connor, would also prove to be crucial scores.
Many had predicted this would be a close and cagey encounter, and that is how it panned out. For most of this game, neither the scoreboard nor the run of play gave an indication as to who would prevail. Ballagh’s forwards looked threatening early on, with the legendary Andy Moran kicking their opening two scores. At the other end, Cillian O’Connor kicked points from play off both feet either side of Moran’s points.
As Ballagh’s midfield put it up to Jason Gibbons and Diarmuid O’Connor, scores from Cormac Doohan, Luke O’Grady, Stephen O’Malley and Cillian brought the scores to 0-4 each.
We came within centimetres of a three-pointer at one stage when Cillian volleyed a long ball from Jason Gibbons, but his shot was cleared off the line.
A free from Ciaran Gavin was then cancelled out by a point from Owen Jordan before Ballagh’ manufactured their only goal. Corner-forward Cormac Doohan got on the end of a long ball over the ‘Tubber defence before rounding Brendan Walsh to finish from point-blank. Noel Geraghty saw a shot at goal smothered at one point before a close-range Andy Moran free put the East Mayo men four in front.
We clawed the gap back to one point in the final minutes of the second half when landed one of our most important scores. Centre-back Michael Plunkett drove past a few Ballaghadereen men, played a clever one-two with Jason Gibbons, and then went past Patrick Sharkey before tapping the ball into the net.
This score was no more than we deserved for the enormous shift we had put in all over the field. A Stephen O’Malley point right at the very end of the half levelled the scores, which read 1-6 apiece at the break.
The second half was a similar affair, with teams being level on four occasions. With David Drake constantly on his case, Cillian O’Connor got the scoring going from a free. Ballaghaderreen wing-back David McBrien drove forward fisted a score before Andy Moran pointed after seeing a goal shot saved by Brendan Walsh. The game was levelled yet again when Moran’s effort was cancelled out by a Stephen O’Malley effort.
With a light raining falling in fits and starts, there was still very little to separate the two sides. All of our backs made key interventions on several occasions and started to lock down Ballagh’s forwards. Indeed, Cian Hanley’s point mid-way through the half would prove to be the last score our backs would yield to them from play.
Substitute Keelan McDonnell announced his arrival by pointing shortly after being introduced, bringing the game to 1-9 each.
Diarmuid O’Connor then landed one of his specialities from way out the field to put us one point in front mid-way through the half. After Cillian O’Connor and Andy Moran traded frees, Alan Dillon was sprung from the bench. The Mayo veteran’s guile and experience stood to us enormously when he set up Keelan McDonnell to kick us two points ahead.
An Andy Moran free brought Ballagh back to within a point of us as we looked set for a grandstand finish. However, the East Mayo men were kept out by a warrior-like Ballintubber defence and failed to score in the final few minutes.
Our lads closed the game out like real champions as a pair of Cillian O’Connor scores gave us a more comfortable three-point lead. Following five long minutes of added time, the final whistle sounded and Ballintubber were deservedly crowned champions.
When Damien Coleman raised Paddy Moclair to the sky once again, this group cemented their legacy as one of the finest teams ever to wear the Red and White jersey.
 
Another Connacht campaign beckons, with Leitrim champions Glencar/Manorhamilton providing the opposition in two weeks time.
“We are Ballintubber!”
Ballintubber team that lined out: (1) Brendan Walsh (2)Gary Loftus (3)Brian Murphy (4)Ruaidhri O’Connor (5)Damien Coleman (6)Michael Plunkett (1-0) (7)Myles Kelly (8)Jason Gibbons (9)Diarmuid O’Connor (0-1) (10)Ciaran Gavin (0-1, 1f) (11)Cillian O’Connor (0-7, 4f) (12)Bryan Walsh (13)Noel Geraghty (20)Alan Plunkett (15)Stephen O’Malley (0-3)
Substitutions used: Alan Dillon for Alan Plunkett, Keelan McDonnell (0-2) for Noel Geraghty, Padraic O’Connor for Stephen O’Malley

Senior League Div 4 v Killala

September 29th 2019
Mayo Senior League Division 4
Ballintubber 2-14 Killala 2-8
Our Juniors came out on top convincingly in this mid-table Division 4 fixture in Ballintubber today. Yet again, Michael Kerrigan’s charges churned out another workman-like performance and looked the better team for the entire game.  With Killala missing a number of players, our juniors defended tigerishly and showed superior accuracy in front of the posts for most of this game. With six unique scorers, we pulled well away in the second half when Stephen Broderick and David McHale got two goals in the space of a minute. Lead by the excellent Darragh Herbert, the North Mayo men plugged away and clawed back a goal, but by then the gap between the teams was too far to bridge.
The opening exchanges were very even, with both teams sharing 0-2 with fifteen minute played. Killala then took the lead when Darragh Herbert sent a rasper of a shot to the roof of the net from close range. However, our lads worked their way back into the lead slowly but surely.
Brothers Hugh and Ray Geraghty pointed two fine efforts before Alan McHale kicked his first point of the afternoon. The impressive Hugh Geraghty then kicked the pick of the scores before McHale pointed again to give us a 0-7 to 1-2 lead at half-time.
Playing on a rather slippery turf, our lads played their best football in the second half. Stephen Broderick and Hugh Geraghty pointed the first scores before Seanie Larkin got his first point from a very acute angle.
We then dealt our opponents the first of two killer blows. The first came when substitute Matthew Fox passed to Stephen Broderick who flicked the ball towards the net before it was touched in accidently by Killala’s goalie. A minute later Alan McHale sent a beautiful kick pass across the goal to his cousin David who fisted it to the back of the net. With the scores now reading 2-10 to 1-3, it was very hard to see away back for Killala.
Nonetheless, the North May men plugged away, with the excellent Darragh Herbert ploughing a lone furrow at times. The experienced Paul Earley stopped a Killala goal attempt on the line at one point as our opponents continued to ask questions.
Seanie Larkin pointed his second of the effort of the afternoon before Killala’s Herbert blasted home his second goal. A Herbert free left six between the sides, but the game was as good as over by now. David McHale pointed our last while Herbert kicked two more frees. Garryown McMahon blew the whistle exactly on the half-hour mark to hand us a deserved six-point victory.
Ballintubber team that lined out: (1)Niall Staunton (2)Kevin Shannon (3)Paul Earley (4)Finian Bourke (5)Jack Walsh (6)Tom Earley (7)John Kerrigan (18)David McHale (1-1) (9)Dean Loftus (10)Hugh Geraghty (0-6, 3f) (11)Stephen Broderick (1-1) (12)Seanie Larkin (0-2) 13)Alan Larkin (14)Ray Geraghty (0-2, 1f) (15)Alan McHale (0-2)
Substitutions used: Matthew Fox for Alan Larkin, Gavin Roache for Kevin Shannon, Aaron Lally for Stephen Broderick, Liam Feeney for Ray Geraghty, Seamus Thomas for Seanie Larkin

Senior League Div 1 v Ballaghadereen

28th September 2019
Mayo Senior League Division 1
Ballintubber 1-12 Ballaghaderreen 1-9
Our Seniors survived a late rally from Ballaghaderreen in Ballintubber this evening to claim both points in this Mayo Senior League fixture. Although we were certainly the better for most of the game, Ballaghaderreen rallied late in the game and very nearly equalized right at the death. However, Sharoize Akram miscued a volley with the goal at his mercy and the ball went out for a ’45 before the final whistle was blown.
The tempo of this game and the team selection of both sides indicated that both teams had one eye on their respective Championship Semi-Finals. We lined out without the injured Alan Dillon while Cathal Hallinan started at wing-back for the first time since last year’s Connacht club final. Diarmuid O’Connor and Damien Coleman made substitute appearances for while Ballagh’ were without the likes of Seamus Cunniffe, Cian Hanley, David Drake and Owen Jordan.
It was the Red and White who were definitely the better team in the first half. Mayo star Cillian O’Connor didn’t get on the scoreboard but was heavily involved in many scores. The most crucial of these was our only goal which came when O’Connor caught a long ball from Jason Gibbons before assisting Stephen O’Malley who palmed it into an empty net. We strung together some nice moves which resulted in six points being shared between Stephen O’Malley, Ciaran Gavin, Brian Walsh and Alan Plunkett. Meanwhile, Ballaghaderreen only managed three points, with Cormac Doohan landing a solitary score from play from close range.
 
Mayo legend Andy Moran landed two frees in the first half but was closely watched by Gary Loftus, who kept the Ballagh’ Bomber scoreless from play while he was on him. Kuba Callaghan showed well for the visitors with his direct running, but Ballagh' lacked a clear attacking outlet outside of Moran early on.
Leading 1-6 to 0-3 at half-time, we looked to be in control early on in the second half. Jason Gibbons had a stormer around the middle and kicked the half’s opening point before Stephen O’Malley cancelled out an Andy Moran free. Cillian O’Connor was rested after ten minutes after Noel Geraghty pointed to put the Abbeysiders seven points ahead. Andy Moran (who finished with seven points) then kicked two frees before Jason Gibbons pointed his second.
Ballaghaderreen hit their stride in the 40th minute when Cormac Doohan set up Kuba Callaghan to finish a goal which was almost identical to Ballintubber’s earlier one. Having played well within themselves up to this point, the East Mayo side really began to play ball, with Andy Moran pointing his only score from play from a fair distance.
Ballagh’ nearly hit the net a second time but for Brian Murphy, who palmed a piledriver from Ryan Lynch up and over the bar. We had certainly slipped back a few gears in the second half and were wasteful at times. However, Jason Gibbons and Michael Plunkett played impressively and we eventually worked a score when Stephen O’Malley swung over a crucial free to put us three ahead.
Ballagh’ were not finished though. A late goal chance went astray when the newly-introduced Stephen Drake won a ball at full-forward before blasting it high and wide. The visitors nearly snatched a last-gasp equaliser when Kuba Callaghan’s shot was stopped by Tom McGing before Shoroize Akram scoffed the rebound. Time ran out for Ballagh’ and we left with both points.
Ballintubber team that lined out: (1)Brendan Walsh (2)Gary Loftus (3)Brian Murphy (4)Joe Geraghty (5)Cathal Hallinan (6)Michael Plunkett (7)Myles Kelly (8)Jason Gibbons (0-2) (9)Ciaran Gavin (0-2, 1f) (10)Noel Geraghty (0-1) (11)Brian Walsh (0-1) (12)Keelan McDonnell (13)Alan Plunkett (0-1) (14)Cillian O’Connor (15)Stephen O’Malley (1-5, 1f)
Substitutions used: Diarmuid O’Connor for Keelan McDonnell, Damien Coleman for Cathal Hallinan, Finian Bourke for Gary Loftus, Jamsie Finnerty for Cillian O’Connor, Hugh Geraghty for Brian Walsh.

Senior Championship Q-Final 2019

September 21st 2019
Mayo Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final
Ballintubber 1-12 Belmullet 1-8
Our seniors were made to work in Ballina today as they advanced to the semi-finals of the Mayo Senior Football Championship for the sixth consecutive season. A hard-fought display was given by Kevin Johnson’s charges who will face Ballina Stephenites in a fortnight’s time. Despite falling behind early on, a crucial goal by Cillian O’Connor before half-time gave us a lead which we never let slip. A Trojan display from Diarmuid O’Connor and Jason Gibbons at midfield, coupled with the accuracy of Cillian O’Connor and Stephen O’Malley, ensured we remained at least three points in front until the end.
Played out in a wet and windy James Stephen’s Park, Intermediate champions Belmullet asked plenty of questions of our team and threatened to cause an upset in the opening stages. Belmullet landed the first score before Brian Walsh and Cillian O’Connor shared three unanswered points. With the wind at their backs, the Erris men cancelled out these scores when corner-forward Ryan O’Donoghue soloed through our defence to fire in a superb goal. Belmullet then took a three-point lead when O’Donoghue and Gary Boylan pointed.
The North Mayo men were making life hard for our lads, forcing numerous turnovers in the slippery conditions. Diarmuid O’Connor helped launch a Ballintubber comeback when he landed a point before sending a long-range free into brother Cillian, who turned and sent the ball to the back of the net. Not long after the game’s most crucial score, Stephen O’Malley landed a fine score to ensure we lead 1-6 to 1-4 at the break
With the wind and the rain dying down somewhat after half-time, we upped our performance notably in the second half. With the injured Alan Dillon having withdrawn in the first half, scores from Stephen O’Malley, Cillian O’Connor and the tireless Jason Gibbons gave us a convincing five-point lead.
The Erris men kept up the pressure with the likes of Gary Boylan, Ryan O’Donoghue and Shane Nallen giving us plenty to think about. However, we played the better football as Jason Gibbons and Diarmuid O’Connor ran themselves to a standstill while Bryan Walsh had numerous possessions and linked the play well. Despite Belmullet’s efforts, our defence tightened up and kept Ryan O’Donoghue scoreless in the second half while Cillian O’Connor kept Chris Barrett occupied for most of the time. Our main marksmen in Stephen O’Malley and Cillian O’Connor shared a point each before full-time, meaning we prevailed by a relatively comfortable four-point margin.
Ballintubber team that lined out: (1)Brendan Walsh (2)Gary Loftus (19)Ruaidhri O’Connor (4)Brian Murphy (5)Damien Coleman (6)Michael Plunkett (7)Myles Kelly (8)Jason Gibbons (0-1) (9)Diarmuid O’Connor (0-1) (10)Ciarán Gavin (11)Alan Dillon (12)Bryan Walsh (0-1) (20)Noel Geraghty (14)Cillian O’Connor (1-6, 3f, 1 ’45) (15)Stephen O’Malley (0-3)
Substitutions used: Keelan McDonnell for Alan Dillon (injured), Alan Plunkett for Ciarán Gavin, Joe Geraghty for Ruaidhri O’Connor, Padraic O’Connor for Noel Geraghty, Jamsie Finnerty for Bryan Walsh (Black Card)
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