July 27th 2019 – Mayo Senior League Division 1A
Ballintubber 0-12 Garrymore 0-9
With us sitting far too close to the bottom of the Divsion 1A league table we claimed two badly needed points in Garrymore on Saturday evening. Having been comprehensively turned over in this fixture last season, it was the Abbeysiders who had the slight edge over the hosts. In a tight but relatively low-scoring game, it was the accuracy of Stephen O’Malley and Alan Dillon that made the difference for us. Both chipped in with vital scores in either half while the experience and composure of Jason Gibbons, Damien Coleman and Tom Earley stood to the Abbeysiders throughout. The visitors’ discipline in defence and patience in attack ensure that they never let the lead slip once they went in front. At the other end, Garrymore’s doggedness didn’t translate into sufficient scores as they found themselves overly reliant on young corner-forward Paul Deeley.
We lined out without three of the O’Connor brothers, Brian Walsh and Michael Plunkett, while Shane Nally and David Dolan were Garrymore’s most notable absentees. Regardless, both teams gave away very little soft ball were clearly sharp, fit and well-drilled. Bar one second-half effort from Alan Plunkett which hit the post, neither team ever looked like threatening the others’ goal.
Both sides traded early scores from the throw-in, with Paul Deely marking himself out as Garry’s main scoring threat. Scores from Alan Dillon and Stephen O’Malley followed before Noel Geraghty pointed when he attempted to chip Brian Lynskey after a poor kick-out. This left us three points in front, a sizeable lead in a game in which scores were scarce. Despite two converted frees from the impressive Paul Deeley, the Abbeysiders remained three up at half time courtesy of a Ciarán Gavin point and an outstanding effort from the ageless Alan Dillon way out on the left wing.
Garrymore were hampered in the second by some poor shooting while they lacked any clear scoring outlet outside of Paul Deely. All the while we were miserly in defence with Gary Loftus and Finian Burke making a number of key interventions. Despite good work from the likes of Gary Golden and Micháel Connolly the hosts found scores hard to come by. Two points from Stephen O’Malley – including one splendid effort from an awkward angle – in between two Paul Deeley singles kept Ballintubber a safe distance ahead. A good score from Jason Gibbons and a Stephen O’Malley free stretched out to five with ten minutes remaining.
Never a team to surrender, Garrymore kept plugging away and capitalised on a minor lapse in the visitors’ play. A few basic errors for the county champions saw the momentum briefly swing back in the direction of the hosts. The hosts reduced the gap to three when veteran attacker Jimmy Killeen pointed a routine free while Mayo panellist Caolan Crowe also got his name on the scoreboard. Despite a generous five minutes additional time being played, time ran out for Garrymore who were bested by a better Ballintubber team.
Ballintubber team that line out: Brendan Walsh, Gary Loftus, Joe Geraghty, Finian Burke, Damien Coleman, Tom Early, Myles Kelly, Jason Gibbons (0-1,) Ciarán Gavin (0-1), Jarlath Stanton, Alan Plunkett (0-1), Alan Dillon (0-2), Noel Geraghty (0-1), Padriac O’Connor, Stephen O’Malley (0-6, 2f)
Substitutions used: Jack Walsh for Myles Kelly (inj), Hugh Geraghty for Tom Early, Ray Geraghty for Padraic O’Connor