September 8th 2018 - Mayo Senior Championship
Ballintubber 2-18 Kiltane 0-5
Our seniors sailed into the quarter-finals of the Mayo Senior Football championship in McHale Park this evening with a comprehensive win over Kiltane. The slippery underfoot conditions made ball-handling difficult at times, but we were clinical enough to ensure that this didn’t impede an otherwise excellent performance.
From when Cillian O’Connor pointed the first pair of scores in the opening two minutes, we were in control from beginning to end. Indeed, by the time the second half started and the neutrals slowly started trickling out, a sense of inevitability had descended on proceedings. Both teams seemed to accept their fate as Kiltane folded while our lads stretched their yawning lead without going hell-for-leather.
There were several noteworthy performers, from the rock solid Cathal Hallinan at full-back to the Jason Gibbons and Diarmuid O’Connor who bossed the midfield. Ciarán Gavin clocked up another impressive shift and finished with a well-taken goal, while Alan Plunkett and Stephen O’Malley helped themselves to 1-10 between them up front.
With Cillian O’Connor and Stephen O’Malley having already tacked on five points, Alan Plunkett netted the first of our two goals in the eighteenth minute. Combining brilliantly with brother Michael to beat the ‘keeper, the Moorehall man stroked the ball into an empty net to double our lead.
Brendan Walsh was then given his biggest test before half-time when he denied a goal to both Mikey Sweeney and Ultan Corrigan in quick succession.
Red cards for Jamsie Finnerty and Kiltane full-back Declan Gallagher before half-time made for meaty talking points at half time, given that the result was all but wrapped as we lead by nine points at the break.
The North Mayo men would only point three times in the second half, as Kevin Johnson’s men swept their challenge aside. Six minutes after the throw-in, Ciarán Gavin finished a piledriver of a shot into the roof of the Kiltane net after receiving an incisive pass from Jason Gibbons, essentially securing an inevitable victory.
Stephen O’Malley and Alan Plunkett kept the scoreboard ticking kicked and fisted points, finishing with over half of our tally. Cillian O’Connor was flawless on the dead balls, finishing with six pointed frees with another two coming from play.
Signing off the game with six unanswered points, one would feel that we will make a serious push for the Moclair Cup if this performance was anything to go by.
Ballintubber team that line out: (1)Brendan Walsh (2)Gary Loftus (3)Cathal Hallinan (12)Damien Coleman (5)Brian Murphy (6)Michael Plunkett (7)Ruadhri O’Connor (8)Jason Gibbons (9)Diarmuid O’Connor (10)Ciarán Gavin (1-0) (11)Alan Dillon (19)Stephen O’Malley (0-5) (13)Jamsie Finnerty (14)Cillian O’Connor (0-8, 6f) (15)Alan Plunkett (1-5)
Substitutions used: Myles Kelly for Ruadhri O’Connor, Padraic O’Connor for Alan Dillon, Joe Geraghty for Gary Loftus
REPORT BY OISIN MCGOVERN