Ballagh down the champs to claim third county title

Photo: @MayoGAA via Twitter

Both of the clubs involved in this afternoon’s county final were aiming to secure their third ever senior title but while most of the attention ahead of throw-in at McHale Park today was focused on Ballintubber’s drive for three-in-a-row it was Ballaghaderreen who got their hands on the Moclair Cup at the finish. They were deserving winners too, finishing a full eight points clear of the deposed champions.

I wasn’t at McHale Park today – a too-full domestic schedule up here this weekend as well as, to be a honest, a bit of post-All-Ireland ennui on my part meant that I never really thought too seriously about making the trip west for the county’s blue riband contest. I didn’t even see all the match on television either but I caught enough of it to see that it was yet another low scoring and generally sub-par county final.

Ballagh led by three at the break and were two to the good when I started to follow proceedings on TG4 but they were clearly on top at that stage, with all of the traffic heading in the direction of Ballintubber’s goal at the Albany end. The defending champions had already finished their day’s scoring at that stage – and a miserly total it was too, just four points in the whole afternoon – and Alan Dillon was about to be replaced after the clash of heads that effectively ended his part in the contest. Ballagh, though, were about to cut loose and they added 1-3 to their total before the final whistle sounded, winning the title with ease.

Colm Gannon’s match report in the Mayo Advertiser is here and Emmet Ryan from Action81.com – who, unlike me, did make the trip down from the capital for the game – provides his take on the decider here.

In today’s curtain-raiser at McHale Park, the Junior final between The Neale and Ardnaree ended in a draw at 1-5 apiece. The replay will take place at McHale Park next Saturday (27th) at 4pm.

Elsewhere today, Ballina retained their senior status with a very comfortable 2-15 to 1-5 win over Kiltane at Knockmore while Charlestown got their Connacht Intermediate campaign going in style when they crushed the Galway champions Carna-Cashel by 1-13 to 0-6 at Pearse Stadium. I know it’s early days yet but I think there’s a good chance we could be seeing these lads in Croke Park in the spring. I’m not sure the same could be said, however, of today’s newly-crowned senior champs.

9 thoughts on “Ballagh down the champs to claim third county title

  1. At Intermediate level who do the Connacht champions play in All Ireland series is ulster champions like at senior level?

  2. Very very Poor game today considering such good playing conditions, October pitches are normally a lot worse off.
    Ballagh were deserving winners but only showed there guile in the second half. It could of been an awful lot worse for the reigning champions had young Drake converted an easy goal chance half way through the second half.
    As it turned out Cillian O’ Connor was a massive loss for B’tubber more so than Andy Moran, with the men in red and white missing some very handy frees at vital stages of the game.

    From a county point of view there was no individual that merited a display that gave James Horan any food for thought. Keith Rogers had a few moments along with the winning captain but I doubt JH will be searching for any phone numbers to quick.

    Ballintubber have been great champions over the past couple of years and it has been to their credit having winning an intermediate championship in ’07 and to kick on and make three consecutive finals winning two back to back. No question they will be back, perhaps it was too long of year for some of their lads considering all the county senior contingent they have in their panel. They may feel they have some unfinished business regarding the Connacht club seen having been very unlucky at previous attempts.

    On another note; spare a thought for Kiltane today. A big traditional senior club has taken the plunge down the ranks having lost their respective relegation play-off to Ballina. I know they have been hanging on for quite some time now but it’s a true reflection of the recession considering the high calibre of young players they have over seas at the moment. Lets hope you’ll do a Charlestown and bounce straight back up lads.

  3. Having attended this game as a neutral supporter I also found it uninspiring and somewhat reflective of the county set-up as a whole, in that the strengths of both teams revolved around their defences/midfield and whose weaknesses were again forwards unable to score. It is understandable that there will be missed chances in a game of this intensity, physicality and pace but the number of wides/poor shot selection makes you really wonder ‘how hard is it to kick a ball over a bar’!

  4. Patriot is keeping very quiet on this one! Last year he was blaming an injury to a tubber player for Barry Morans midfield dominace…but again this year I thought Ballagh had the winning of midfield too! From this years championship one would have to look at Aidan Kilcoyne, maybe B Regan as possible additions to the Mayo set up up front?

  5. Ha pk, im still not over how awful some of the forwards played, hence my extended silence. Cillian O Connors absence and the injuries to Alan Dillon and Alan Plunkett killed us. I thought Jason Gibbons had a good game in the middle but he got no help. Barry Regans frees were crucial to Ballagh. He didnt score from play for the first time this year. Indeed besides the goal Ballagh only scored one point from play, Fair play to them though, they deserved their win. I hope they go on and beat Curry but it wont be easy with Andy Hanley going to America.

    Besides Alan Dillon, Aidan Kilcoyne was the best forward on display in the Senior Championship. I hope he comes home and gets a good run because there is a dearth of quality forwards in the county. There are so many defenders playing well and with Tom Parsons looking like he is interested again, we have competition for the middle again. s forwards go Ive seen nothing at junior level that is good enough for inter county. Thats just being honest. Tony Mulligan from Charlestown is impressing at intermediate level but thats about all.

  6. Ah like any Mayo Man I wish ballagh the best of luck, any time you play them you get nothing easy…just like the Tubber. But I will agree with you on some of your points alright and say the losses didnt help. HArd to do 3 never mind 2 in a row, but I think the best tubber lads are already on county and JH may have some new faces from around the county on the panel come January

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