Ballina Stephenites this afternoon crashed out of the Connacht club SFC, losing out to Galway champions Corofin. The match was played in windswept conditions, standard fare at Pearse Stadium, where Corofin handled the conditions far better, bagging fourteen scores from play to win by 0-16 to 0-12.
The Stephenites were forced to field without the injured Padraig O’Hora and joint-captain Dylan Thornton and their cause wasn’t helped either when the experienced Ger Cafferkey hobbled off with a muscle injury early in the opening half. It was a half in which the Mayo team had somewhat strangely opted to play against the wind, with Corofin taking full advantage as they raced into an early four-point lead.
Ballina were always chasing the game thereafter and, although they managed to cut the gap from six at the break back to three midway through the second half, that was as close as they got. Three further points without reply for the Galway champions doubled their lead and from there they won it with ease.
The result continues what is a miserable run by Mayo teams in this provincial Championship, in which Castlebar Mitchels – in 2013 and 2015 – are the only club from the county to taste success within the last fifteen years.
Match report from RTÉ is here. We’ll have a Final Whistle podcast show up on Patreon in a bit as well, in which Mike will be chatting with Colm Boyle about the game.