Ballina cruise to facile win over Fulham Irish

Photo: GAA

Scores may have been as rare as proverbial hen’s teeth in the county final at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park a fortnight ago but newly-crowned county champions had no problems running up a big tally tonight. London champions Fulham Irish were no match for the Stephenites, who swept to a fifteen-point win under the lights at Castlebar.

As Mike had alluded to on our match preview episode of the Mayo Football Podcast the other day, the Moclair Cup holders were missing a few key players for this one, with Padraig O’Hora, Dylan Thornton and Evan Regan all absent from the starting fifteen. It was, perhaps, understandable that they didn’t get motoring all that well in a low-scoring opening quarter.

The Exiles needed a good start to make a contest of this game but the fact that Ballina bagged the opening three points hinted at what might be to come. The teams then traded two points apiece before the Stephenites made their first big breakthrough. Joint-captain Mikey Murray was the man on the end of a move that resulted in their opening goal of the night.

Fulham were now in bother and needed to reach the dressing room at half-time without falling further in arrears. However, a sixth Ballina point followed by their second goal, swept soccer-style to the net by Niall Feeney, meant the game was over as a contest at the break, with ten between the sides at that stage.

From Ballina’s point of view, all the remained was to see out the win in the least bothersome fashion, while rotating to the maximum, with a weather-eye fixed ahead to next weekend’s meeting with Corofin.

They did this without any trouble, their final winning tally boosted by Conor McStay’s 1-2 contribution in the second half. Stephenites came away at the finish with a decisive 3-11 to 0-5 win. For sure, they won’t find the going as easy when they tackle the Galway champions next weekend.

Hear all about the match in our Mayo Football Podcast Final Whistle episode, recorded at MacHale Park tonight. Mike gets match analysis from Martin Carney and there’s post-match reaction from Stephenites manager Niall Heffernan. The pod is up now on Patreon. To hear this and other top quality Mayo GAA-related content, join the club here.

58 thoughts on “Ballina cruise to facile win over Fulham Irish

  1. Oh jeez in salthill that’s a scary one ha but sure Regan be back for that they will have to improve in areas for sure ….but I’ll be cheering them on as always either way!

  2. Thanks Giz , no date and time yet ? A lot of people will fear the worst for ballina after the terrible county final but I’m not convinced at all . Might even put a little wager on them beating Corofin .

  3. hops yes 2pm next Saturday in salthill, corofin very used to playing there so that’s definitely a advantage.

  4. Sean Burke I think they have very good chance, think Moycullen would have been a trickier proposition for

    Game will be televised as well for those not wanting to travel. Which will be most people I’d imagine. Very, very poor turn out today in MacHale park today, given how long it’s been since Ballina won, you’d think they would have a few supporters getting on band wagon.

  5. @Gizmobobs probably after that after county final maybe a few didn’t fancy our chances tonight to travel for it.

  6. Clare, they were 14/1 odds on favourites v a team that would likely struggle in intermediate here. Even with the couple lads away this one wasn’t ever In doubt.

  7. @Gizmobobs loads had left the county final during the game as it was so bad can you blame them for not wanting to go to this one?

    Yes another reason as maybe some didn’t go to it as we’re favourites . But some thought it would be a flat game like the county final.

    Ballina weren’t bad tonight though Fulham irosh were poor enough.

  8. @Clare
    No Ballina or Breaffy supporters left the county final at half time.
    Some supporters of the junior final did which isn’t unusual at a double header.
    Youd need to stop peddling some of the more sensationalist narratives.

  9. @FW actually some of my mates were at the game and they saw some supporters leaving not just at the junior game.

    I’m not peddling any sensationalist narratives !!

  10. @FW bit harsh on Clare there Ive never seen any sensationlist comments from her. I think Ballina are in bonus territory now that they got the monkey off the back and won the county final. Rego will be back after his stag do but I get the feeling Corofin might be too strong for them hope im wrong.

  11. @Glorydays thanks .. : )

    Think your right we have a chance against c9rofin be a tough task for sure but ballina might just edge it ..

  12. “loads had left the county final during the game as it was so bad can you blame them for not wanting to go to this one?”

    Loads of Ballina supporters did not leave the county final at ht.Thats simply not true.
    A certain hack with a vendetta against the county he lives in was peddling this on the national airwaves.

    The actual game was bad enough so we dont need made up stories added on.

    I like Clare as a poster by the way,I enjoy her enthusiasm and optimistic outlook.

  13. @FW maybe loads did not leave the county final I myself couldn’t make it as working up in Dublin . But my mates said some supporters not from the junior final did leave at half time so its not a made up story .

    It was a bad county final though even I with my optimism admit that and some of my mates choose not to go to the game last night as they said it might be awful like the county final and that’s where I was coming from .

  14. That game should be on in tuam. it will be daft bringing corofin and ballina supporters into salthill on a busy saturday especially now with the Xmas market started in eyre square and the traffic mayhem that results from that. Even corofon would like to play it in Tuam. Hopefully common sense will prevail. JOHN PRUNTY would want to get his act together and play the match in TUAM.

  15. Jimbo, I think it’s due to construction works in Tuam stadium so not much Prenty would be able to do about insurance cover for that, if it is the case!!
    Based on the piss poor attendance in MacHale park last night may not have a huge impact on Galway traffic compared to other events…

  16. If Ballina people didn’t make the effort to go 1/2 hour up the road to Castlebar to support the team last night – they are unlikely to travel 2 hours to Galway next Sunday. Traffic congestion around Salthill will be no problem
    Kilmeena will probably have more support in Castlebar today than Ballina had last night.

  17. The galway intermediate final was played in Tuam which Monivea Abbey won. Also lots of galway club games played there this year. No problem with insurance at them games . By the way HAYSHED srill standing in tuam stadium.

  18. @south mayo exile a lot of my ballina mates are not living in mayo Atm so it’s not just a question of having to travel ‘half an hour up the road ‘ .

    Alot of people who support ballina are not actually living in ballina or mayo atm so have to travel alot more then ‘half an hour up the road ..’

    I know a few who are planning to make the trip to Galway as it will be be much more exciting game then the one that was on last night..!

  19. Clare – the people who decided not to go because it might be “awful” game like the county final. If they are genuine Ballina gaa supporters- they wouldn’t decide not to go because it might be an awful game.
    No problem with people like yourself living in Dublin – but the people living in the town of Ballina that didn’t make the effort to attend last night…

  20. @south mayo exile yeah that’s fair point that the ones living in ballina who didn’t go as would thought be an awful game aren’t true supporters I would say the same even about my mates who decided not to go ha.

    Yeah if your living in ballina shoud have really made the effort to go if genuine supporter.

    We shall see if the support is any better next week..!

  21. Well done to Kilmeena. Once they found their groove they showed a bit of class.
    Could have a fruitful year.

  22. Willie Joe, putting it out there, should you add to the house rules a ban on all this real supporter chat?
    The first Mayo senior match Padraig OHora went to he played in. Clearly not a real supporter.
    It’s a type of post that goes nowhere other than riling people up.

  23. Hard to call a winner when so little is known about Corofin.
    Ballina have a lot of individual talent, but It depends on the game plan they adopt to get the best from those players collectively.
    If they start like they did against Breaffy. I would be worried.
    They must play an attacking direct game
    supporting the man in possession on both sides.
    Garlic football is a simple game played as it should be.
    Good Luck Ballina

  24. I believe that Ballina have a great chance for the all Ireland,just getting into gear now

  25. @Corick I don’t know I ballina would be able to win the all Ireland now one step at a time I mean I don’t know if they would be a match for kilmacud crokes to be honest..

    But I think they have a good chance at taking on corofin next weekend !

  26. Kilmeena could go far in the intermediate championship. Ballina will be down as no hopers v Corofin but who knows. They may spring a surprise.

  27. Ballina Corofin will be on RTE2. Toss of a coin game for me.
    Bookies had them at same odds before last week for Connacht. Corofin likely be favourites going into the game, but for me the age profile of Ballina should favour them.

  28. @corick like your optimism but have to disagree as a ballina supporter myself I think kilmacud crokes would run riot against ballina sadly .

    I do think as I said that we have a chance against corofin for sure though!

  29. Hopefully Rochford will bring this fast, exciting attacking football to Mayo next year so.
    Be nice to see compared to the laborious stuff we seen in championship this year.
    Back training in few short weeks, so will start to become clearer if lessons learned.

  30. I must have missed the attacking fast pace style from Rochford in the championship bar the kerry game ..but we shall see next year ha!

  31. Clare, Kerry seem to have air brushed the Mayo defeat from their year.
    I don’t think Corofin will get it all their own way against Ballina.

  32. I’m not sure I’d go as far as a house rule on that, JP, but ‘real supporter’ nonsense does my head in. As it happens, Rob and I had a chat about that very topic on the latest freebie pod we put out the other week.

  33. @JR yeah I know they have but sure at least we beat them twice is the only thing not that it got us anywhere…haha

    Yeah agree with I think ballina will throw a surprise and beat corofin by 2 or 3 dare I say it ha..

  34. If I was setting odds I’d have Ballina slight favourites. Reckon their forwards will have the legs for the older Corofin backs.
    Corofin have integrated younger lads, but still a few old heads with mileage.
    Hopefully we will get a watchable game if nothing else 🙂

  35. Gizmobobs I don’t think corofin have one defender starting who’s over the age of 30 ? midfield is the area where ballina could potentially get a foothold, should be a good game fingers crossed.

  36. Hard to keep the aul interest in the football going isn’t it folks.. Esp this time of year, maybe when spring rolls around again the aul optimism might pick up

  37. Totally understandable that Ballina folk didn’t attend in huge numbers as the result was always going to be a facile win and facing a trip to Salthill a week later. The time of year along with the cost for a family to attend shouldn’t be overlooked and if people were choosing either the Fulham Irish game or Corofin it’s a no-brainer.

  38. Thats very true JoeG, but the numbers in attendance was still very low despite that factored in for such a big town, especially when factor in Fulham contributed a lot to the crowd.

  39. @JoeG yeah exactly.. i know plenty who a going to the corofin game next week instead who weren’t at the Fulham game..ballina town does have huge support for their team!

  40. If JOHN PRUNTY had a stile available where a person could pay cash at the gate you would have a lot of walk ups on the day of a game, besides having this nonsense of buying your tickets on line. Its all right having tickets beforehand for county games in the championship but not for club matches.

  41. I agree you should be able to buy tickets at a stile. People still use cash and that’s the way it should be.

  42. Jimbo, it’s the reality of the world unfortunately. But the the vast majority of people have no issues doing online. Those disenfranchised are in the minority thankfully, but still sad to see. Some clubs have people on gates to buy tickets for these few individuals. But when more money is taken in now, with smaller crowds in general attending it says alot 🙂

  43. I was on the verge if walking away from the gate at the county final such was my frustration with the GAA/Ticketmaster/Universal set up. Your password is not valid…..set up account, emails etc etc..Jesus wept.
    Just hand over a few notes, get a ticket and be done with it.

  44. Ballina are great value. Always have good joy on club market, bookies don’t really know the market and it’s so small in grand scheme of things it’s not worth their while investing in it, so it’s more a service to draw people in to them they don’t mind the small hit.
    Corofin were outsiders in Galway, Sean Kelly’s absence was huge for Moycullen as it was to Galway. When they still relying on 39 year old full forward you know they are likely not the team of a few years back, so Ballina be favourites for me.

  45. Still not 100% certain but optimistic he be able to play. Clean bill of health across the board talking to Ballina people.

  46. New pod up on Patreon. Mike and Rob are joined by Colm Boyle for a final look back on this year’s club Championships within the county and they also look ahead to the three Connacht semi-finals at the weekend involving Ballina, Kilmeena and Lahardane.

  47. I think Ballina have a great chance of winning this.
    I can’t see oHora playing, games will be coming fast after this.

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