Ballintubber and Islandeady bow out but Davitts march on

There was important provincial club action at Senior, Intermediate and Junior level this weekend and, from a county perspective, it was a case of one win from three.

That win was achieved yesterday by Davitts when they overcame Padraig Pearses of Roscommon in the Connacht Intermediate final at Kiltoom. It was an impressive win too with the south Mayo lads prevailing on a 1-13 to 0-8 scoreline and they now go forward to face the Leinster champions in the All-Ireland semi-final next January. Colm Gannon’s match report from Kiltoom is here.

There was a double header at McHale Park this afternoon, with two Mayo-Galway clashes on the card but sadly both results went the neighbours’ way, with Conbur beating Islandeady in the Connacht Junior final by 0-11 to 0-9 while Ballintubber lost out by the narrowest of margins to Corofin in the Senior provincial semi-final.

That Senior match was a real ding-dong affair, by all accounts, and even though I was only able to keep up with the action on Twitter (where @MayoGAA, @ColmGannon and @EdMcGreal provided excellent, frequent updates) I was, dodgy mobile coverage notwithstanding, on the edge of my metaphorical seat as fortunes swung one way then the other at McHale Park.

Ballintubber got the perfect start and when Cillian O’Connor found the net after 11 minutes to put the Mayo champs 1-4 to 0-1 ahead, it looked like they were well on their way to the Connacht final. Amazingly, however, Corofin then blasted them for 1-7 without reply to go in at the break four points ahead, Kieran Comer’s goal on the stroke of half-time putting daylight between the sides.

Ballintubber kept plugging away in the second half and when Cillian O’Connor got on the end of a glorious pass from Alan Dillon to score his side’s second goal of the afternoon it was all square once again. It was Corofin, however, who grabbed the initiative again with with two Alan O’Donovan frees pushing them two clear with ten minutes to go. Jason Gibbons pulled one back for the Tubbermen but it wasn’t enough with Corofin squeezing home in the end by 1-11 to 2-7.¬†Colm Gannon’s take on today’s match is here.

The Galway lads now go on to face Roscommon champions St Brigid’s in the Connacht final, with that one down for decision at Kiltoom on 20th November. The Roscommon champions overcame Sligo’s Tourlestrane by 0-16 to 0-10 in today’s other provincial semi-final and, incidentally, they’re not the only team of that name to be celebrating tonight as their Dublin namesakes captured their second county title this afternoon at Parnell Park, where they overcame a Brogan-laden Plunketts by 0-10 to 0-8.

10 thoughts on “Ballintubber and Islandeady bow out but Davitts march on

  1. Was in my home patch of Kiltoom on Saturday and was at the Davitts game. Very sharp side, where i think it was Conroy who was very impressive and surely a lad to get into the county set up. Pearses were dissapointing.
    Our own lot ( St Bridgets) failed to show up for the first 10 mins in Sligo, then in the second half really up the tempo with Dolan pulling the strings and Kilbride kicking points like they were going out of fashion. If they were at the races at all would have won this one by 15. Should be a great day in Kiltoom in 2 weeks time. Ballintubber sound like they have bad luck two years running.

  2. Experience was probably the difference between Ballintubber and Corofin yesterday, great game though. Mayo have a top class forward in Cillian O’Connor and for the 1st time in years, a player with a real eye for a goal.

  3. Davitts’ win on Saturday seemed to be a handy enough one by the sounds of it and you’re right that Michael Conroy should be back in the county panel next year. You mightn’t recall, though, that not only was he in the panel previously (in 2004-7) he also scored 1-1 for us when he came on as a sub in the 2004 All-Ireland final. As well as that, Michael is also an All-Ireland U21 medalist from 2006. The last time he played for us at senior level was in the 2007 league final, after which he seemed to fall out of favour rapidly for some unknown reason. He’ll be a good addition to the panel for next year, as will Davitts’ centre-back Colm Boyle who also featured on the county team for a while a few years ago.

    The senior club final should be a cracker alright, as Brigid’s and Corofin have been the two leading clubs in Connacht for the last few years. Will Brigid’s be slight favourites to retain the title? It was tough for sure on Ballintubber yesterday – that’s the second year in a row that they’ve lost out by a point to the reigning Galway champions.

  4. I was at the Ballintubber match. It was a brilliant match, real edge of the seat stuff. Corofin were cuter in the closing stages, indulging – in my eyes – in some “diving”. The ref. made a few weird decisions which were vital in such a tight match. Cillian scored 2-3.

  5. @GrainneUaile, yeah the cuteness/experience was probably the difference, Ballintubber will be sick because I think they have a few more naturally talented players than Corofin and they were cruising earlier on. Ref was a bit erratic but it didn’t really favour either team. I thought Ballintubbers FB looked very good (bar one terrible free!)

    @ WillieJoe, I think Mayo will have good options in the forwards next year. O’Connor looks the real deal, I’m expecting a return to form somewhat from Conor Mortimer, Andy Moran playing brilliantly and can play in either line. I think we’ll see Aiden O’Shea in the forwards which for me is a position he has more influence from. Barry Moran, barring injury, will be a good option to throw in FF for Mort/O’Connor to play off.

  6. “Barry Moran, barring injury….” almost laughable! What odds on him having an injury free run next year eh? He deserves a break and not the type of break he has been plagued with up until now.

  7. The ballintubber – corofin game was really enjoyable. Some very good performances from the ballintubber boys. No 3 and 6 were very good I thought, Hallinan and Geraghty. Cillian o Connor is a serious talent. The future is bright with him in the county set up. The ref towards the end didn’t help the Mayo sides cause. He was very erratic.

    The islandeady lads didn’t get going. Clonbur were better in alot of departments. They have had a great year though and 2012 is a big year for them.

    Well done to the davitts lads. I wasn’t at the game but by all accounts, Colm Boyle and mickie conroy were brilliant.

  8. Well WJ, according to Paddy Power, Corofin are 10/11 with Bridgets 6/5. Should be a tight game. Bridgets have yet to click this year and at the moment are only playing in bursts. Their forward line, midfield and halfbackline are strong (with Ian Kilbride back from the Leb). However one would worry about the full-backline and keeper.
    That Conroy fella for Davitts is some footballer, watched the highlights of the Ballintubber/ Corofin game, O Connor took his chances very well, however the last play is something he will want to erase from his memory, chit happens.

  9. Given the two teams in question, those odds looks fair enough, James, and you’re right that it’s likely to be tight on the day. They’ve certainly been the best two club sides in Connacht for the last few years and there wouldn’t appear to be much between them.

    I’d expect to see Michael Conroy back on the county panel next year – he’s been away too long and he should give us greater options in the forward line. I haven’t seen the highlights yet myself of the Ballintubber-Corofin game but I wouldn’t be too harsh on Cillian. He got 2-3 of Tubber’s total and was one of the main reasons they won the county title. It’s been an incredible year for him all told.

  10. Des Netwon is our new manager. He played corner back for us on our team of the late eighties, early nineties. Good player, his brother John was midfield, I think alot of you guys would remember him. Also Des played for Donegal as he was based in Carndonagh. Managerial experience with school teams and some club teams in Dublin where he currently resides. Apparently he bases his team around a solid defence, which has been absent from the O Donnell era, although I hope its not a defensive system ala Donegal. 10/1 to win Connacht next year, you boys are 8/15.

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