Championship results round-up

The dust is still settling after two days of hectic Round 1 action in the club football Championships. An interesting weekend of football it proved to be too.

With the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions on mass gatherings still in place, for most football-starved punters there was no option but to sit out the live action this weekend. Thanks to Mayo GAA TV, however, as well as some enterprising initiatives by clubs themselves who streamed their games via Facebook Live, there was a good spread of action for the couch potatoes to get stuck into.

This particular sofa-bound tuber opted for Mayo GAA TV and I caught most of the three games streamed over the service. With the rain pelting down, yesterday evening’s two matches were dour enough affairs but this afternoon’s feature match, played in far better conditions, was an absolute belter.

Castlebar Mitchels and Charlestown Sarsfields faced off at Fr O’Hara Park in yesterday evening’s first match. Bracketed in the so-called Group of Death along with Breaffy and Westport, both teams knew they needed something out of this opening Group 4 tie and so, despite the atrocious conditions, they tore into the fixture with a good deal of purpose.

The name on everyone’s lips early on was Paul Towey. A recent debutant at inter-county level, the Charlestown forward was the man who made the home side tick in the opening half. Showing well for ball, taking and making scores – including their goal, nicely put away by Patrick Goldrick – Towey was to the fore for Sarsfields as they recovered from the concession of an early goal, scored by Ethan Gibbons, to take a three-point lead into the first water break.

Mitchels owned the second quarter, however, and went in at the break two in front. While the home side battled hard in the second half, the visitors’ greater experience – with the Durcan twins, in particular Paddy, prominent – saw them home on a scoreline of 1-12 to 1-9.

Over in Clogher, meanwhile, it looked for most of the game that a similar gulf in experience would be the difference between defending champions Ballintubber and a youthful Aghamore side. It nearly was but this contest turned out to have a late sting in its tail.

Ballintubber started strongly but in weather that definitely wasn’t made for flowing football they weren’t able to put clear daylight between themselves and their East Mayo opponents. Three placed ball scores from Aghamore kept them within three points of the champions at the break.

By then, the Tubbermen had suffered a significant setback when their talisman and chief scoring outlet Cillian O’Connor got the line along with Aghamore’s David Kenny for an off- the-ball incident spotted by one of the umpires. While Kenny was an undoubted loss to the visitors, the absence from the fray of the game’s all-time Championship top scorer was a major negative for the hosts, whose attack looked decidedly less potent without him.

Still, Aghamore didn’t exactly look to have too much of a cutting-edge, as, with time running out, the sole score they’d added after the break was a ’45 converted by goalkeeper Adam Byrne. But Ballintubber weren’t yet out of sight and so the visitors came hunting for the goal they needed to snatch something from the tie.

Fair play to them, they go it. A scrambled effort it was but they all count and the major bundled to the net late on – by whom I can’t tell – was enough for Aghamore to emerge from Clogher with a deserved share of the spoils.

With Davitts and Moy Davitts playing out an 0-9 each draw in the other Group 2 game yesterday evening, it’s very much all to play for in that one as the teams face towards Round 2.

Last year’s beaten county finalists Ballaghaderreen got off to a winning start in their first Group 1 outing last night. They needed three second half goals, however – scored by Kuba Callaghan, Gavin Conway and Thomas Carmody – to pull clear of a sticky Belmullet challenge.

Performance of the night – indeed, of the whole weekend – came in the other Group 1 tie. It was there that The Neale marked their Senior Championship debut by claiming a famous 1-9 to 0-11 win over neighbours Garrymore. To make it a real fairytale evening, the winning goal was scored for the The Neale by Dylan Kane who’d lined out in a Minor Championship match for the club on Friday. (H/T for that fun fact to Mayo GAA Banter).

Both Group 3 matches were played today, in weather that were markedly different from yesterday evening’s monsoon conditions. Both contests yielded decisive results, with Ballina Stephenites continuing their upwardly mobile trajectory as they saw off Kiltane by 3-11 to 1-5. Their North Mayo neighbours Knockmore also had their shooting boots on today, as they racked up 0-19 to finish nine clear of Claremorris.

The feature match on Mayo GAA TV this afternoon was the rip-roaring Group 4 encounter between Breaffy and Westport, from which the Covies emerged with a dramatic one-point win that will boost their confidence no end.

In truth, this young, talented Westport team should have won the game with quite a bit to spare. They went into the second water break seven points to the good but had Fionn McDonagh – who was excellent throughout today – not dragged his shot wide with the goal at his mercy just before then there would have been no way back for the hosts.

The first half was open and even, Westport reaching the turn a point ahead. Kevin Keane was their unlikely scoring hero in that first half, posting 1-2 from his unfamiliar full-forward position. Unfortunately, he took a knock to his ankle in scoring the goal which put an end to his participation in the contest.

A penalty goal, rifled to the corner of the net by Killian Kilkelly (son of former Mayo player Brian), early in the second half pushed the visitors five clear. From there to the water break they were bordering on rampant, the contest spinning rapidly out of control from Breaffy’s perspective.

In the final quarter, however, the home side’s big match experience began to show. Driven forward by Seamus and Conor O’Shea as well as Mattie Ruane, with Aidan O’Shea finally getting some change inside from Lee Keegan, Westport now found themselves on the defensive.

With normal time almost up, Breaffy had whittled the deficit back down to just a single point. Tommy O’Reilly – who’d be ultra-reliable on placed balls all day – had the chance to square the tie when the home team won a free well within range. This time, though, he was off target and Westport held on to win by the minimum.

Colm Gannon’s summary for the Mayo Advertiser of the action from Saturday night is here and his round-up of today’s matches is here.

Here’s the full run-down of the weekend’s Round 1 results in the SFC:

Here are the Round 1 results from the IFC:

Here are the Round 1 JFC results:

Finally, don’t forget that the draw for the Mayo GAA Lotto is on tomorrow night, in which a jackpot of €6,400 is up for grabs. You can play the Lotto here.

23 thoughts on “Championship results round-up

  1. Deferred coverage of Mitchels vs Breaffy on tg4 next weekend. Presume that means it will be on in MacHale Park. Early days, but the senior championship looks very open this year. Ballintubber, Castlebar, Westport, Ballina, Knockmore and Ballaghaderreen will all fancy their chances.

  2. Didn’t see any games live but I’m delighted for the neale. what a bumch of players. They seem to have a habit of not giving up until the final whistle has blown. From all accounts throughly deserved.

  3. Oisin Mullen was called up to senior panel last year after doing well with u21s. Michael Murray called up after some good performances with Ballina.

    Is there any players out there capable of impressing during the club championship and getting a call ??

  4. Aiden Orme, Kieran King, Colm Reape in goal just a few that impressed from Knockmore.
    Think they had 5 of last years minor team out yesterday. And one whi had played all previous games out injured. Think average squad age of 23 someone said yesterday.
    Diskin is very powerful when on ball also.

  5. @Gizmo, Is it true that Colm Reape has a huge kickout? Is he able to drill the ball lower trajectory?

  6. Seems have big boot JP. Knockmore got one point direct off kick out that landed far side midfield and picked on hop in opponents 45.
    Had free on 65 line punched clear from over cross bar and out for 45. Hes good range of kicks high low short long. played mayo soccer goalie underage if recall. Still only 23 or 24 i think so defo a prospect IMO if stays in goal hes only played few games this year so first time back between posts in long time. What really liked was how he managed his defenders. Seemed be great communication and all positive which important as the defence very young.

  7. Is Colm reape the son of forme Knockmore great pat? Did he play u21 for mayo in the forwards?

  8. Wow that’s great Gizmo. I thought he was an outfield convert like Gerry Higgins or Aidan Kilcoyne. Seems he has quite a grounding in goalkeeping.

  9. Yes and Yes i think Mayo 36. At least pretty sure he played U21 was in panel at one stage anyway

  10. Caught up the breaffy westport game, most enjoyable fare. (A far cry from the puke football i witnessed in ballintubber match)

    As report above suggests Westport were very much deserving victors, they got reeled in a good bit in the final quarter but would have been travesty if they lost.
    Fionn McDonagh, missed chances aside was impressive, a constant livewire. Interesting to see them use Kev Keane like that, paid off. Some of breaffys big men played in fits and starts, SOS and Mattie belatedly grew in influence. Keegan easily had the upper hand on AOS.

    We are in for an interesting few weeks, i would put Westport and Ballina firmly in the mix to win it now, obviously cant discount the duopoly of Castlebar/Ballintubber either.

    How are Castlebar looking guys? Havent had chance to see them in about a year?

  11. Just wondering has anyone received an email from headquarters regarding season tickets???

  12. Very disappointing that the GAA have cancelled Season Tickets for all remaining inter county games for 2020.

    Back to the old practice of who you know now in order to get access to any matches assuming matches gi ahead and they are not fully behind closed doors.

    Wonder will the Sponsors suffer a similar fate or will their allocation be left intact.

  13. Olive, with restrictions on attendance being enforced for the foreseeable future, it’s a sensible decision by the GAA to cancel the tickets. They can’t guarantee all season ticket holders admission particularly from Mayo or Dublin so only option is to cancel them. There will be a refund and option for renewal for next season

  14. I would imagine that this year’s IC championship is under serious review. If they do go ahead I would imagine the only people in attendance will be the panels, management and associated people, county board officials and wives/husband’s/partners of the listed panel members.

  15. Supermac – I don’t know how you can say Keegan easily had the upper hand on AOS? 11/16 Breaffy points came from frees and Aidan won the vast majority of them. Aidan scored a mark as well.

  16. Something that has gone unnoticed.
    Ballintubber compared to last year are missing Cathal Hallinan, Ruairi O’Connor, Padraig O’Connor and Alan Plunkett.
    Isn’t that too much power and experience to lose in one year to still be considered title contenders?
    Three of those players were tall and they haven’t been replaced with tall players.

  17. Ah Ref Senior Power Rankings

    1. Ballagh
    2. Ballina
    3. Westport
    4. Knockmore

    Ah Ref Intermediate Power Rankings

    1. Holly Carra

    2. Crossmolina

    3. Ballinrobe

    4. Mayo Gaels

    Ah Ref Junior Power Rankings

    1. Kilmaine
    2. Kilmeena
    3. Ardagh
    4. Cill Chomain

  18. @Wide ball – id be expecting a bit more from a decorated allstar player than winning the odd free, troubling the scoreboard a bit more for starters

  19. Keegan is an even more decorated all star and he didn’t score. I’ve never been a fan of Aidan at full forward as he’s not a natural scorer, but he was by far the most influential Breaffy player. Especially in the last 10 minutes he won every ball that went in. That’s how all the Breaffy scores came about.

  20. I think we will see a lot more of Aidan in and around the FF line/Danger zone over the coming years with Mayo. The midfield sector us going to become even more athletic and pacey, so players like Diarmuid and Mattie will fit the bill whereas Aido can, in my opinion, be a real asset for Mayo in attack IF used properly. It is also my opinion that in previous season any attempt at utilising him in that role has been unplanned.

    GAA attacks are more coordinated now than off the cuff. County teams bringing in basketball and rugby coaches etc. AOS has a lot to offer Mayo for another 4/5 years. He could be a real menace to opposition closer to their goal. It’s a role that needs practicing though.

    On the Intercounty championship. The players are 1st priority. I say proceed with the championship even if it means no fans allowed. It sure beats no games at all.

  21. Jr, yep could do but in a wide space like Croker its easier to navigate around someone like that. He could be deployed in that type of role but it’s in attack where we have fallen short in recent years and we have no nailed on top scoring forward coming thru the ranks. Carr has shown glimpses of serious potential. That’s all so far. He hasnt owned a game yet.

    Towey, still young. Long way to go yet.

    Ryan O’d, looks talented but could be more a playmaker who chips in with scores.

    Darren Coen, when he is on form is pure class but last year showed he wasnt conditioned enough. Work needed there and hes what, 27/28?

    A few others in the mix but no player coming through you can hang your hat on and say he is a banker to average 4/5 points most games.

    It would be great if a gem appeared in this years club championship. An out and out striker. We have enough galloping athletic wing forward types/middle third types.

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