It’s down to the final four in both the Senior and Intermediate football championships following another jam-packed weekend of club action. Here’s a quick rundown on all the weekend’s results.
The SFC quarter-finals were played out in two double-headers at McHale Park, with Breaffy facing Westport and Ballintubber taking on Moy Davitts yesterday evening while this afternoon it was Castlebar against Claremorris followed by Ballaghaderreen against Garrymore.
I stayed put up in the capital myself this weekend but I still got to see a good bit of the Senior action by tuning into the Mayo GAA TV live streaming service, which covered all four games from MacHale Park. That was the best value tenner I’ve spent in a while.
I didn’t, to be honest, see all that much of the Breaffy/Westport game as I was occupied with other stuff here for all of the first half and a bit of the second. By the time I logged on Breaffy’s half-time lead was gone and so too was Matthew Ruane on a red, with James Horan’s young Covies seemingly circling for the kill.
But they failed to finish the job. Breaffy only scored two second half points – both from placed balls – but that proved enough for them on the evening, as they prevailed by the minimum margin. The winner for Breaffy came courtesy of this long-range free from Robbie Hennelly:
— Mid West Radio (@radiomidwest) September 23, 2018
Last night’s second game proved a bit one-sided, with Ballintubber beating Moy Davitts at their ease. The underdogs started brightly in this one, the lively Brian Reape causing all manner of trouble to the Tubber backline early on, but as the opening half progressed Ballintubber asserted control and two goals before the break effectively killed off Moy Davitts’ challenge.
Alan Plunkett got the first, claiming a knock-down from a long ball punted in and planting it firmly past the ‘keeper, while Alan Dillon bagged the second soccer-style. Ballintubber’s recovery from that jittery start was aided by strong midfield dominance, where Jason Gibbons was in majestic form, full of running and the scorer of three cracking points.
Ballintubber won by twelve at the finish but they won’t, one assumes, have things quite their own way next time out. That’s because their semi-final opponents will be Castlebar Mitchels who this afternoon blew away Claremorris in the day’s opening fixture at MacHale Park.
Playing into the Albany end with the wind at their backs, Mitchels gave their opponents a harsh lesson in point-taking in a totally lopsided first half. Ten points went over the posts at that end before Claremorris got off the mark at all but when they did it was a green flag they raised, Conor Diskin connecting with a long ball in and flicking it to the net.
The second half was a pedestrian affair. A second Claremorris goal – a converted penalty – helped to keep the final scoreline in respectable territory from their point of view but this was in every sense a hugely comfortable win for the defending champions.
Ballaghaderreen’s victory over Garrymore in this afternoon’s second fixture at MacHale Park was a more hard-fought affair but goals – three of them – scored at crucial times helped to see them home. Ballagh’ hit the net twice – both times from Darragh Kelly – in the first half but a hard-working Garrymore side were still well in it at the break, trailing by three but with the wind behind them for the second half.
Shortly after the resumption, however, they shipped another major. Cian Hanley gathered the ball close to goal out on the right and was able to skip by a few challenges before poking the ball home. The South Mayo side battled back again after this latest set-back but to no avail, as Ballagh’ held out for a three-point win.
So it’s Castlebar Mitchels against Ballintubber and Breaffy against Ballaghaderreen in the Moclair Cup semi-finals. These ties will be played under the MacHale Park lights on Saturday week (6th October), with the Breaffy/Ballaghaderreen match throwing in at 6pm and the Castlebar/Ballintubber one getting going at 7.30pm. Both matches will also be streamed live by Mayo GAA TV.
Wrapping up the Senior action, both Knockmore and my own home club Aghamore escaped to safety in this weekend’s relegation play-offs. Aghamore – as they’d done twelve months ago – condemned Davitts to a relegation final play-off when they beat them yesterday in Ballyhaunis by 2-11 to 1-8. Knockmore, meanwhile, saw off Crossmolina at Ballina this afternoon by 1-12 to 0-7 in the other relegation avoider.
The race for the Intermediate championship has also been whittled down to the final four. The Neale were the first club into this year’s semi-finals when they edged by Parke by 0-15 to 0-13 yesterday afternoon at Claremorris. They were joined this afternoon by Burrishoole (1-15 to 1-5 winners over Ballinrobe at Breaffy), Belmullet (who thumped Swinford by 5-16 to 1-5 at Ballina) and Kiltimagh (who beat Louisburgh by 0-13 to 1-6 at Islandeady).
The IFC semi-finals will also be staged as a MacHale Park double-header the weekend after next. Both games will be played on Sunday, 7th October, with The Neale taking on Burrishoole at 1pm while Belmullet will be up against Kiltimagh at 2.30pm. These two semi-finals will also be streamed live on Mayo GAA TV.
Just to complete the list on the Intermediate side, Shrule/Glencorrib beat Mayo Gaels by 2-20 to 0-16 in yesterday’s relegation play-off semi-final while Bonniconlon beat Castlebar Mitchels B this afternoon by 0-14 to 0-8 in the other IFC relegation avoider.
Here’s the full list of the weekend’s SFC and IFC results:
SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
- Breaffy 0-11 Westport 0-10
- Ballintubber 2-17 Moy Davitts 0-11
- Castlebar Mitchels 1-20 Claremorris 2-9
- Ballaghaderreen 3-11 Garrymore 0-18
- Aghamore 2-11 Davitts 1-8
- Knockmore 1-12 Crossmolina Deel Rovers 0-7
INTERMEDIATE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
- The Neale 0-15 Parke/Keelogues/Crimlin 0-13
- Burrishoole 1-15 Ballinrobe 1-5
- Belmullet 5-16 Swinford 1-5
- Kiltimagh 0-13 Louisburgh 1-6
- Shrule/Glencorrib 2-20 Mayo Gaels 0-16
- Bonniconlon 0-14 Castlebar Mitchels B 0-8
Finally, don’t forget that there’ll be a new episode of the Mayo News football podcast online on Tuesday morning, reviewing all of the weekend’s SFC and IFC action. This is the first of two podcast episodes planned for the coming week with a second one a few days later previewing next weekend’s Junior football final. Spoiled rotten, the lot of you are.