Club Championship round-up

It’s down to the final two in this year’s race for both the Moclair and Sweeney Cups. This year’s SFC final will be contested by defending champions Ballintubber and Ballaghaderreen while the IFC decider pits The Neale against Ballyhaunis.

Both of the Senior semi-finals were low scoring affairs. I tuned in on Mayo GAA TV last night to watch the Ballintubber/Ballina game and, I swear to God, I nodded off briefly early in the second half. It was a dour, defensive struggle for much of the hour with little in the way of expansive, open football.

Ballina had a few goal chances before the break but failed to capitalise on these openings, whereas Ballintubber were a bit more efficient in front of the posts. They led by five points to two at the break.

Once the champions had opened up a four-point gap early in the second half, it was always going to be tough for the Stephenites to break down that deep-lying defence. It didn’t help Ballina’s cause that they opted predominantly to run the ball in, repeatedly getting swallowed up by the cover for their troubles.

They did manage to cut the gap to two points with ten minutes left to play but that was their final score of the evening. Ballintubber always looked to have the edge and Ciaran Gavin’s goal – he shimmied past David Clarke and slipped the ball to the net – sealed their place in the final.

I didn’t see this afternoon’s other semi-final as I was out in Parnell Park myself then but following it on the ‘phone it was clear that this was a game in which Ballaghaderreen led from pillar to post. They bagged the game’s first five points and never looked back from there.

By half-time they were ten points to four in front and, by the sounds of it, they held off Mitchels with some ease to win by 0-15 to 0-8. Mike Finnerty tipped them as dark horses for the Moclair Cup on the last episode of the podcast and I’m now regretting my failure to stick a few quid on them on the back of that recommendation.

The decider has been fixed for MacHale Park on Saturday, 19th October, where throw-in under the lights will be at 7pm. It’ll be preceded, at 5pm, by the Intermediate final.

The Neale emerged from a thriller last night to book their place in the IFC final, as they got the better of Louisburgh after extra-time on a scoreline of 2-15 to 1-14. I caught the latter stages of that contest on Mayo GAA TV, in a game where a cracking goal early in the second half of extra-time by Darragh Moran finally broke Louisburgh’s resolve.

This afternoon’s other semi-final, between perennial challengers Burrishoole and Ballyhaunis, was another all-in tussle. The West Mayo lads looked well set at half-time, when they led by four and, after Ballyhaunis bagged a goal to equalise, Burrishoole went back down the field to score another goal themselves.

From then to the finish, though, Ballyhaunis took complete control of the game. A succession of scores for them included two further goals, the last one closing out an emphatic 3-11 to 2-6 victory.

The two relegation deciders, at Senior and Intermediate levels, were also played today. Bohola Moy Davitts preserved their Senior status for next year when they beat Hollymount/Carramore by 2-11 to 1-12, while Ballinrobe staved off relegation to Junior level, sending Shrule/Glencorrib down on a scoreline of 0-16 to 0-14.

Finally, Carnacon were once again – for the 20th year in a row – crowned ladies football county champions this weekend. They beat Moy Davitts by 3-11 to 0-8 in the decider on Saturday. Well done to them.

30 thoughts on “Club Championship round-up

  1. The most pertinent point to be taken from the Senior game today is Rory Byrne should be playing No. 1 for Mayo. In a match where Mitchells were well beaten he was the boy with the finger in the dyke and prevented the game from being an embarrassment to the home team. Staved off at least 6 one on ones and pinged balls long or short from either side. Time the Clarke v Hennelly debate was put to bed or once and all.

  2. In MacHale Park today to see what appeared to be a tired Castlebar team give up the ghost almost from the outset. But for Rory Byrne and some wayward shooting close to goal by the Ballaghmen, incl. Andy no less, it could have been a massacre.
    In the intermediate game the introduction of Morgan Lyons at half time seemed to give an up till then ineffective Ballyhaunis mobility and fluency and the second half was almost all theirs. It seems like an age ago since he got a run out for Mayo in the FBD at a time when he did not seem ready for it. Incidentally is the Burrishoole full back, Liam O’Malley the same Liam who lined out for Mayo back in the early noughties? Can hardly be, can it?
    Finally why on earth are the finals on Saturday night? Is the Board trying to discourage travelling supporters? To paraphrase the GAA advert, Mayo GAA TV is no substitute for being there, even if you have no allegiance to the competing teams. Is this the same Board who made somewhat limp complaints about Mayo supporters being asked to travel from Newry late in the night during the summer? It hardly can be , can it?

  3. I’m glad to hear Byrne played well. Always thought he deserved more of a chance than the odd FBD league game he’s got in the past. I think the goalkeeper question is the most pertinent which mr. Horan must answer this off season. Having seen the majority of the contenders for the no.1 shirt in the last few weeks it was worrying how none stood out.

  4. NiallMc1983, Did any of the contenders for the No 1 shirt stand out by conceding a soft goal? If they don’t get shots to save they can hardly impress. I understand that Hennelly did blunder under a high ball for Breaffy but otherwise who did? Certainly Byrne did all he could today in terms of shot stopping and his kickouts seemed ok too.
    Incidentally I did a bit of research on Liam O’Malley on the wonderful archive on this site and I spotted Liam’s name first as a sub on the 2001 minor team along with one A Moran.

  5. Liam is on the go a long while now and by all accounts WJ , you were not is biggest fan back in the day………….??

  6. That’s a tad harsh, Joe! I do recall being critical of one of his performances for the county one time when the blog wasn’t long in existence and getting serious ear-ache for my troubles on another forum as a result but that’s all water long gone under the bridge at this stage. Liam has put in serious service down the years, both at club and county level, and he deserves huge respect for this.

  7. Players who impressed over the weekend.
    Padraic Walsh ( The Neale)
    Fergal Sweeney ( The Neale) still a minor.
    Padraig O Hora ( Ballina) needs to be brought into mayo panel.
    Ciaran Gavin (Ballintubber) U20 again next season.
    C O Connor.
    John Cunnane (Balyhaunis) corner back for mayo U20’s last year.
    Jason Coyne (Balyhaunis) scored 1-4.
    Rory Byrne ( Castlebar) great shot stopping display but had issues with his kickouts.
    Patrick Sharkey (Ballagh) his kickouts again impressed me.
    David Drake (Ballagh) unlucky to be dropped off mayo panel.
    Seamus Cunniffe ( Ballagh).
    Sharoize Akram ( Ballagh) has serious pace and engine. Done a great job on Paddy Durcan.
    Ryan Lynch (Ballagh) being consistent all season at midfield.
    Cian Hanley.
    Cormac Doohan.
    Kuba Callaghan.Showed glimpses of his huge potential. Should have scored more.He has serious pace and power.Still
    has a lot to learn,but is only 19 and has the natural talent to be a future intercounty player.
    Good to hear James Horan is already planning for next season by bringing in new players and releasing others.I don’t think I’m breaking house rules here by naming some of the players released or retired and the new players brought in as they have being mentioned in 1 (James Horan interview on Mayo Gaa TV).
    2 (Mike Finnerty mentioned Liam Irwin in his commentary of the Breaffy v Ballina game on Mayo Gaa TV).
    3(The Ah Ref and Enda Mac show and podcast on Ballina Community Radio every Saturday at 1 o clock have mentioned the names throughout the last month.They both contribute to this blog regularly and have strong knowledge of the local club scene.)
    Players released or retired.
    D Drake,C Crowe,G Cafferkey,E Regan,A Moran & C Diskin.
    Players in.
    Brian Murphy (Ballintubber), David Kenny (Aghamore),James Stretton (Claremorris),Jordan Flynn (Crossmolina),Ryan O Donoghue & Gary Boylan (Belmullet),Liam Irwin (Breaffy) & Paul Towey (Charlestown).

  8. CBar are down but not out.In minor & Junior finals.31 senior titles won–good luck to Ballagh in final_best team won.

  9. Thanks for that Mayogooch. Good names coming in but disappointed Drake is gone. And, what about Séamus Cunniffe? Stormer for Ballaghaderreen today.

  10. Long time follower, first time poster. Great weekend in McHale Park. Enjoyed intermediate game today. Thought burrishoole had it but ballyhaunis ran away in the end. I’m sure read somewhere this is Liam O’Malley’s 20th year at senior level for club. A great servant for the county too. Will he ever get to see a county medal. Would love to see ballagh take the senior. Almost better the didn’t run away with it all together today. It might keep them in line for the final. When is the junior final? I’m sure mitchels manager didn’t want to see Barry Moran get the run today.

  11. Players That should be brought in to be looked at
    Sharoize Akram Ballagh
    Ryan Lynch Ballagh
    Cian Hanley Ballagh
    Seamus Cunniffe Ballagh
    Kuba Callaghan Ballagh
    Rory Byrne Castlebar best Goalie in Mayo after Clarke
    Padraic O’Hora Ballina
    Jack Irwin Ballina
    Conor O’Shea Breaffy
    Darren McHale Knockmore
    Peter Naughton Knockmore
    Jack Reilly Charlestown
    Niall Murphy Charlestown
    Padraic Walsh The Neale
    Aidan O’Sullivan The Neale
    Ronan Carolan Roscommon Gaels formally Parke
    Evan O’Brien Ballinrobe
    Cathal Horan Kilmovee
    Marcus Parke Knockmore
    Oisin McLoughlin Westport

  12. And no. 10 Michael Michael o’Malley, Burrishule, unreal yday, beat Keith higgins at his ease to crash home a great goal, and won most ball that came to him, either in FF line or outfield. Was unremarkable for most of match. Mobile, big and strong, and good footballing skills.
    Could be developed eirher as a midfielder or a Full forward.

  13. Rory Byrne needs to get a sustained run in nets for FBD and league, we have to try something new there.
    Clarke/Hennelly have had more than enough tryouts, we all know their respective strengths and weaknesses inside out at this stage, as do opposition managers

    Out of the list of newbies JH mentioned the other nights, i expect the belmullet pairing of Boylan and Ryan o’donoghue to be the most likely bolters, think they might have the stuff required with a good pre-season and s&c behind them
    Havent seen any of ballaghdereen this season, anyone there putting their hand up?

  14. Byrne was the standout player (about 5 Ballagh players stood out from the pack) despite Castlebar getting well beaten. Nothing particularly wrong with his kickouts but hard to tell if he has a particularly good kickout because neither team gave great options for kickouts for good portions of the game. By the end of the match Ballaghdereen looked to be running out of ideas on how to beat him albeit several of their goal chances would be better passed on or backwards. That said he snuffed out all the 1v 1’s including a great chance for Hanley near the end.

  15. Hard to tell if Donie injured or subbed. He took a few big hits in the game and appeared to dust himself off. By the time he was subbed at about 45 or 50 mins he didn’t appear to be contributing much albeit Castlebar were pretty clueless by that point of the game anyway.

  16. Was Neil Douglas or James Durcan playing for the Mitchell’s on Sunday if so how did they do

  17. One talking point missed by pundits is the Ballaghdereen Goalie after trying all his Bruce Grobellar smarts was nearly 2m off his line when the ball was kicked. A rule never inforced since its introduction. Castlebar could potentially have robbed the game in broad daylight if they succeeded in getting back into it from the penalty. Also one black mark to Ballagh, big Barry wasn’t in a dangerous enough place to warrant conceding a penalty.

  18. Backdoorsam, James Durcan was trying hard in the first half and looked to have great pace and good S&C but the clueless team movement around him meant he didn’t stand out too much.
    Douglas scored a couple of nice points from play but otherwise Ballagh were able to contain him. Didn’t need to be double teamed as Corofin did to him in last Connaught appearance. Missed one easy free and scored a 45 immediately after missing a penalty.

  19. Connacht championship draw on tomorrow morning on Rte radio 1 and the RTÉ news channel, can’t find what time it’s at, but I’m guessing around the 8.35am mark, similar to the Qualifier draw times, perhaps.

  20. Shuffly Deck. I was situated behind the goal when Castlebar took the penalty. The Ballaghadereen goalkeeper was not 2 meters of the line. He stayed on the line. Probably he should have been sent of for the foul for the penalty. He was booked only. Another thing that comes to mind was the umpires decisions, 2 on Saturday nights game, Ballina V Ballintubber, and one yesterday Ballaghadreeen V Castlebar, The 2 on Saturday night both balls were wide, and again yesterday the ball was wide, On Saturday night the ball that was wide by Ballina was given as a score and was not changed, This umpire have dark glasses on him, The ball that was wide by Ballintubber was given as a score and was later rescinded (Which was correct), Again yesterday the score was also rescinded. Where does the County Board get those useless officals. Time for Mayo GAA to get good Referees and Officials for those games. Even the lines men would not interfere , and some of the stuff was not nice. For me the man who made some brilliant timely interventions to get the ball and come away with it when the going got tough was that man KEITH HIGGINS. Just shows you cannot beat class. Both Intermediate and Senior Finals should be good games. Looking at all games on this weeks performance both Ballaghadeereen and Ballyhaunis will be favourites.

  21. New podcast episode just gone up! It’s a must-listen one, a special, in-depth interview by Mike Finnerty with Kevin McStay. Very interesting discussion.

  22. Was in a pub in Castlebar earlier and the Mitchels team and management were having some well earned refreshments, an elderly regular ( in his 90,s) told the pub owner he was a big admirer of paddy durcan (our only realistic chance of an all star this year, who was there), pub owner brings over PD to introduce him to the 90 year old and his face light up in delight as PD shook his hand introducing himself (not that he needed an introduction to this gent), well done PD! You are a gentleman, it’s the little things….

  23. Keeper was way off the line.
    Check tg4 tonight.
    Why would keeper be sent off?
    Nothing more than a penalty.

  24. Hey William..that’s a nice story. P Durcan carries some pomp!!! I’ve met him on a professional level before and he’s a lovely petson I have to say!! A sincere gentleman! Was that Mick Byrnes by any chance? On an unrelated matter will Ireland go against stereotype and play some kamikaze rugby in the near future? And what are the chances of the typhoon hitting land?

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