The opening weekend of matches in this year’s Mayo Senior, Intermediate and Junior football Championships is over. While yesterday evening’s games were played in decent weather, the wet going this afternoon after a morning of rain in the west made conditions underfoot a good bit trickier.
In the SFC defending champions Knockmore got their campaign going yesterday evening with a six-point win over Aghamore. Last year’s beaten finalists Breaffy made a positive start too. In their game against The Neale, which was televised today by TG4, they came out on top by twelve points.
Castlebar Mitchels – who had five points to spare over Balla – and Westport, eight-point winners over Ballaghaderreen, also enjoyed opening round wins. Charlestown and Belmullet ended all square, while Claremorris squeezed by Davitts and Garrymore had a decisive win over Kiltane.
Ballintubber came out on top too, beating Ballina Stephenites yesterday evening by a decisive nine points.
I was at Clogher myself for yesterday evening’s match. Although fairly ravaged by injuries, it was the youthful Stephenites team who made the better start, with Dylan Thornton palming the ball to the net to send them into an early three-point lead.
That prompted Ballintubber to get moving and, when they did, it was to devastating effect. Three goals – from Ciaran Gavin, Michael Plunkett and Bryan Walsh – and a steady flow of points saw the home side go in at the break ten points in front.
Tubber only added four further points to their tally after that, opting for more in the way of containment in the second half. Padraig O’Hora – a late withdrawal from Stephenites’ starting fifteen – came on after the break and he took the fight to the home team in the second half, aided by Frank Irwin and Evan Regan.
The visitors cut the gap to seven but Ballintubber, with Jason Gibbons a calm presence as a defensive shield, were largely content to soak up the pressure. They raided forward the odd time too and the scores they picked off stretched their winning margin to nine points, as they prevailed on a scoreline of 3-13 to 1-10.
Here’s the full list of Round 1 results from the SFC:
Here are the Round 1 Intermediate football Championship results:
And here are the results from Round 1 of the JFC: