End of the road for Ballintubber but Parke claim junior provincial spoils

Ballintubber’s historic year came to a sudden end this afternoon in Tuam Stadium, where they came up short by a single point against Galway champions Killererin. I know that match was shown in full on deferred coverage on TG4 but I have to confess that all I saw of it was the bit they showed on the news.

Conditions at Tuam this afternoon didn’t look all that appetising (we had a grand day up here but the rain and the wind are starting to get going in earnest now) and, from what they had to say on RTÉ, the Tubbermen were undone in trying to defend a half-time lead in the teeth of what must have been a strong wind.  What was the crack with the Ballintubber lads sporting the Mayo jerseys, by the way? I wonder if it was a hark back to what was common practice in the early days of the Association – when county teams were drawn more or less exclusively from the ranks of the county champions – or perhaps it was James Horan looking to get some experience under his belt of walking the line at Tuam in charge of a team sporting the Green and Red.

Ballintubber’s defeat means that it’s the third year in a row that our senior county champions will have failed to add the provincial title to their Moclair Cup success.  Killererin will now meet Roscommon’s St. Brigid’s – who shipped three goals today against Glencar/Manorhamilton but who still managed to make it over the line at Carrick-on-Shannon – in the Connacht final.

It wasn’t all bad news on the club front today, however, as junior county champions Parke were crowned Connacht junior champions following a seven-point win (2-16 to 2-9) over Leitrim’s Eslin.  (My thanks to Club Mayo Dublin for this result – that’s all the news I have of it, I’m afraid).  Parke’s next obstacle on the way to possible All-Ireland glory will be the English champions whom they’ll square up to in an All-Ireland quarter-final, which I guess will be played early next year.

10 thoughts on “End of the road for Ballintubber but Parke claim junior provincial spoils

  1. Ballintubber were actually against the wind in the first half and played some excellent football, leading at half time. However when they had the help of a gale in the second half they deteriorated, but still lost by only a point. They had a chance in the last seconds to level the match with a long distance free, but it went wide. The three O’Connors were to the fore as well as Jason Gibbons. The were missing their captain Feeney, but Kilererin were without Pádraic Joyce.

  2. Thanks for that correction, Grainne – as I said in the post, I didn’t see the match and, as your comment proves, I didn’t know which way the wind was blowing either!

  3. Just regarding the jerseys Willie, I do know that Ballintubber were not allowed to wear either their regular strip or their away jerseys because both were too similar to the Killererin. To avoid a clash, both teams were told to wear their county strip, which Ballintubber did.
    Killererin ended up wearing some sort of hybrid jerseys with red on the collars, sleeves, sides and back shoulders instead of the proper Galway strip.
    It was an unfortunate clash but I wouldn’t read any more into it.

  4. Ballintubber didnt wear the first choice Mayo strip, they wore that cursed red shirt. By the way Dillons free taking whether in a red strip or green strip is poor. We need a proper free taker for the county.

  5. Thanks for the clarification Abbeysider (and commiserations on the defeat). It was an odd one alright and that Killererin jersey was – even to my colour-blind eyes – one of the strangest I’ve seen for a while.

  6. ontheroad, it doesnt matter one bit what colour the jersey is, its what it represents as well as the player that wears it that counts. I wouldnt say any shirt is cursed.
    Regarding Dillons free taking I think you are being harsh. One bad game or miss doesnt mean that overnight Mayos best player for the last 7 years should suddenly be made a scapegoat, cast out or blamed. He could walk out against Galway next time and kick 6 or 8 points and we wont be complaining.
    Your comments reminded me of that sort of overreaction we tend to do in Mayo, something that was aluded to by Horan when he took the job. Thats football, sometimes the reaction is very much like a pantomime.
    You also reminded me of that famous quote from Michael Jordan which is fitting:
    “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

  7. Very well put AbbeySider – fair play to you – what year at all did Michael Jordan play for Mayo and can you tell me was he right-footed or left-footed??

  8. Well Abbeysider I probably have watched Mayo as long as you have and also watched Dillon. A good footballer, no more no less. His free taking is not of the top drawer, I have seen him miss too many easy frees too many times.Not just in the last two matches.He “could” go out against Galway (why Galway I wonder, we seem to have a thing about them) and indeed kick left right and centre and he also could go out and kick a few bad wides. “Could” describes his play a lot along with a few others of the past Mayo team. Thankfully James Horan was able to say why they lost and he also referred to the missed frees. The colour of the shirt does matter. If you wear a red shirt normally and you go back out in another red shirt and your opponent is also wearing a colour of similar vein , that to me betrays a fear of straying too far from ones own colours. So to Ballintubber the colours did matter, thats why they choose to wear a red jersey albeit a Mayo one. By the way Killerarin were the same.
    No body is knocking Dillon, merly pointing out that Mayo needs a reliable free taker and Dillon is not a reliable free taker, he is a good addition to the squad but to go to the level we aspire to other players will be the ones that take us there.

  9. Can’t really agree with you there ontheroad.
    Dillon is a class player. Along with Higgins, I’d say he’s the only player we have who could get on any team in the country.
    Some days he may well miss easy frees or hit a few bad wides, but who doesn’t? Cooper, Brogan etc all have bad days too, no-one is immune from playing poorly on occasion.
    We’re too quick to knock our own. On that desperate day in Longford, Dillon was the only player I saw to come out with any credit. He never let his head drop and was constantly urging those around him to up their game.

  10. For once I have to agree with ontheroad. While Alan Dillon has been one of our best forwards for the past number of years he has not been consistent in his free taking. He is definitely weak when taking them from the right-hand side of the pitch. He is also a confidence player and good conditions really suit him. No doubt about it he missed a few handy ones last Sunday and at the end of the day all that separated them was a 45 driven over the bar by the Killererin goalie. One would also have expected Alan to chip in with a couple of points from play in that match but it wasn’t to be. Only one Ballintubber forward scored from play(Padraig O’Connor) and for all of the second half with a gale force wind – they could only manage one point. Having said all of that Ballintubber have had a great year and it is highly unlikely that they would have won the Mayo championship without Alan Dillon. In the past he has proven himself as an excellent team player, a great grafter, unselfish with the ball and also well able to cope with the media – – all vital components in the make-up of a good leader and captain which is a subject that will have to be given some thought by James Horan in the near future.

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