I wasn’t there to see it – opting instead to follow proceedings live on TG4 – but, by all accounts, the celebrations at the end of today’s county final at McHale Park were a sight to behold, as this photo taken by Colm Gannon shows. Proper order too, as James Horan’s Ballintubber – who only recently were plying their trade at intermediate level – had just completed a meteoric rise to claim their first ever senior county title.
Colm wasn’t just taking pictures at McHale Park – here’s his match report for the Mayo Advertiser. As Colm says, it wasn’t a vintage performance but needless to say, the Tubbermen won’t be complaining tonight as they savour their first ever Moclair Cup success.
The recent tragic deaths of Ger Feeney and Donal McEllin provided a very sombre backdrop to the day and The Brother was telling me that the minute’s silence before throw-in was impeccably well observed, which is only what you’d expect. There was always a question about what impact that emotional tribute might have on the contest and although it’s debatable whether or not it had any impact, what is unarguable is that the standard of football in the first half was pretty poor and that the second wasn’t much better.
Both sides shot some truly wretched wides in the first half, with Alan Dillon and Neil Douglas (twice) the worst culprits in this respect, booting close-in frees wildly off the mark. That opening half was close and tense, with both sets of backs well on top, but it was the Ballintubber lads who went in a point in front and they pulled gradually clear over the course of the second half to win in the end by a reasonably comfortable three points.
Ballintubber’s win was fashioned by a complete team performance over the course of that second half. Their backs kept the Castlebar attack well under wraps – as they’d done against Shrule/Glencorrib in the semi-final a few weeks back – while their forwards created and converted sufficient chances to get them over the line. On a day of heroic performances, Ruaraidh and Cillian O’Connor and MOTM Alan Dillon stood out for the winners.
The Tubbermen will obviously celebrate this breakthrough win in a fitting manner but, as well as looking back over today’s historic success, they’ll also no doubt be looking forward to the next date on this footballing odyssey. Next up for them will be the Galway champions, Killererin, in the Connacht club championship semi-final and that’s likely to be a significant step up from today. Whether or not they make it past that test is one for another day but regardless of how they get on, 2010 is set to go down as a vintage one for this upwardly mobile club.
13 thoughts on “Historic first county title for the Tubbermen”
The day seemed perfect for football, a reasonable sized crowd showed up. It was hard to estimate the number there but most of them were in the new stand (does the stand have a name yet by the way?) And though it seemed a lovely day for football, the players seemed to have considerable difficulty staying on their feet. The tackling was robust with both sets of backs playing well, causing the forwards on both sides to shoot under pressure, resulting in several bad misses. But the shooting from frees was also poor with Alan Dillon and Neil Douglas exchanging misses from frees inside the 20m line early on.
It wasn’t the best game of football I ever have ever seen; in fact the first half really was very poor. After 20 mins, there was only one white flag each and it looked like it was heading for a record low scoring contest. The second half improved a bit from a scoring perspective and Ballintubber certainly came out with a clear determination to win. But overall, it gave little hope that there is a wealth of footballing talent in the county, particularly when you consider the percentage of players there today that have worn the county jersey at different levels.
However, it did answer one question. The style of Ballintubber in the second half was very much one of “go out and win it”, whereas Castlebar seemed to have a “let’s try not to lose it” approach. Maybe that is the mark that the respective managers left on the match and if that is so, then the Horan era might give us Mayo supporters something to look forward to in the year ahead. A “go out and win it” approach would be a big improvement on Mayo’s two 2010 championship performances.
But today the day was about Ballintubber and their first senior county title in their 100 year history. And they will rightly savour the victory – after all, finals are for winning. In a few short years the record that will count is the victory, not the standard of the football on the day. And if Mayo was to win the All Ireland in a poor game, I for one couldn’t give a toss about what the opinion of the experts was.
Keep the Faith!
I have to allow for the fact that the emotion at the match had a huge impact. Some of the misses were awful and I had a number of texts reminding me about Mayo men and goal posts.Certainly I agree with Fourgoals analysis in regards the managers and the future but nothing can disguise the poor fare on show.
Alan Dillon is not the future for Mayo as a play maker, maybe as something else. Barry Moran is no Donaghy and that is my biggest dissapointment. I certainly have touted Big Barry as the future, I have my doubts now.
The Galway champs were poor enough but PJ might have too much guile for Ballintubber. Neither of them need worry about St Patricks day though.
This was the worst, most boring county final I ever sat through. I had seen both teams in their semi finals where they played good football. So maybe the deaths did have an effect. There’s no doubt that any decent football in this match was played by Ballintubber. Well done to them. James Horan says that his team don’t score too highly but they concede very little. With this method they have drawn with Crossmolina, beaten Ballina Stephenites, Shrule Glencorrib and now castlebar Mitchels. The proof of the pudding?
Congrats to Ballintubber, great win, investment in underge had paid off. poor game, but i think it was down to nerves more than anything else. It will be interesting to see if the tactics employed by james horan yesterday will be Mayo’s for the coming season.
Very very poor allright and Sean Fada wasnt long in reminding the viewership early and often that Mayomen kick wides on the big day. Change the bleedin record as Willie Joe might say now that hes stayed in the big smoke too long.
Poor fare allright but I suppose to put it into context this was local derby stuff, my local hurling club played the team from the same parish in the divisional final recently, both teams are fine hurling teams on their day, but the final was shocking. Derbies do that to teams, not an inch given as the fear of losing to “that shower” is massive. So Sean fada proclaimed that this is the best Mayo have to offer the others neednt be too worried, thats allright mama as some band once said – we’ve got a man on the line who can organise a team, make changes when needed and knows how to win things, thats a good enough start for me.
Congratulations to Ballintuber and hopefully this makes up in some small way for the recent losses suffered.
Seán fada never misses a chance to mock Mayo. He should look to his own performance – his Irish grammar is atrocious. But in all honesty he was given plenty of ammunition on Sunday.
I have to say that I have found Sean Fada always fair to Mayo. He rightly points out what the rest of the country see as our calling card at present and that is atrocious shooting. What was he to say? “fair play Alan that was a great shot from 21 yards out of your hands in front of the posts!”
As regards his Irish grammer I couldnt comment. I am a native speaker and whilst at secondary school I was asked to define an animal called the tuiseal ginéadch. I failed …miserabley. The teacher sent me to the back of the class with a ringing endorsement, “Ontheroad, you have no Irish!” After that I never studied grammer again.
What would worry me more is that TG4 have to get Sean Fada to commentate on Mayo matters. Is there no man capable of putting a few focails together in the fair county at the moment, even with bad grammer. If Mr Burns from Armagh can do it, splendidly might I add, and Goggins can bluster his way through it, surely Mayo must have at least one ex player with rudimentry Irish, gramaticaly challenged or not. Until then Sean Fada is ok with me. And when inter county players actually kick simple frees over the bar Sean Fada and most of the country will comment on our good attributes, which are many.
Ballintubber only conceded 1 36 in 6 c,ship matches. Thats an average of just over 6 pts a game. Horan uses a sweeper in front of full back line, most of the time, with good man marking backs. Is this a sign of things to come with mayo???
Aye ontheroad but tis nearly lazy journalism at this stage, anytime any Mayoman anywhere hits a wide they trot it out again. Meath always come back is another, even though they havent really managed a comeback in a major game since 96 but it’ll be thrown out there again should they do it some other time. Just imagine if they were in the all ireland semi of 2006 and were 8 points down to the dubs and managed to come back, the meath boys always come back. Except it wasnt them, it was Mayo, who cant kick points in Croker and who always choke on the big day. Sorry, just letting the bitterness get the better of me again, get back, get back.
Anyways, they’ll only all shut up when we win it so we’ll keep it amongst ourselves till then. Barry Moran looks to have gone well back, maybe he was just well marked.
East Cork Exile, like yourself I am an exile too…Meath for my sins and at times I could chew leather. I believe we take offence too easy at times, myself included. So what if Sean Fada had a go, uisce faoi talamh as far as I am concerened.
I agree give a dog a bad name and it sticks but you gotta admit we fire a fair share of simple frees wide. I could give you chapter and verse and until the players get ruthless on the pitch and cut out the unenforced errors we will be always open to smart comment.
That been said, Mayo like Down, can suddenly come from nowhere and get up a fine head of steam. Remember 1993 and 1995. Both of those metamorphed in 1996. But we have got to stop messing with the easy balls. Place the damn thing on the ground and boot it over…simple. Joe Corcoran could do it, Maurice Sheridan wasnt bad either, so was Michael Fitzmaurice, now we got nobody, just when a minor or U21 prospect starts to kick the long range ones, suddenly when he moves on to the senior panel, his touch goes.
Its the winter break thats giving us cabin fever but we wont fall out!
On the road I didn’t think that you would be a man for these so called “quangos” but the word on the grapevine is that you are on one of those committees that Liam Horan has set up with regard to his root and branch review of the state of Gaelic Football in our beloved county. As a matter of urgency can you let us all know which committee you are on and your E-Mail address so we can forward you some of our ideas and suggestions. We will be there right behind you on the road to give you every support we can! !
Gentleman is this the best that the county can produce? Just 8 points to 5 on a nice dry day. Missed frees from 21 yards from players, some of whom are a certainty to wear the county jersey. Wretched wides from forwards who are a permanent fixture on the starting 15 at county level. This was appalling, atrocious, woeful, embarrassing stuff. Not good enough. The low scoring was not due to great defending but to the inability to kick simple scores from in front of the posts. Any neutral who actually paid to get in and watch this must feel mugged. Was this really the cream on display of this once great footballing county? At this rate London will be fancying their chances next May. Excuses about the minutes silence affecting the standard of play wont do. Also the commentator whether he was talking in English, Irish or any other language was only describing the pathetic standard that was unfolding before his dis-believing eyes. So lets not have a go at him. Stop fooling yourselves. Accept it and admit. We are at a low ebb and rotten to the core. Still infested by the “jobs for the boys” culture that has existed in this county for decades.
To the appropriatly named Samuel Maguire, a name we hope all aspire to and dream of seeing arrive on the Yew Plains please send your submissions, drafts, dreams, hopes and aspirations to Liam Horan at the email address listed. Its ActionPlan@mayogaa.com.