Lahardane MacHales are this year’s Mayo Junior football champions. They got the better of Shrule/Glencorrib by 2-10 to 0-11 in this afternoon’s Pete McDonnell Cup decider.
This was an entertaining contest between two well-matched sides. So well-matched, in fact, that they went in level, at five point apiece, at half-time. While the bulk of Lahardane’s scores had come from play, with Matthew Maughan nabbing two nice ones, it was the trusty boot of Ronan Ward – who finished the game with six points to his name – that kept the border lads ticking over.
Lahardane, with Shane Finnerty a growing presence around the middle, pushed two clear after the break. They were one up when, 12 minutes after the resumption, they struck a significant blow, as Matthew Maughan fed Mark Noone who drove the ball to the net.
Shrule/Glencorrib battled back well after that setback, though, bagging the net three points, one from play from Evan Cawley and two more Ronan Ward frees, to cut the gap back to the minimum.
But then Lahardane hit them with a second hammer blow. Barry Leonard’s ball in was at best speculative but, with the Shrule/Glencorrib defence hesitating, Mark Noone swept it soccer-style to the roof of the net.
There was no way back for the South Mayo lads after that. Lahardane added two further points to Shrule/Glencorrib’s one as they closed out a five-point win.
Lahardane were hugely disappointed last year to fall through the relegation trapdoor back to Junior level. Their aim this year would surely have been to bounce back at the first attempt and today this was what they achieved.
With the Pete McDonnell Cup now on its way back to the foothills of Nephin, Lahardane can start to think about a return to the Intermediate ranks next year and, before then, the upcoming Connacht JFC campaign. Congrats to them on today’s well-deserved JFC title success.
Our Mayo Football Podcast Final Whistle show on the Junior final is up on Patreon. Lahardane’s manager Eddie Conroy and player Adrian Leonard are on it and there’s match analysis from John Maughan. Join the club here.