Results round-up

It’s time to draw breath once again after another cracking weekend of club action within the county. We’re really at the business end of things now in the Senior, Intermediate and Junior football Championships, with the finalists in each competition now identified.

Belmullet have been the story of this year’s club Championships all along so it’s only right to start this results round-up by talking about them. They’ve revelled in the role of gutsy outsiders right through this campaign, first in negotiating their way to the top of a tough group – where, on the way, they beat defending champions Knockmore – and then dispatching last year’s beaten finalists Breaffy in the quarter-finals.

Today at Ballina they did it again, upsetting the odds once more to beat fancied Westport by 2-7 to 0-9. They were full value for their victory too, in a match they took by the scruff of the neck in the second half, their talisman Ryan O’Donoghue landing the killer blow with a goal in injury time to seal a four-point win for the Erris men.

In the Moclair Cup decider in two weeks time they’ll be up against Knockmore who got the better of Garrymore under the lights at Bekan last night. This one was the classic game of two halves with Garrymore looking by the far the more assured and purposeful at the break, by which time they’d established an 0-8 to 0-4 lead.

The champions came out transformed in the second half, though, and the goals they’d spent most of the first half hunting unsuccessfully for suddenly materialised in the second period. Those two goals, scored by the Ruttledge brothers, came within a few minutes of each other and there was no way back for Garrymore from those hammer blows. Knockmore won by 2-11 to 0-11 at the finish.

The final will, appropriately enough for what is an all-North Mayo affair, take place at James Stephens Park in Ballina in a fortnight’s time. Knockmore will be hunting for their tenth county title and will also be aiming to emulate the 1983/4 and 1996/7 teams by claiming back-to-back title wins.

Belmullet, meanwhile, are in the final for the first time since 1981 and they’ve yet to win the Paddy Moclair Cup. After the campaign they’ve enjoyed this year, however, it’d be a brave person who’d rule them out of it now. It should be a final to savour in two weeks time.

It wasn’t a weekend of unconfined joy in Erris, though, as Kiltane yesterday lost out in the relegation decider to Balla and so drop down to Intermediate next year, after six seasons in the Senior grade. That match, played at Knockmore, went Balla’s way on a scoreline of 1-12 to 0-9.

The Intermediate final, meanwhile, will be contested by Mayo Gaels and Ballyhaunis. In very blustery conditions at Flanagan Park yesterday an impressive Mayo Gaels outfit put an end to Kilmaine’s gallop, winning by 0-11 to 0-6. In the early game this afternoon at Josie Munnelly Park Ballyhaunis caused a minor upset by toppling Louisburgh. This was a tight contest throughout, with Ballyhaunis prevailing by 0-11 to 1-6. In the IFC relegation decider, Lahardane were decisive 2-12 to 1-7 winners over Swinford.

Onto the Junior A Championship, where Kilmeena yesterday hammered Islandeady by 1-19 to 0-6, while Cill Chomain got the better of Shrule/Glencorrib this afternoon by 0-9 to 0-7. In the JFC B semi-finals, Eastern Gaels beat Kilfian by 1-15 to 0-6 while Tourmakeady saw off Ballycroy by 2-8 to 1-9.

37 thoughts on “Results round-up

  1. I was at Cill Chomain v Shrule in Parke today. Lovely conditions for football. Cill chomain won the game early on by setting up a 5-6 point lead, and storming out of the blocks early. Shrule were forced to press hard once they found themselves a few points down, and ended up getting caught on the break and falling further behind by half time, at which point Cill chomain lead 8-2.
    It was more of the same in the third quarter when Cill chomain tagged on an early point but it would prove their last point of the game. They retreated into their shells and invited an invigorated Shrule onto them who scored 5 points on the spin and by the end Cill chomain were hanging on for the final whistle.
    In my view no player on show was of the requisite standard to play senior football for Mayo. In fact, one could argue the two best players on the park for either side were the two elder statesmen on either side – Ronan Walsh of Shrule and Brendan Moran of Cill Chomain.
    I haven’t seen Kilmeena play but it seems they will be favourites for the final especially with it being in Westport. However if Cill chomain can put a 60 min performance together and bring some of the underrated north Mayo “steel” to the final, just like neighbours belmullet did against the bright and shiny stars of Westport today, anything is possible. Most county finals in Gaa are won by the side with the best dogs of war mentality after all.
    Something the Mayo management should keep front of mind at their combine next week too.

  2. Bellmullet will probably start as favorites seeing as they beat knockmore already in the championship

  3. There’s a strong case for Ryan o’donghue to be made mayo captain next year in my opinion.

    He has been excellent for a few years now and continues to improve and add strings to his bow.

    He has shown serious leadership for his club on their championship campaigns and crucially he shows up in the big games, being one of our best performers in the last 2 all ireland finals

  4. Westport left me fuming. They were in the driving seat: dominating possession, keeping ROD quiet, going a point up. They have nearly ten county men of one sort or another. But, as Larry Duff said, the dogs of war left them for dead. All Westport’s big names were flakey.

  5. Is it one County player from each of the two County finalists. 10 county players from Westport. Odd. County players should have steel in them like many of the Belmullet players.

  6. Belmullet well deserved on the day. ROD was unbelievable. Led from the front, even during periods where he was kept relatively quiet and was constantly on his toes. Prime example is the second Keegan pull down where neither player were really looking at the ball and it was sent in long. ROD wins, turns Keegan and is pulled down (should have seen Keegan off in all honesty!)

    Belmullet management have great faith in their squad. They ring the changes and keep the intensity high. Eoin O’Donoghue has been the best defender in Mayo this year at club level and more than deserves an extended look in with Mayo in a starting role.

    The atmosphere was fantastic. Belmullet crowd really enjoying this renaissance of sorts and so they should. The team play with immense pride of place. It will be some atmosphere when the Knockmore crowd join them in 2 weeks time. Cannot wait to see it!

    Westport rattled from the start, almost as if they hadn’t seen Belmullet play all season. The antics could have been foreseen and should have been.

    The off the ball stuff was picked up on better this week, but still so much was let go. Constantly players on the ground wrestling when Westport were trying to build up steam. The physio/dochtúir was on the pitch without permission of officials to slow it down every 2-3 minutes when needed! Officiating needs to be stronger in these scenarios. The Breaffy game is a prime example of where, when uncontrolled, lack of conviction in the officials result in a shambolic game. Safety of players goes out the window when off the ball stuff away from the play is left totally uncontrolled. Targeting is all good and well when it’s fair and a man marking job. Abuse and borderline assault at times isn’t.

    Incredible game. Intriguing final now as Belmullet favourites, in my book, having already turned Knockmore over. If Knockmore can manage the Belmullet style and take their scores unlike their first half against Garrymore they will be right there with them. Goals win games and Belmullet live on them. They’ve broken Knockmore down before and Ray Dempsey appears to thrive on a challenge.

  7. In fairness Valdaam that’s not true.
    Belmullet:
    Ryan O’Donoghue
    Eoin O’Donoghue

    Knockmore:
    Kevin McLaughlin
    Darren McHale
    Aidan Orme
    Colm Reape

    That’s 6 of the 41 man panel in 2021.
    Westport had seven I think, but arguable their best player in 2021, Colm Moran, is not one of them.
    I’d expect a couple more from Belmullet and Knockmore to get some opportunity in 2022. Kieran King and Conal Dempsey from Knockmore, and maybe Fionan Ryan and Owen McHale from Belmullet.
    Gotta say, Belmullet are churning the talent out. I counted 3 of the most talented players I’ve ever seen at underage level who could have all been playing for Belmullet yesterday under different circumstances but are not for various reasons.
    Chris Barrett, Ronan Murray and Gary Boylan would all have been stars of Belmullet Gaa and in the right age bracket to be on that team yesterday.
    Some going.

  8. Westport have 6 county players I think, not 10…

    Keegan
    Brickendon
    E McLaughlin
    McDonagh
    M Moran
    Doyle

    When Mitchels were dominating the Mayo scene a few years back, they struggled to get anyone starting on the county team.

  9. Westport persistently fouled Ballina 2 weeks ago, this being the only way they could stop their attacks. So they can have no complaints about yesterday.

  10. Agreed Liberal. It is in all games now. The thing that worried me the last few weeks was the off the ball stuff though. It seems to be a blind spot in the game and some teams are certainly making the most of it.

    I know umpires are volunteers and it is hard to make these calls. But should they have more of a say? Hard to keep an eye on every inch of the field!

  11. Mandarin, I think the veiled congratulations and well done Belmullet only to have a go and invent off the ball situations that didn’t happen, and sounds like a similar agenda to Breaffy who can’t accept that they were outworked, lost almost every 50/50 ball and didn’t have the heart to win a game, despite the talent. Praise them, but make sure to say they are dirty and say that is why they won.

    If you can give examples of borderline assaults and antics in yesterday’s game, I will happily retract this. The only antics I saw was the Westport lads diving, and being told as a group by the referee to stop the play acting at half time. There was only one situation where anyone should have got a red yesterday, and that was Lee. The ref told the Belmullet captain if he sent him off, it would change the game, that’s the point of the cards.

  12. Supermac, Stephen Coen is our obvious choice as Captain. It is an important appointment, did our captain not decide on our freetaker in our defeat against Ross a few years ago. We missed an equalising free

  13. Keegan should have been sent off yesterday and so should Eoin o Donoghue.
    He was booked earlier and was clearly caught on camera pulling Moran to the ground as Westport were attacking. None of the officials saw it – or if they did they turned a blind eye.

  14. Not liking this narrative that Belmullet are beating these teams through off the ball stuff and excessive aggression.
    Maybe these sides should spend the winter thinking about how to harder the f**k up for next year, to add to their undoubted talent levels, if they want to win a Moclair cup.

  15. Well said, Larry. Any team worth its salt is able to mix it when it suits them but, from what I’ve seen of Belmullet this year, it’s grit, heart and tenacity, as well as plenty of talent, that has got them this far.

  16. Agreed 100% Larry, the whining from other teams about belmullet is priceless, apparently they should know their place and roll over and have their bellies tickled by overhyped star-studded teams like breaffy and westport (not a SFC between them for all their county stars).

    I didnt see anything from belmullet that was out of the ordinary, they were very physical and pushed the rules to its limits but its nothing you dont see from any serious gritty team. Mayos greatest player of all time Lee Keegan is one of the greatest exponents of the dark arts and we dont whinge about it when he is cancelling out a connolly/kilkenny etc. Its all part of the game

    Wouldnt it be better for Westport and Breaffy to ask themselves the hard questions like why they cannot get over the line? Despite constantly being tipped and both being absolutely stacked with county players?

    Also a question for James Horan around why he seems to be picking so much county players (not naming individuals) from those 2 teams (and to a lesser extent ballintubber) who have shown absolutely nothing at club or county level to keep justifying inclusion

  17. Ah lads, these comments about Belmullet assaults or borderline assaults is absolutely disgraceful. I was at the game yesterday both teams doing plenty of pulling and dragging off the ball and that was all it was. Even Colm Moran was doing plenty of it. Belmullet just showed more grit, heart and determination and weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.

    I dont know the exact stats were. But I’d say Belmullet got around 5/6 yellow cards and Westport got around 1 I think. The ref was giving Belmullet player cards for anything. Take for example the free Paul Lambert won just before half time over beside the stand. It was barely a free at all, there was minimal contact. Yet, the Belmullet player got a yellow. Eoghan McLaughlin fouled at least 5 times around the middle of the park. He even retaliated one time he got a free himself and he was never booked.

    As was previously mention Westport continuedly fouled around the middle third in the Ballina game without getting booked…

  18. Was at the game in Ballina and in fairness to Belmullet they fought for everything that they got and while there were a few occasions where one lad wanted another lads shirt it could not be called a dirty game. Westport had the opportunity to push on but just did not seem to have the same drive to do so. It was puzzling to watch. It will be interesting to see those city slickers from Belmullet against us poor country lads in Knockmore in two weeks 🙂
    All joking aside, but I hope for an epic battle.

  19. I presume the Mayo panel will not be as heavily stacked with west mayo players in 2022 as
    it has been over the last few years.

  20. I think its fair to say that some of the county lads haven’t stood out, two remaining teams notwithstanding, in this years championship.
    Whether that is general fatigue and a hangover from an all Ireland loss I’m not qualified to judge but lets hope we see the back fresher next season or replaced by those who have stood out in the championship.

  21. I’m probably being a bit simplistic but there are several lads who have been involved in county setup last few years who I have yet to see play well for their club. Leaves you scratching your head at times. If a man isn’t performing at club level it’s unlikely he is going to turn it on against tyrone/dublin/kerry in an ai final is he

  22. That’s not necessarily true, Supermac. Up here in Dublin, Ballymun had six players on the county panel during the six-in-a-row era but in recent years, last year aside, they punched well below their weight at club level. Club and county level performances don’t often go hand in hand.

  23. Willie Joe – there’s a point where having so many county players becomes a hindrance. Trying to reintegrate 5 or 6 players into a team at short notice can cause disruption. Much easier for the likes of Belmullet to slot in one back and one forward.

  24. Major questions being asked about this so called unbelievable panel. As o hora eluded to. I don’t see it at county or club level
    Both o Donohoe s are the stand out performers so far. One cannot make the starting 15.. all of mayo fringe players have not turned up at club level. What does that tell us?

  25. I think that true, Wide Ball. If you look at Corofin, they were underrepresented with Galway when winning their All-Irelands. Vincents had just Diarmuid Connolly and a fading Ger Brennan when they won it in 2014.

  26. Ah but Willie Joe, Dublin club football is way down on standard this year. Ballymun kickhams walloped Boden in the 2020 final.
    The Ballymun kickhams players were mostly the hard nuts on the Dublin team, they were there to do a job.

    Dublin club football mirrors the issues with the County team this year, no great games. No real consistent players, eg, Paul Mannion was good v Boden last Saturday but did feature v Na Fianna in the previous game.

    While Kilmacud may have good footballers to ne they lack that physical edge. This is the reason why players from the likes of Ballymun made up the Dublin teams in the past.

    Sure look at St Vincent’s, relegated to the Senior B grade.

    I say it again, Dublin club football gone down considerably.

  27. I don’t go to many club games but the Bellmullet v Knockmore game is one I would like to see, just to measure it against the Dublin club final.

  28. https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-games/gaelic-football/super-crossmolina-leave-ghosts-seeking-new-haunt-26090305.html

    Old memories from twenty years ago.

    That’s what you might call a good pedigree.

    – One of the players went on become the county board chairman. Liam Moffatt.

    – Another went on to manage Mayo and take us to successive All Ireland finals. Stephen Rochford.

    – Three more of that team were selectors / coaches for Mayo. James Nallen, Joe Keane and Ciaran Mc. One is still there and another I think is currently with Sligo.

    – Another pair from that team have helped Belmullet to advance to this years county final. The manager Damian Mulligan and one of his back room team Peader Gardiner.

    – And lets not forget another member of that team is the current Ladies team manager, Michael Moyles.

    I don’t think too many of that Crossmolina team would have played on the County championship teams, although I do have some recollection of 5 Crossmolina players playing for Mayo (possibly against Kildare), in the league in Castlebar a couple of decades or more ago. Not sure did the 5 start that day or come on, but I remember leaving the match thinking that it was some going having 5 from the one club on the county team.

  29. Looking at match summary notes – and big congrats to Belmullet – I see Mark Moran came on as a sub for Westport. Two to three years ago when first lined out for the county, I was extremely impressed with this bright new Mayo forward line prospect…..bit of swagger and nice accuracy etc. But what happened since to his form ?…..Not even County panel at this stage…

  30. MartyK – he’s been bedevilled with injuries since then, that’s what’s happened to him. It was obvious yesterday that he was fairly ring-rusty when he came on and that he struggled to get into the game.

  31. Re: the dublin club scene I have some skin in the game myself there… Definitely think the standard hasn’t been hectic up there this year. The superpowers of Ballymun, boden and Vincent have all declined. Kilmacud cruising to a final without even trying. Definitely feels like a bit of a malaise up here.
    Its far from a given that Dublin champion would win leinster, wouldn’t surprise me one bit if a portlaoise or mullinalaghta won leinster

    Anyone who likes a flutter on the club scene where there is value to be had would be wise to chuck a fiver on Glen watty graham’s from derry to win an all ireland. They have a serious looking team now, whipped a great slaughtneil side, conor glass home from oz and one of the best managers in the country in malachy o rourke

  32. Hi Willie Joe, I hope you are ok with me posting this link. Andy Moran is signing copies of his new book in Easons O’Connell St, this Saturday. Tickets can be sourced online for the event and the ticket covers the price of the book and a time to attend.

    Apart from being a Mayo legend, Andy is also a really nice guy and the event gives Mayo supporters east of the Shannon a chance to meet and support him in person. Thank you.

    https://www.easons.com/eason-events/andy-moran/

  33. Great to see clubs like Westport and Belmullet rising up and a resurgence in Garrymore and Knockmore.
    How long did it take Mayo to realise how great a forward Billy Fitzpatrick was. Are there more gems out there. Playing well for the club is a fair indicator of county potential.

  34. In fairness to Mark Moran he’s only in the scene about 13 months. Seems like longer when he played that great game against Galway but it was actually October 2020.
    I still have high hopes for him next year if he stays injury free.

  35. Good point Larry Duff. That was only October 2020 when we played Galway in Tuam. Mark had been with the u20s in early part of year. Still a very young lad and hopefully will push on when injuries clear up

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