The outstretched fingers of Robbie Hennelly knocking down a Cillian O’Connor free from going over the bar - brought to an end an absorbing local championship derby in Clogher on Saturday night.
Both sides will be happy enough to have left the game with a point in the bag, but both will also feel that they could have possibly won this game too if they had taken their chances.
Marked out as the most intriguing game of the weekend a long time out a large crowed made their way to Ray Prendergast Memorial Park to see a number of Mayo’s heavy hitters go toe-to-toe, included in that crowd was Mayo manager Stephen Rochford.
The visitors raced into an early two point lead with their scores coming from Dylan Cannon and James Minogue by the five minute mark.
The Tubber’ had it all square two minutes later thanks to points from Damien Coleman and Ciaran Galvin who was a late addition to the the Ballintubber side from the one that was named in the programme.
Breaffy also made two changes from the one on the printed page that was handed on on the way in the gate - with Colm Kelly and Gary Walsh coming into the their first 15.
Conor O’Shea edged Breaffy back in front eight minutes in with a well taken long range effort, but that was cancelled out by a Cillian O’Connor free on the 11 minute mark.
Gary Walsh nudged the visitors back in front from a placed ball and they almost bagged the first goal of the game on 12 minutes, when Tommy O’Reilly took Brendan Walsh by surprise and rattled an effort at his near side which came back off the angle of post and bar.
Eight minutes from the break, Robbie Hennelly pushed Peter Ford’s side in front by two points with free from well over 50m out on the stand side of the field.
Five minutes from the break, James Minogue was black carded and from the resulting free Cillian O’Connor cut the gap back to a single point. Minogue had bee picking up O’Connor and Michael Hall - Alan Dillon up to that point and Minogue’s expulsion from the game caused a defensive switch around.
Ballintubber too full advantage of the time it took their visitors defence to readjust and two minutes from the break a great ball over the top by Alan Plunkett was collected by Cillian O’Connor inside the cover and he made no mistake in dispatching the ball to the back of the net from close range. That was followed up by a Damien Coleman point to send Ballintubber in leading 0-5 to 1-5 at the short-whistle.
The visitors started a the second half in a flying form and had the game levelled up by the 33th minute, with Conor O’Shea, Gareth Dunne and Matthew Ruane all kicking points inside the opening 180 seconds.
Cillian O’Connor pushed his side back in front from a free 38 minutes in, but that lead lasted all of two minutes thanks to a fine Ruane point after Aidan O’Shea had blocked down a Diarmuid O’Connor attempted through ball.
Alan Plunkett and Conor O’Shea swapped points, before points from Conor O’Shea and Hennelly had Breaffy in a 0-12 to 1-7 lead with less than a quarter-of-an-hour to go.
Ballintubber turned over the ball on their 21 and broke down the field at pace and the ball was worked through Cillian O’Connor, Damien Coleman and Alan Plunkett but with the goal looking on the final ball was just off key and the O’Neill’s zipped over the end line.
Two down and with three minutes to go Ballintubber could have gone hunting for a goal, but a free from Cillian O’Connor and monster of a score from brother Diarmuid had them level before the end of normal time.
Then a minute into the four additional minutes to be played Michael Plunkett launched his own rocket from downtown to put his side into what looked like a match winning lead.
But Breaffy kept their nerve and when a Robbie Hennelly free dropped short they won the ball back and it was worked to Tommy O’Reilly who slipped the ball over the bar and levelled the game up once more.
There was still time for the late drama, but Cillian O’Connor’s effort was palmed from above the bar by Hennelly and the final whistle was blown almost instantaneously and the spoils were shared.
Ballintubber: C O’Connor (1-4, 4f ), D Coleman (0-2 ), M Plunkett (0-1 ), C Galvin (0-1 ), D O’Connor (0-1 ) A Plunkett (0-1 )
Breaffy: C O’Shea (0-4, 2f ), M Ruane (0-2 ), R Hennelly (0-2, 2f ), T O’Reilly (0-1 ), G Dunne (0-1 ), G Walsh (0-1, 1f ), J Minogue (0-1 ), D Cannon (0-1 )
Ballintubber: B Walsh; G Loftus, C Hallinan, D Larkin; B Murphy, M Plunkett, C Galvin; J Gibbons, R O’Connor; D Coleman, A Dillon, D O’Connor; J Finnerty, C O’Connor, A Plunkett. Subs: S O’Malley, J Geraghty
Breaffy: R Hennelly; M Dervan, M Hall, D Cannon; K Mulchrone, J Minogue, C Kelly; M Ruane, P Dravins; R Fadden, A O’Shea, S McDermott; T O’Reilly, C O’Shea, G Walsh. Subs: C Dravins, G Dunne, R Martyn, D Morrin, E Conroy.
Ref: L Devanney (Ballina )
Champions make it two from two
In group one of the senior championship on Saturday night, Castlebar Mitchels made it two wins from two with a 3-16 to 0-12 win over Aghamore in east Mayo. Danny Kirby and Sean Conlon got a goal each, with Mitchels third going coming from an own-goal. The other game in the group takes place on Sunday afternoon when Ballina Stephenites host Ballaghaderreen in James Stephens Park.
In group two Garrymore booked their place in the last eight thanks to a 2-14 to 0-13 win over Charlestown in south Mayo. Two goals late one one form the penalty spot by Jimmy Killeen saw them home after the end of a tough battle.
The other game in the group ended in a draw when local rivals Bohola Moy Davitts and Knockmore could not be separated - with their game ending 1-13 each at the end of a pulsating hour.
In group three Westport picked up their second win of the championship edging out Hollymount-Carramore at home on Saturday afternoon on a scoreline of 1-14 to 0-15, while Claremorris saw off Crossmolina Deel Rovers 2-13 to 0-11 to ensure that both Claremorris and Westport are in the last eight of the championship, with the two sides facing off in the last group game to decide who comes out on top spot in the table.
The other game in the Ballintubber and Breaffy group saw Kiltane run out 3-15 to 2-8 winners over Davitts in Bangor Erris.