Ballintubber crowned champions for third time in five years

Sun, Oct 19, 2014

Celebration time: Ballintubber celebrate in the dressing room after their win. Photo:Sportsfile

Goals win games and there was no recovering from the two goals they shipped inside the opening ten minutes for Castlebar Mitchels on Sunday in MacHale Park.

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Brilliant Byrne leads Moy Davitts to glory

Sun, Oct 19, 2014

A brilliant performance from Moy Davitts saw them take home the Mayo minor A championship for the first time in the clubs history on Sunday afternoon in MacHale Park.

The moyside outfit were by far the better team, with captain Paul Langan, midfielder Maksyiulun Babianwyk and centre-half forward Conor Byrne the leading lights for them. For Claremorris, Conor Diskin lead their resistance in attack, while Keith Saunders put on an outstanding display between the posts for the south Mayo men, pulling off a number of great saves.

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Westport rearguard action sees them grab minor ‘B’ title

Sun, Oct 19, 2014

Westport held their nerve when it was put up to them in MacHale Park on Sunday lunchtime to claim the Mayo minor B title by six points.

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Bidwell takes Breaffy 10k in style

Fri, Oct 17, 2014

The extended summer sunshine lit up a glorious October Sunday for the fourth annual Breaffy 10k on Sunday last. It was also the final race in this year's Mayo AC Move2Improve Series. The event was brilliantly organised by Maggie Heneghan and team, comprising the local Breaffy community and GAA club. They were also assisted by Castlebar Fit4Life and Mayo AC. One hundred and forty finishers made it to the finish line outside race HQ at the national school. The warm sun and a few uphill sections between the 5k and 8k marks made for a challenging event, and there were the usual scenes of joy, pain, exhaustion, and sheer exhilaration at the finish line.

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Connacht in a good place as European challenge begins

Fri, Oct 17, 2014

After a successful start to their season, Connacht take a break from Pro 12 action to open their European campaign in the Sportsground on Saturday (5pm). Pat Lam’s team takes on first-time French visitors La Rochelle in pool two of the competition. After their exploits in the top level of European competition in the past few years, Connacht must have loftier ambitions than just competing.

A European final or a trophy is a conceivable target, but Lam believes getting out of their group is their first priority (the pool winners and best three runners-up advance to the quarter-finals). “We want to win it, but you can’t do that till you get out of your pool. The bottom line is we have a tough group, so it’s vital we start well,” Lam says.

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Ballina hope to finish the season on a high

Fri, Oct 17, 2014

Making the season: Ballina Town will take something home from their season if they can take the shield on Sunday. Photo: Sportsfile.

One can only imagine what odds you would have got at the start of the year that Glenhest Rovers would pitch up against Ballina Town on Sunday, in the Connacht Gold Shield Final. Last year’s Super League winners will feel that they should be taking part in the showpiece event a couple of hours later but it has been that sort of season for Ballina. After losing a string of top quality stars it was always going to be tough to repeat the kind of form that parachuted them to glory last season.

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Gibbons is ready to guide his team home

Fri, Oct 17, 2014

It looked like it was going to be a big year for Jason Gibbons on the inter-county scene in the early months of the year. The Ballintubber midfielder had taken his chance in the middle of the park for Mayo and looked to have nailed down a starting spot for the team for the rest of the year. Then disaster struck when he injured his ankle in training in May ruling him out for a long period of time. It was hard to come back from, he admitted to the Mayo Advertiser. “I suppose it was disappointing, when it happened I heard the snap and I knew I was in serious bother. Look it the medical team did all they could, but it took me longer than I thought. I was hoping to get back for Roscommon but I didn’t. I suppose I never really got going again with the county as I’d have liked.” He continued: “When your sitting on the sideline and you’ve had what was a good league and it’s all been taken away from you and you know the competition is very fierce on the panel; it’s very hard to get back in again. I didn’t get to start a game until the All Ireland semi-final. I had no doubts that I was training well and it didn’t just go for me in Croke Park against Kerry. You’d lose a bit of confidence when you get that badly injured, it takes a lot to get back, but happily I feel myself that I’m back going well again and looking forward to the county final.”

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Kirby is ready to double up

Fri, Oct 17, 2014

Wherever he lines out on the field, Danny Kirby is a man who gets special attention. The big Castlebar man could feature anywhere from midfield through to full forward for his team on Sunday. While some players like a certain role in a team, Kirby feels that his adaptability has made him become a much better player, as he told the Mayo Advertiser in the build up to Sunday’s final. “I think it’s a help, you become a more rounded player. If you’re in the full forward line you see the kind of ball a full forward wants; when you’re out midfield and you get the full forward line giving you a bit of guff about the ball you’ve played in, you know, yeah you’re right, this is ball you want.”

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Sunday’s showdown should be fun

Fri, Oct 17, 2014

I am really looking forward to Sunday’s county final, Castlebar and Ballintubber met in the group stages with the Mitchels winning by a single goal but it seems the tides have turned slightly after Ballintubber’s devastating display in the semi-final win over Knockmore. Castlebar seem to have the measure of Ballintubber as of late, but will certainly be fearful of going up against one of the most lethal club forward lines in the country. They will also be reminded that Ballintubber have beaten them in two finals in the last five years. Castlebar have a better defence than Ballintubber but Ballintubber have a better forward line than Castlebar so something has to give.

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Putting recent disappointments to right spur on Ballintubber

Fri, Oct 17, 2014

Setting things right from their own point of view is something that has been driving on Ballintubber this year. To the outsider, a team that reaches three county finals on the bounce, winning two and getting knocked out at the last eight stage in another year, is probably doing all right. But not by the exacting high standards the club members have set from themselves. Joint manager Tony Duffy spoke to the Mayo Advertiser in the build up to Sunday’s senior county final, and he explained: “It wasn’t hard coming back, we’d set very high standards for ourselves in previous years in getting to three finals in a row and winning two of them. It was disappointing in 2012, we were tame enough the way we went out against Ballaghaderreen and last year it was just terrible and very frustrating end to the year. I suppose the writing was on the wall a few weeks out from that game against Knockmore. I suppose injuries to key players didn’t help, but that wouldn’t be an excuse we’re using. We didn’t do ourselves justice in any way or form and it was massively disappointing. At the start of this year, we were determined to put that right.” That is the drive and determination that has propelled them back to the final of the competition for the fourth time in five years. They are very happy with the way the season has panned out for them so far according to Duffy. “It’s gone well, we’ve won pretty much all our games so far, the only loss we had was to Castlebar in the group stages of the competition. We lost that narrowly and drew with them in the league which has been very satisfying and a testament to the work that all the lads have put in and the commitment they’ve shown, after a disappointing year last year and the year before.”

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Managing the expectations

Fri, Oct 17, 2014

In sports management, it is often said that when a successful manager leaves a job, you want to be the guy, who follows the guy, who followed the successful guy. Because following in the immediate footsteps of someone who brought great success is a very tricky task to master. But when Pat Holmes decided that he was going to step away from the Castlebar Mitchels’ hot seat following their defeat in last March’s All Ireland final after guiding them to county and provincial glory for the first time in two decades, his two trusty lieutenants Shane Conway and Alan Nolan stepped up to fill gap and they have bought them back to the county final at the first time of asking.

Joint management tickets seem to be in vogue in the county at the minute, with Castlebar’s opponents on Sunday, Ballintubber, also having a joint management team of Peter Ford and Tony Duffy. Mitchels’ former manager Pat Holmes is now part of the new joint Mayo senior team management ticket alongside Noel Connelly.

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Hurlers make it a week to remember for Ballyhaunis

Sun, Oct 12, 2014

The old firm of Mayo hurling came face-to-face once again on Sunday in the Mayo Senior Hurling Championship final and it was the men in red and black who made the short trip home in the road with the Tyrrell Cup in their arms after an exciting encounter in the Tooreen Hurling Grounds.

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