Micheal Breathnachs and Oughterard must go again on October 19 after a thrilling end to the intermediate county final.
After a somewhat forgettable first half with Breathnachs leading 0-5 to 0-3 at half-time, the game burst into life. Twice Breathnachs went three points ahead, and each time Tommy Finnerty’s Oughterard clawed back.
Behind by just one point in injury time, Oughterard were awarded a penalty, only for it to be ruled out by referee Martin O’Flatharta after consulting with his umpires who had seen an earlier foul on the Breathnachs' keeper. Galway midfielder Fiontain O’Currain won the resulting throw in, and all his side had to do was keep the ball for the next 30 seconds to see the game out. However, similar to last year, they needlessly kicked the ball away and conceded a free on the ’45 which allowed Matthew Tierney the chance to level things up for the eighth time. After two uncharacteristic misses earlier in the game, this was not an opportunity he was going to squander.
For large periods of this game, last year’s runners up Breathnachs looked confident of winning. They were able to penetrate the centre of Oughterard's defence each time they ran at them, and man-of-the-match Sean Denvir caused most of the damage. Scoring 0-4 from play and involved in numerous other scores, he must surely have thought his side was going to add silverware to their confirmed promotion to the top ranks for 2020.
On a day when Oughterard's Enda and Matthew Tierney coughed up a couple of chances through free kicks, Michael Breathnachs were more clinical through Ruan O’Currain at the other end.
A magnificent free in the 46th minute sailed effortlessly over from 60 yards, but although they were the better side for large periods of the game, they were again not able to make the dominance count on the scoreboard.
Oughterard seemed more intent on the route one ball, especially in the first half with Matthew Tierney deployed at full forward while his side was playing with the aid of the elements. Having shown their class right throughout the championship, Tierney and his brother Enda were well marshalled extremely by the Breathnachs' defence which kept the brothers scoreless from play, but Ryan Monaghan, Patrick Walsh and Ronan Molloy combined to get 0-7 from play.
If Oughterard are to enter the senior ranks as intermediate champions, as well as progress to the Connacht stage of the club championship, they will need to tighten up the middle of their defence.
Galway football manager
On Monday Matt Duggan withdrew as a nominee for the Galway football manager position, leaving Padraic Joyce and Liam Kearns to be interviewed by a six-person committee to decide who will get the job as Galway football manager for 2020.
The new manager will enjoy a favourable draw in next season's Connacht championship, with an opening day fixture in New York.
CONNACHT CHAMPIONSHIP: Quarter-finals, New York v Galway; Roscommon v London; Mayo v Leitrim. Semi-finals, New York/Galway v Sligo; Mayo/Leitrim v London/Roscommon.