Ballintubber stand tall as Balla and Belmullet falter

GAA: Connacht Club Championship

London came calling for Tooreen and they booked their place in the Connacht intermediate club championship hurling final last weekend. Photo: Tooreen GAA

London came calling for Tooreen and they booked their place in the Connacht intermediate club championship hurling final last weekend. Photo: Tooreen GAA

Ballintubber booked their place in the Connacht Senior Club Football Championship final last weekend with a big win over Aughawillan in Carrick-on-Shannon.

The Mayo champions will be up against it when they take on the defending Connacht and All Ireland champions Corofin, who put Roscommon champions Clann na Gael 4-22 to 0-7 in their semi-final meeting last Sunday.

But for Ballintubber they will be chock full of confidence thanks to their wins over Sligo champions Tourlestrane and Letirim kingpins Aughawillan over the past two weekends.

Ballintubber were just three points in front at the break last Sunday, leading 0-8 to 0-5 but they cut loose in the second half, outscoring their opponents 3-3 to 1-3 to ease to victory.

Sub Jamesie Finnerty was the man who stole the headlines, bagging two goals for the Abbeysiders, one just seconds after coming off the bench with 42 minutes gone and the other ten minutes from the terminus of the contest.

The other goal came from Alan Plunkett who had a good day in front of the posts, finishing up with 1-3 to his name, while Cillian O'Connor bagged half a dozen points from frees.

Belmullet bow out after extra time

Belmullet's season came to an end last Saturday in Tuam Stadium where they were beaten by fellow Gaeltacht outfit, An Spideal, in the semi-final of the Connacht Intermediate Club Football Championship after the extra time.

The north Mayo men looked to be in control of the contest, leading 0-8 to 0-4 with a quarter of the game remaining, thanks to three points on the bounce from James Kelly, Cathal Barrett and Eamon McAndrew.

But the Galway outfit came back strong and reeled off four points before the end of normal time, with Antaine and Finnian O'Laoi driving them on to tie the game up at eight points each.

The eventual winners went on to outscore Belmullet 0-5 to 0-1 in extra time to seal the win and book their place in the provincial final, with Eoin O'Donoghue registering Belmullet's solitary score in extra time.

In a slow burning contest Damien Mulligan's Mayo champions had led 0-5 to 0-2 at the break with Jonathan O'Donoghue kicking three points and Gerry Barrett and Michael Keane both adding one each.

Having to line out without their captain Ryan O'Donoghue was always going to make this a tough task for the north Mayo men, but they also had to deal with losing Shane Nallen to a second yellow card seven minutes from time, along with both Eamon McAndrew and Gerry Barrett also being shown the line for black and red cards respectively, before the conclusion of the contest.

While Belmullet will be disappointed to have exited the competition - it has still been a massively successful year for the club which won the intermediate title and booked their place back in the senior championship for next year thanks to that victory.

Balla come up short against Easkey

After over a month out of football, Balla were back in action last weekend in the semi-final of the Connacht Junior Club Football Championship in Quigabar in Enniscrone - and they came up short against Sligo champions Easkey.

The game was over as a contest at the break, with the Sligo men leading 3-1 to 0-4. Balla were rocked by a goal inside the opening minute when Ryan McKenna rattled the net from the penalty spot, two more goals before the break both from Kevin Duffy had the Sligo side well in control with three Val Roughneen points and one from Colm Murphy keeping their side just about in the game.

Balla put up a spirited showing in the second half, but were outscored 0-6 to 0-5 by the Sligo men and their season came to an end. But with promotion to the intermediate championship for next year and a junior title in their belt, Balla can still reflect on a very memorable year.

Tooreen figure out London question

Tooreen made another little bit of history last weekend by seeing off the London champions, St Gabriel's, in Ruislip in the Connacht Intermediate Club Hurling Championship semi-final by two points.

The east Mayo men were 0-18 to 1-13 winners over their hosts with Shane Boland bagging six points (five from frees ) - with other good scoring returns from Fergal Boland (0-4 ), Sean Kenny (0-3 ) and Sean Rean, who chipped in with two points off the bench.

Tooreen led 0-9 to 1-5 at the break and the game remained a nip and tuck affair right to the end, but the Mayo side held firm to book their place against Oranmore-Maree in the provincial final on Saturday week in Athleague.

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