Balla, Belmullet and Ballintubber stand tall at the end

It was a year to remember for Balla, Belmullet and Ballintubber as they claimed the Mayo junior, intermediate and senior crowns respectively.

The big one came down to a moment of brilliance from the man of the senior club championship - Diarmuid O'Connor. Having put in two stunning displays in their drawn semi-final and replay victory over Castlebar Mitchels - O'Connor was the man to kick the winning score against Breaffy in the final to deliver his club's fourth senior title in eight years.

Thanks to seven points from Cillian O’Connor and some experienced play from Alan Dillon in the final few minutes they had enough to claim the title against their local rivals from Breaffy.

The eventual winners recovered in the final from conceding an early goal from the penalty spot converted by Peter Dravins after Aidan O'Shea was fouled - but they found their groove and sloppy tackling from Breaffy gave Cillian O'Connor plenty opportunities to keep the scoreboard ticking over as the game hung in the balance.

Ballintubber were leading as the clock ticked down only for Conor O'Shea to level it up - however up stepped Diarmuid O'Connor to fire the ball over the bar from distance and his side held out to the bitter end to pick up the title at crown themselves as the best side in the county once more.

In the intermediate final a brilliant first half display by Belmullet saw them claim the intermediate title for the first time since 1974 - kicking off brilliant scenes of celebration and joy.

The led by 2-6 to 0-1 at the break after a devastating display of football, where they never let their opponents get going at all and dominated the play from whistle to whistle, with Johnny Donoghue grabbing both of their first half majors.

Burrishoole did get things going in the second half and outscored their opponents by 0-8 to 0-4 - but the damage had been done by that stage and the north Mayo men ran out deserved winners.

Balla weren't waiting as long to claim the junior title as Belmullet were the intermediate - having previously claimed it in 1980, but having come close in the last few years - this year was a year they needed to deliver and they did in style, seeing off Achill 1-12 to 1-7 in the final.

Balla laid the foundation for their win in the first half despite playing against the wind. They played an excellent controlled brand of football where they defending stoutly and attacking at pace.

The crucial score of the contest, arrived in 11 minutes in when Balla scored a magnificent three pointer. Goalkeeper Mattie Flanagan and Tommy Reynolds combined before putting Conor Walsh on through on goal.

The Balla captain in turn made the most of his opportunity by firing an unstoppable low effort to the bottom left corner of the net. They followed that goal up with three quick fire points to set up the building blocks of their victory.


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