Ballyhaunis and The Neale to square off in intermediate decider

GAA: Mayo IFC Semi-Finals Round Up

Back in the final: Keith Higgins' Ballyhaunis booked their place in the Mayo GAA intermediate final with a win over Burrishoole on Sunday afternoon. Photo: Sportsfile

Back in the final: Keith Higgins' Ballyhaunis booked their place in the Mayo GAA intermediate final with a win over Burrishoole on Sunday afternoon. Photo: Sportsfile

The Neale are heading for the Mayo intermediate final after a 2-15 to 1-14 extra time win over Louisburgh in the first of the semi-finals which took place on Saturday night.

The south Mayo men led by three points at half time in normal time on a scoreline of 0-9 to 0-6 with centre forward Fergal Sweeney scoring four of those points and corner forward Tommy Conroy chipping in with a brace.

The Louisburgh response was led by James Gibbons who kicked two points and their other scores coming from Ray Prendergast, Paul McDonnell, Kevin Gibbons and Alan Moran.

The west Mayo men had the game levelled up inside six minutes of the resumption thanks to a Padraic O’Malley brace and one from Kevin Gibbons. Padraic Walsh edged The Neale back in front not long after, but just before the three quarter mark it looked like Louisburgh had made the break for home when corner back Basil McLoud finished off a fine move to put his side three clear.

The next score was going to be vital and when it arrived it was another goal this time going to The Neale and it was defender Brian O’Halloran who applied the finish to level ti up at 1-10 each, both sides kicked another point each before the end of the game and send it to extra time.

The Neale kicked on in the additional time and outscored their opponents 0-3 to 0-1 in the opening ten minutes of additional play. The bigs score came three minutes into the second half of extra time when Darragh Moran sent he ball to the back of the net and set Eoin Hughes side on the road to victory with Sean Cosgrove also playing a major role in extra time kicking four points in that 20 minute period to steer his side to victory.

Facing them in the final will by Ballyahunis who saw off last years beaten finalists Burrishoole on a score of 3-11 to 2-6 thanks to a brilliant second half performance where they outscored the west Mayo men 3-8 to 1-3.

Burrishoole led 1-4 to 0-3 at the short whistle with the goal coming from Michael O’Malley who used his height advantage to win the ball close to goal and crash it home midway though the half.

Ballyhaunis looked to be in all kinds of trouble from the high ball in, but they change tact in the second half and their greater guile and pace came the fore as they drove for home.

The game was levelled up at 1-5 each four minutes into the second half when Liam Herr reacted quickest to flick the ball to the net after Joe Sutton miscued his effort. However Burrishoole went back down the filed and Michael Moran rose highest to fetch the ball between goalkeeper and defender before firing it home from close range - but that was as good as it got for the Colm McManamon’s charges and when James Moran was sent to the line on a black card the game started to slip away from them.

The impressive Jason Coyne and Eamon Phillips tagged on two quick scores for Ballyhaunis to cut the gap to just one and then on 42 minutes John Cunnane popped up to tuck the ball to the back of the net from close range after David Keane could only palm away a dropping effort from Herr.

From then on it it was all Ballyhaunis with Coyne tagging on two points and Eoghan Collins another and the game was wrapped up three minutes from the end of normal time when Coyne fired home their third of the day and got the celebrations going for the east Mayo men.

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