Round two throws up plenty of thrills

GAA: Mayo GAA Senior Football Championship Round Two

You won't pass: Breaffy's Dylan Cannon tries to stop the progress of Neil Douglas from Castlebar Mitchels. Photo: Sportsfile

You won't pass: Breaffy's Dylan Cannon tries to stop the progress of Neil Douglas from Castlebar Mitchels. Photo: Sportsfile

It’s all to play for still in the Mayo Senior Football Championship after the second round of games over the weekend.

Group four was where a lot of the focus was ahead of the games and it didn’t disappoint in either game.

Charlestown made the trip to Westport on Saturday afternoon having lost their opening round tie to Castlebar Mitchels the previous Saturday, while their hosts were on high after seeing off Breaffy on the road in round one.

There was nothing to separate the sides at fill time with the game finishing level at 2-10 each, the visitors had led by two going into injury time but Westport managed to claw back the deficit to get themselves a draw.

The other game in group four took place on Sunday afternoon and it was another exciting encounter when Castlebar Mitchels hosted Breaffy. The visitor made the short trip for this game knowing that they could not afford to slip up or their interest in the championship would be ended.

At then end of a hectic encounter it was the visitors who emerged with the points following a 0-16 to 0-14 win.

The Mitchels had the most of the ball in the opening half but only went in leading by a single point at the break on a scoreline of 0-8 to 0-7. Alan Flynn’s side started brightly and had a man advantage for ten minutes of the half after James Minogue was shown a black card.

Mitchels led 0-7 to 0-4 at the water break thanks to scores from Danny Kirby, Neil Douglas, Paddy Durcan, Calum Kyne and a brace from Ethan Gibbons. Breaffy’s scores came from two Colm Flynn frees, another placed ball from Tommy O’Reilly and the opening score of the day from Robert Fadden.

Kirby stretched the lead out to four points just after the restart as Mitchels looked to pin Breaffy in while they were down to 14 men - when they were restored to their full compliment they managed to tag on three points - two from Flynn frees and one from Conor O’Shea to leave just one between the sides at the break.

The second half was as a tightly contested as the first with the sides level at 0-12 each at the second water break - but it was on the resumption of the action Breaffy hit the run that set them up for victory. In a three minute burst Seamus O’Shea and Conor O’Shea kicked points and Rob Hennelly covered two frees to bring his total to three for the day.

That run pushed Breaffy four clear with just over five minutes of normal time to play - Castlebar did come back with James Durcan and Ethan Gibbons getting points - but Breaffy were able to hold out for a vital win that leave it all to play for going into the final round of games.

Westport lead the way in the table on three points, Breaffy and Castlebar both have two points and Charlestown have one after two rounds of action. Castlebar and Westport will face in the final round of games, with Breaffy meeting Charlestown.

Ballagh’ keep things moving

In group one Ballaghaderreen made it two wins from two with a hard fought 2-8 to 0-13 win over Garrymore on Saturday night. That win leaves them top of group one with four points. Just behind them is last years intermediate champions The Neale who picked up a win on Sunday with a 0-14 to 2-8 draw on the road against Belmullet.

Heading into the the final round of games, we know Ballaghadereen are through already and Garrymore can’t make it out of the group. So it is between The Neale and Belmullet to see who joins Ballagh’ in the last eight.

The Neale will take on Ballaghaderren, while Belmullet will be hosting to give Garrymore a third defeat in the group stages and they can get Ballagh’ to do them a favour in their meeting with The Neale and pick up the win and eat into their scoring difference deficit along the way.

Top class ‘Tubber hit form

In group two the defending county champions made light work of Bohola Moy Davitts on Saturday evening on the banks of the Moy running out 3-19 to 1-7 winners. The game was over as contest well before the half time whistle was blown - Cillian O’Connor slotted home his sides third goal of the half from the penalty spot on 25 minutes to put his side 3-5 to 0-4 up, with Stephen O’Malley and Alan Dillon raising the green flag before him.

Bohola Moy Davitts did get a goal back before the break when Oisin McHugh’s 45’ dropped short and ended up being deflected to the net - but that was as good as it got for the hosts.

In the second half Ballintubber eased their way home kicking 13 points in the final half hour and Kevin Johnson was able to give his reserves some game time before the conclusion.

Earlier that evening in Aghamore the home side had six points to spare over Davitts after pulling away from the south Mayo men over the closing few minutes.

The hosts were always in charge of this game - but Davitts managed to hang in there for long periods and were only trailing by three points 0-12 to 0-9 at the second water break.

Aghamore went in leading 0-9 to 0-4 at the break with eight different players all getting on the score sheet for them, Ross Egan who impressed throughout got two points in the opening half with Fergal Boland, Conor Byrne, Darren Duffy, Conor Kilkenny, David Kenney, Conor Hunt and Aiden Henry all getting in on the act.

Davitts responded through a brace from Jack Ronayne and one each from Evan Ronayne and Ronan McNamara. The visitors kept up the pressure in the first part of the second half and were hard to shake for Aghamore - but down the home stretch a brace of points from both Egan and Boland was enough to steer them home.

Both Ballintubber and Aghamore have three points each after two games with Davitts and Moy Davitts on one point each - everyone is still alive going into the last round of games where Ballintubber will take on Davitts and Aghamore will square off against Moy Davitts.

North Mayo big two seal spots in last eight

In group three Ballina Stephenites and Knockmore are home and hosed in the last eight before they meet in the final round of group games. On Sunday, Ballina put 1-18 past Claremorris on the road with Simon Leonard getting their goal in the first half.

Knockmore joined them in the last eight following another powerful performance after they beat Kiltane 3-18 to 0-11 in Bangor. Connell Dempsey, Peter Naughton and Pearse Ruttledge got the goals for Ray Dempsey’s men in a comprehensive win.

That means when Kiltane and Claremorris meet in round three it’s a battle to see who avoids the relegation play-offs, while for Knockmore and Ballina it’s about topping the group and local pride from their meeting.

Group 1

Ballaghderreen 2-8 Garrymore 0-13

Belmullet 2-8 The Neale 0-14

Group 2

Ballintubber 3-19 Moy Davitts 1-7

Aghamore 0-18 Davitts 0-12

Group 3

Knockmore 3-18 Kiltane 0-11

Ballina Stephenites 1-19 Claremorris 1-9

Group 4

Westport 2-10 Charlestown 2-10

Breaffy 0-16 Castlebar Mitchels 0-14


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