Breaffy stay the course to see off Westport

Mayo GAA SFC Semi-Final; Breaffy 0-15 Westport 0-13

Hand off: Aidan O'Shea tries to escape the clutches of Lee Keegan. Photo: Sportsfile

Hand off: Aidan O'Shea tries to escape the clutches of Lee Keegan. Photo: Sportsfile

Breaffy will be hoping to make it fourth time lucky when they take to the field in the Mayo GAA Senior Football Championship Final in two weeks time.

Peter Ford and Shane Conway’s men booked their spot in the showpiece occasion of Mayo football after a hard working and grafting performance without one of their key men with Seamus O’Shea unavailable to line out for his side.

Breaffy hit the ground running early and ran up five points before ten minutes had gone on the stop watch and that early run of scores was the foundation for the seeing out the challenge posed by Westport over the next 50 minutes.

The Covies’ will feel that they had the chances to win this one - but their erratic shooting let them down on a drizzly night in Castlebar kicking 15 wides over the course of the game, a number of them they really should have done better from - even in the challenging conditions.

Breaffy on the other hand were far more efficient in front of the posts kicking just seven wides - but four of them came in the final five minutes of the game.

The battle between Aidan O’Shea and Lee Keegan was the big talking point before the game and both men really put it up to each other over the hour with O’Shea just edging it, winning a number of big balls late on to calm things down for his side as Westport chased the game.

The Westport management might look back on the game and wonder should they have released Keegan from shackling O’Shea more so that he could been more on the front foot, Keegan did have one typical break and crack at goal midway through the second half - but he pulled his effort well wide of Robert Hennelly’s second half.

GAZ ON THE MOVE

Holding off: Breaffy's Gareth Dunne looks to get past Ben Doyle. Photo: Sportsfile 

Breaffy started the game in flying form and were five to the good with nine minutes gone on the clock. Hennelly opened the scoring from a long range free into the Bacon Factory end two minutes in.

Colm Flynn who showed his sharp shooting ability from both play and placed balls kicked the first of seven points he would register over the hour with a neatly taken effort from play a minute later.

Aidan O’Shea put his side three clear after being played in by his younger brother Conor before five minutes had gone on the stop watch.

Flynn got his second from play eight minutes in and then added his third from a free after O’Shea was fouled by Keegan.

After a number of near misses, Westport opened their account with a effort from Kevin Keane on the ten minute mark, Keane then doubled his and his sides tally two minutes later.

Colm Moran who had been so impressive the week before got his first point of the day with a fine effort from distance and he then cut the gap back to a single point with another good score just before the water break sending his side in trailing by just a single point at the first stoppage point.

Breaffy edged themselves three clear not long after the resumption with Conor O’Shea and Tommy O’Reilly pointing - Hennelly tagged on a 45 before a Killian Kilkelly free for his side sent Breaffy in leading 0-8 to 0-5 at the short whistle.

But Westport will have gone into the break knowing they left a good few points behind them having kicked seven wides in the opening half-an-hour.

Lee Tommy Colm

On the turn: Lee Keegan looks to escape the clutches of Colm Flynn and Tommy O'Reilly. Photo: Sportsfile 

Flynn kicked two early points for Breaffy after the resumption with Colm Moran getting one in the middle of that run to have his side trialing 0-6 to 0-10.

Westport began to to take their chances now and they reeled off three points on the bounce with Kilkelly kicking two and Colm Moran slotting over a mark to leave just one between the sides on 38 minutes.

Darie Morrin stemmed the tide with a good score on the run for Breaffy before Pat Lambert landed his first score of the day not long after being introduced to leave just the minimum between the sides with 42 minutes gone.

But Breaffy weren’t going to let their opponents back get two close, with points from Flynn and O’Reilly before the break kept them three points to the good.

It was all to play for down the home stretch after the second water break with Westport pushing hard - Pat Lambert kicked his second point to leave just two in it before a Flynn free kept the gap at a goal.

Alan Kennedy pointed for Westport before Ben Murphy made an instant impact arcing over a fine score not long after coming on to keep Breaffy three to the good. Westport kept up the pressure but also kept up their wide count much to their frustration - Kilkelly did cut the gap back to two with two minutes to go - but it was as good as it got for Westport and Breaffy held on for the win and a place in the final.

Scores

Breaffy: C Flynn (0-7, 4f ), R Hennelly (0-2, 1f 1 45 ), T O’Reilly (0-2 ), C O’Shea (0-1 ), A O’Shea (0-1 ), B Murphy (0-1 )

Westport: C Moran (0-4, 1m ), K Kilkelly (0-4 ), K Keane (0-2 ), P Lambert (0-2 ), A Kennedy (0-1 )

Breaffy: R Hennelly; D Cannon, J Minogue, M Dervan; D Morrin, M Hall, K Mulchrone; M Ruane, C O’Shea; R Fadden, T O’Reilly, R Martyn; G Dunne, A O’Shea, C Flynn.

Subs: B Murphy for R Martyn, K McDermott for K Mulchrone, S McDermott for G Dunne, J Deane for T O’Reilly.

Westport: P O’Malley; B Doyle, R Brickenden, B McDermott; P Lambert, L Keegan, N McManamon; B O’Malley, E McLaughlin; F McDonagh, M Moran, O McLaughlin; K Kilkelly, K Keane, C Moran.

Subs: P Lambert for M Moran (BS ), P Lambert for O McLaughlin, L Tunney for F McDonagh, J Walsh for B McDermott, S Scott for B O’Malley, L Tunney for for M Moran

Ref: L Devenney (Ballina )

 

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