Sunday was another hectic day on the football fields across the county, with spots in the senior, intermedaite, junior and junior B championships up for grabs - along with a intermediate championship relegation final.
Northmen on the rise as Belmullet book final spot
They weren’t considered contenders before the championship began.
They caused a minor shudder when they beat Knockmore in the group stages and then they laid down a marker of intent to show that was no one off beating Breaffy in the last eight.
Then on Sunday in Ballina, Belmullet backed that up again with another powerful performance to book a final date with a hard fought win over Westport.
The Erris men looked like were under the pump in the second half, as Westport reeled them in to push their noses in front - but led by Ryan O’Donoghue who continues to impress and develop as a player they worked like demons and deservedly booked their place in the final against defending champions Knockmore in two weeks time.
That work-rate and heart was exemplified by one moment late on, Belmullet were up by a point and Westport on the move. The ball was played into Mark Moran as they looked to build an attack inside their opponents 45, before Moran could control the ball in the came the paw of
O’Donoghue to get the ball away and on he drove picking out Eamon McAndrew who calmly slotted the ball over the bar, putting their side two clear and nearly taking the roof off the stand in Ballina.
???? Short Audio Report from @BelmulletGaa win over @westportgaa in the @MayoGAA SFC semi-final in @NaStiofanaigh today. ???? Its going to be an all north Mayo final against @Gaa_Knockmore in two weeks time #mayogaa pic.twitter.com/fs9mOdmCGu— Colm Gannon (@ColmGannon ) November 7, 2021
Westport did manage to pull the game back to a point through a Lee Keegan long ranger, but Belmullet remained composed and calm, and deep into injury time they turned over Westport inside their own danger area and O’Donoghue was on hand to finish the ball to the net and send the Belmullet faithful in to delirium.
O’Donoghue started the game with as big an impact as he finished it, dancing inside Lee Keegan and forcing his Mayo team-mate to drag him down and get a black card in the process with just a couple of minutes gone on the clock.
But it was far from a one man show for Belmullet - from Shane Nallen in goal who was a constant threat in his sweeper/keeper role creating overlaps and space for them to attack from - while Eoin O’Donoghue was was composed and calm and always offering an outlet at the back.
Their bench also made a big impact with Marty Boylan grabbing their first goal, not long after coming on at the break, while Eamon McAndrew was coolness personified to kick a point after he came on late int he day.
They’ll go into the final as underdogs, that won’t bother them though as they have shown this year they are more than ready for the fight when it comes down to the crunch and the final in two seeks should be a game to remember.
Belmullet: Ryan O’Donoghue (1-5, 5f ), Marty Boylan (1-0 ), Eoghan McHale (0-1 ), Eamon McAndrew (0-1 )
Westport: Colm Moran (0-4 ), Pat Lambert (0-2 ), Alan Kennedy (0-2, 2f ), Lee Keegan (0-1 )
Ballyhaunis set up final showdown with the Gaels
On Sunday lunchtime Ballyhaunis booked their place in the intermediate final with a 0-11 to 1-6 win over Louisburgh in Castlebar.
The east Mayo men led by a single point on a score of 0-7 to 1-3 at the half-time break, and were able to keep their noses in front down the home straight to see out the game and book a final clash with Mayo Gaels in Charlestown on Saturday fortnight.
Cill Chomain come good to see off Shrule-Glencorrib
Cill Chomain will face Kilmeena in the Mayo GAA Junior Football Championship final after they booked their spot in the final following a 0-9 to 0-7 win over Shrule-Glencorrib. They led 0-8 to 0-2 at the half time break and had pushed that out to 0-9 to 0-2 by the second water break.
But Shurle-Glencorrib came right back into the game late on reeling off five unanswered points down the home straight, but it was too little too late as Cill Chomain held on to book their spot in the final in fortnights time.
Lahardane hold on in intermediate championship
Lahardane ensured that there will be intermediate football played next year in the shadow of Nephin, following a big 2-12 to 1-7 win over Swinford on Sunday afternoon. The north Mayo men lead 2-7 to 1-3 at the break and managed to push that lead out and consign Swinford to junior football for next year.
Mayo GAA SFC Semi-Finals
Belmullet 2-7 Westport 0-9
Knockmore 2-11 Garrymore 0-11
Mayo GAA SFC Relegation Final
Balla 1-12 Kiltane 0-9
Mayo GAA IFC Semi-Finals
Mayo Gaels 0-11 Kilmaine 0-6
Ballyhaunis 0-11 Louisburgh 1-6
Mayo GAA IFC Relegation Final
Lahardane 2-12 Swinford 1-7
Mayo GAA JFC Semi-Finals
Kilmeena 1-19 Islandeady 0-6
Cill Chomain 0-9 Shrule-Glencorrib 0-7
Mayo GAA JFC B Semi-Finals
Eastern Gaels 1-15 Kilfian 0-6
Tourmakeady 2-8 Ballycroy 1-9