Mayo did not have any involvement in the two All-Ireland club finals which were decided at the weekend, but the record will show that Ballaghaderreen were the only Connacht club winners in 40x20 this year. St Coman’s were beaten by an impressive Liscarrol side at Crinkle on Saturday, while Salthill’s brave bid for junior club honours came to naught as they narrowly lost out to Coolboy on Sunday at Dolla, Silvermines. Salthill did feature well-known former Ballinrobe handballer Tom Sweeney in their line up, but the Galway side’s cause was as good as lost by the time Sweeney got to see any action. Coolboy’s Jerome Willoughby did most of the damage as he defeated Kevin Craddock of Salthill 21-10, 21-11, in the opening singles. John Ward and Bernie McDonnagh were unable to close the gap for Salthill in the doubles against impressive young Coolboy duo Keith Kavanagh and Gary Donohoe, losing out 42 aces to 31 overall. This meant that Salthill were 30 odd aces adrift, and while Sweeney’s determined effort resulted in a 21-7 victory it was never going to be enough. Coolboy’s John Rodgers finished off the job in the second to record a 10 ace victory overall. Credit to Coolboy whose senior team gave Ballaghaderreen a run for their money last week, they at least did not finish the season empty-handed.
There was further good news for the west in the remaining colleges’ finals played at Ballina on Sunday. Roscommon’s intermediate doubles duo, Cian Connolly and Mark Nally, representing the local CBS school put in a tremendous performance to see off the challenge of Christopher Philpot and Jamie Lynch of Clare, 21-12, 21-18. Rice College won the senior doubles and Roscommon and Galway shared the girls’ junior singles and doubles, it was a very good return for Connacht counties this years in the colleges’ softball championship.
The Martin Finn auctioneers sponsored tournament concludes this Sunday at the Claremorris alley and all are welcome. The action gets under way from 2pm. The Connacht juvenile council set a date of Sunday, January 2, for selection of places on the provincial development squad and all clubs will be contacted shortly with further information.