It was a mixed day yesterday for Mayo sides in the AIB Connacht Club Football Championship, with Parke claiming the junior title and Ballintubber losing out to Galway champions Killererin in the senior semi final.
Parke returned to a windswept McHale Park, the scene of their win over Islandeady in the Mayo decider, yesterday to face Leitrim champions Eslin. In a stunning first half display led by Sean McHale Parke tore into Eslin and went in at the break leading by 2-12 to 0-5. The two goals for the men in black and amber came from Sean McHale and Darren Durkan. The Leitrim champions, who brought a big support to McHale Park for the game, had no answer to the incisive football played by Frank McHale’s side. Parke captain Declan Neary, who picked up the man of the match award, was in flying form dominating the midfield which was the launching pad to many of his side’s attacks. Simon Cloherty along with Dwayne Flynn was also causing all sorts of problems for the Eslin defence from throw in.
In the second half the Leitrim champions outscored Parke by 2-4 to 0-4 but they never came close to overtaking the lead that Parke had built up over the first 30 minutes. They did manage to pull back two goals in the final few minutes through Enda Turbitt and Ronan Reynolds, but a missed penalty from Reynolds which was saved by sub goalkeeper Fintan McHale who replaced the injured Brendan Coyle at half time was the death knell to their attempted comeback. Parke will now go on to face UK champions in the All Ireland quarter final at the end of the month.
In the senior semi-final at Tuam Stadium, James Horan’s Ballintubber fell just short of what was required, losing out 0-9 to 1-5 to Killererin from Galway. Ballintubber managed to score 1-4 in the opening half, but a succession of missed chances, with only a free from Alan Dillon to show for their efforts in the second half, saw them knocked out of the competition. Padraig O’Connor’s converted penalty after Gary Dillon was fouled was the only major of the game, but despite going in leading at half time, Ballintubber could only muster Dillon’s 57th minute free in the second period. Nicky Joyce was the top marksman for Killererin with five points (four of them from placed balls ) as they booked their place in the Connacht final against Roscommon champions St Brigid’s on Sunday week.
Cora does it again
There was better news on the ladies’ scene where Carnacon booked their place in the Tesco Ladies All Ireland Senior Club final thanks to a comprehensive 10 point win over Timahoe of Laois, on a score of 2-16 to 2-6. Once again Cora Staunton was scorer in chief for Carnacon scoring 1-14 for her side who now go on to face old rivals Inch Rovers of Cork in the All Ireland final.