If excitement was what you were looking for on Sunday then McHale Park was the place to be, where Davitts and Burrishoole went toe to toe in an exhilarating intermediate final. In a contest that looked to be over at half time when Davitts led by 0-10 to 0-3, Burrishoole have to be given credit for fighting their way back into this contest. In the end it was Davitts day and the plaudits belong to the men in black and red.
Despite looking dead and burried at the break Burrishoole came out with all guns blazing for the last 30 minutes and with three minutes left on the clock Jason Doherty kicked his tenth point of game he hauled his side level at 0-12 each. Davitts weren't for folding though. Aidan McTigue found room to swivel his body into a scoring position and point from close range after a sideline ball from Ronan McNamara dropped in the danger area and Burrishoole failed to clear. There was a chance for for Burrishoole to level the game just after that score. The ball was pumped long into Jason Doherty 30 yards out from goal, he made a few yards and instead of popping the ball over the bar he tried to feed it into Enda McManamon. Davitts corner back Colm Roche got a hand in the way and cleared the ball upfield. From there Davitts were awarded a free 50 yards out and despite kicking into the teeth of a very strong breeze Ronan McNamara drilled it over the bar from the deck to seal the win.
Man of the match, Micheal Conroy was the star of the show in the first half giving Liam O'Malley the run around for the first 20 minutes until Burrishoole finally put O'Malley out of his misery and switched him off Conroy. The Davitts captain kicked six points in the opening half and even had a goal disallowed for a square ball and forced Shane Nevin into making a top drawer save before the end of the half. Surley following he will have forced himeslf into Mayo manager James Horan's thinking for next year after a great season for his club.
Davitts had Burrishoole at sixes and sevens in that opening period with Ronan McNamara and Paul Carey dominating the midfield sector and Colm Boyle commanding the centre of his defence superbly. Going in trailing by seven points at half time it was always going to be a very difficult task for Burrishoole, but to their credit they came out fighting and gave it their all. James Moran and Paraic McManamon came into the game well in the middle of the field, while Michaél Moran and captain Shane McDermott won a lot of breaking ball in the middle third. Burrishoole were camped in the Davitts half for much of the final period, with only intermittent raids upfield from the south Mayo men. Davitts only managed to kick four points in the second half, the two important ones late on which sealed the win along with a 42nd minute point from Keith Prendergast and one from Conroy with his only real chance of the second half ten minutes from time. Conroy's point was a crucial one as it came just seconds after Doherty had put only three points between the sides and Burrishoole's tails were up. Doherty kicked two more points in the next three minutes and it was a two point game, then Michaél Moran landed a free from the stand side that just about crept over the bar. It was now real edge of the seat stuff. Davitts looked to break out from defence through James Cummins, but James Moran intercepted the ball. He played in Adrian McManamon who was hauled to ground 30 yards out, Doherty stepped up and slotted the ball over the bar to put his side level for the first time since just after the throw in. There were two minutes left on the clock and all to play for. But Davitts showed their true worth as champions by not letting their heads drop and found that little bit extra that separates winners from runners up at the death of a contest. Davitts captain Michael Conroy concluded his acceptance speech with the line “The dark days are over, we have it!” after 30 years waiting they are over for Davitts for now. For Burrishoole the long road in the darkness will continue for another year at least at least as they try to put the pain of loosing their second final in two years behind them and try to climb to the top of the mountain again next season.
Davitts: M Diskin; C Roache, F Barrett, K Gallagher; J Clarke, C Boyle, J Cummins; R McNamara (0-3, 3f ), P Carey (0-1 ); K Prendergast (0-1 ), D McDonagh (0-2 ), P Coyne; A McTighe (0-1 ), F McGrath, M Conroy (0-6, 1f ). Subs: A Roache, K Glynn, L Kearns, M Cosgrove, C O'Gara
Burrishoole: S Nevin; D Nevin, S McManamon, P Mulchrone; L O'Malley, M Joyce, D Drumm; P McManamon, J Moran; M Moran (0-1.1f ), Pat Mulchrone, S McDermott; J Doherty (0-10, 9f ), A McManamon (0-1 ), E McManamon. Subs: A Moran
Ref: L Devanney (Ballina )