The Mayo Senior Hurling Championship Final is down for decision this Sunday, October 7 at 2pm in Tooreen. Champions Ballyhaunis play neighbours Tooreen in what should be a tough and exciting encounter. Ballyhaunis are going for five in a row but local rivals Tooreen will keen to break this winning run and win their first senior championship since 2003.
Ballyhaunis easily accounted for Westport in last year's final and brought this good form into 2012 topping the group in the league stages of the championship with good victories over Castlebar, Westport and Tooreen. Ballyhaunis will look to dual star Keith Higgins, who seems certain of a football All-Star this year, for leadership and inspiration. Keith will be ably assisted by older brother Pierce who is central to Ballyhaunis' game-play in the midfield area. Other key players for Ballyhaunis include Tipperary native Donie O'Brien in goal, Brian 'Deano' Hunt, Fergal Lyons and Niall Murphy. While JP Coen will be running things on the line for the men in red and black.
Tooreen will be encouraged by their Genfitt League Final win over Ballyhaunis in June, emerging victorious on a score line of 1-9 to 1-6. In addition to the Senior League title, Tooreen also hold the Junior League, Junior Championship and U-21A titles for 2012 and will be hoping to make it a 'full-house' on Sunday. Tooreen will be looking to inter-county men Cathal Freeman, Shane Morley and Kenny Feeney for inspiration. Jackie Coyne is the man on the sideline for the hosts. In an interesting backdrop to this final it is 25 years since the great Joe Henry and Tooreen captured the 10 in a row of hurling titles winning every title between 1978 and 1987. Mayo Hurling Committee is hoping for a large crowd at the game on Sunday and given the close rivalry between these two a battle royal is expected. Given that 2012 is the year of the hurling draw, a stalemate after 60 minutes of hurling on Sunday would come as no surprise.