Darragh McCormack came to the rescue of Ardnaree late on in McHale Park on Sunday to give his side a second crack at this years Mayo junior title. Two minutes into injury time, Michael Walsh drove forward with purpose and laid the ball off to the Ardnaree number ten who held his nerve to pull the game level at 1-5 each. It was McCormack who left only one point between the sides, six minutes earlier with a neat finish under pressure.
As for The Neale they will look back and wonder how they didn't close out the game having come from four points behind early in the second half to work themselves into a two point lead late on. The south Mayo side started the brightest on Sunday, but weren't able to make it count on the scoreboard early on, and actually went through the whole 60 minutes without scoring from play at all. Sean Cosgrove opened the scoring with the first of his five frees for The Neale after eight minutes and added his second point five minutes later. The north Mayo side hit back with their first point from Eoin McCormack after 16 minutes as they started to get a foothold in the game. James McHale who wore the number eight shirt started the game in at full forward and caused The Neale full back line plenty of problems all afternoon. Kevin Newell had a great goal chance 19 minutes in when the ball was broken down to him by McHale and he pulled on it on the deck first time. However, Keith Hennelly pulled off a great save to keep it out. A minute later though the ball was in the back of The Neale net when the same man, Knewell cracked home the size five with a thundering finish. Chris Walsh could have made scored a second goal for Ardnaree five minutes before the break, but his fisted effort was deflected over the bar bar by a Neale defender, to leave Ardnaree leading by 1-2 to 0-2 at the break.
Eoin McCormack opened the scoring in the second half four minutes in for Ardnaree, but that would be their last score until the first of Darragh McCormack's late brace that leveled the game up. Sean Cosgrove kicked his third point from a free on 36 minutes and followed it up six minutes later to leave two between the sides. Ardnaree had another chance to grab a goal in between those Cosgrove points, but Darragh McCormack saw his effort come back off the bar. With a quarter of an hour left, Sean Cosgrove was put in on goal by Aidan O'Sullivan, but he was pulled back just inside the large rectangle and referee John Glavey gave the penalty. Niall Walsh who had come off the bench near the end of the first half, stepped up and calmly dispatched the ball to the back of the net from the spot. When Cosgrove pointed his fifth and final point with six minutes left on the clock, it looked like they could start celebrating in south Mayo. But Ardanree dug in and pulled themselves level. Both sides will have to do it all again, this coming Saturday afternoon at 4pm in McHale Park.
Ballina come through in the end to hold on to senior status
Ballina Stephenites maintained their senior status on Sunday with a 2-14 to 1-4 win over Kiltane in Knockmore. Patrick McHale scored a first half goal and Ger Brady scored their second three pointer to send the Bangor Erris men into the intermediate ranks for the first time since the 1970s. The 2005 All Ireland champions, parted ways with Anthony McGarry after their relegation semi-final defeat to Breaffy a few weeks ago and were under the guidance of David Brady for Sunday's game.
Charlestown book semi-final spot
In the Connacht Intermediate football championship in Pearse Stadium on Sunday, Charlestown kept up their winning run seeing off Galway champions Carna Cashel 1-13 to 0-6. Tony Mulligan picket up the man of the match award and scored the only goal of the game in the first half, just before the break. The Mayo intermediate champions will now face off against the Leitrim champions in the Leitrim champions in the Connacht semi-final on Sunday, November 4 at 2pm in McHale Park.