The Mayo GAA season kept moving this weekend with the semi-finals in both the senior and intermediate championships, a number of relegation games and some league deciders taking place over a hectic 30 hours or so between Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening.
‘Tubber thump their way back to the final
In the senior championship we know the identity of one of the finalists with Ballintubber blitzing their way to another final in impressive style against Claremorris on Sunday afternoon in MacHale Park. Stephen O’Malley was the main man for Ballintubber kicking 2-5 from play for his team as they blew away the challenge of a youthful Claremorris side. O’Malley alongside Cillian O’Connor who ended up with five points and Diarmuid O’Connor who kicked 1-1 were the scores in chief as Tom Prendergast’s men booked their spot in next weekends decider.
Ballintubber led by 3-10 to 0-2 at the turnaround, breaking the Claremorris challenge early kicking there goals in the opening 21 minutes of the game. The south Mayo men did put a bit of a gloss on the scoreboard in the final few minutes of the game with Stephen McGreal and Matthew Mackan hitting the back of the net, but by that stage the outcome of the contest had been well decided.
Garrymore battle back against the champions
Castlebar Mitchels 1-11
When Jimmy Killeen stood over his free tight to the MacHale Road of the ground three minutes into injury time, he knew that his sides season depended on the outcome of his kick. The Garrymore veteran took his time, placed it on the deck and swung it right between the posts to give his team a second shot at a place in the county final.
At various stages it looked like Castlebar Mitchels were going to win this game - without ever hitting the high notes we’ve seen from them over the past few years. They were very wasteful in front of goal in the first half kicking half a dozen wides, but they still went in leading by 0-7 to 0-4 thanks to a late flurry of scores from James Durcan, Barry Moran and Ger McDonagh.
Then right from the throw in after the break, Danny Kirby drove the ball to the back of the net to put his side six clear and looking good for the win. But they don’t bend the knee that easy in Garrymore and the fought their way back into the game, with Colm Slattery’s goal and Mark Tierney’s point at the three quarter mark bringing them level.
Mitchels showing the champions they are drove back at them again and pushed themselves into a three point lead once more with Donie Newcombe, Neil Douglas and David Stenson all finding their range - Garry’ weren’t done yet though. Darren Quinn put just two between the teams and Shane Nally hammered over a free from beyond the 45m line leaving just the one between the teams as the game slipped into injury time and Killeen held up his end of the bargain to send the game to a replay.
Moy Davitts march into intermediate decider
Moy Davitts 2-11
On Saturday afternoon, James Stephens Park in Ballina played host to a double header of action in the intermediate championship. In the second game of the day it was Moy Davitts who overcame a stubborn Islandeady challenge to book their place in next weekends final.
Islandeady started the game in impressive style and were leading 0-7 to 0-3 after 16 minutes with Danny McGowan and Brendan Gibbons in flying form. But their inability to take the goal chances they created really came back to haunt them as once Moy Davitts found their groove they - edged their way to victory. Brian Reape kicked a few early points for the Moysiders, but the turning point in game came James Mulderrig was fouled and inside the penalty area and Brian Heneghan tucked away the spot kick and his side pushed on to go in leading 0-7 to 1-6 at the break.
Diarmuid Gibbons cut the gap back to just one point early in the second half, but once Heneghan hit home his second goal with 20 minutes left the game was only really heading one way and despite a late flurry from the west Mayo men Moy Davitts won out by four points at the end
First half goals see Kiltimagh through against Lousiburgh
Three first half goals in the space of five minutes was the difference between Kiltimagh and Louisburgh on Saturday afternoon in Ballina. The game as tied at three points a piece after 13 minutes - and then the east Mayo men really caught fire with David Lydon bagging the first two goals and Ronan Malee landing the third - to send Pa McNicholas’ men in leading 3-6 to 0-6 at the break.
Louisburgh threw everything they had at Kiltimagh in the second half, but the closest they could bring the gap too was five points at any stage, they did pull a goal back right at the death through Joe Dawson, but at that stage it was to little to late for John Kelly’s team. Kiltimagh are back in the final again after the disappointment of losing last year - and they have local derby to savour against Moy Davitts coming up next weekend.
Relegation battles continue
In the senior championship, in the relegation semi-final replay Aghamore came out on top against Davitts by seven points on a scoreline of 1-14 to 0-10 on Sunday. That means that it’s an all south Mayo battle to avoid the drop when Davitts face Ballinrobe in the upcoming relegation final.
In the intermediate championship, it was Swinford who held on to their intermediate status with a 0-14 to 1-8 win over Tourmakeady in Bekan on Saturday night, sending the Gaeltacht men back into the junior ranks for next season.
Breaffy claim league title
A week on from their disappointment of losing to Claremorris in the senior championship, Breaffy ensure that their season ended on a high and with some silverware winning the Mayo Senior Football League Division 1A title thanks to a 1-11 to 0-12 win over Knockmore in north Mayo on Sunday morning. At half time they trailed 1-5 to 0-9, but were able to tag on six points in the second half to the three that Knockmore could add to their tally.