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Mayo's interest in the FBD League ended in Elverys MacHale Park on Sunday when an hungry and slicker Roscommon team went home with the points and the provincial bragging rights thanks to a five point win over the Connacht champions.
Rarely does anything come easy to Mayo in Hyde Park and on Sunday they were peering over the ledge and an exit from the Connacht championship at the hands of Roscommon, but they were able to go to the well once more when it was needed to eek out the win that puts them into the Connacht final.
Mayo's Ollie Cassidy and Paul Flynn lost out on a place in the all-Ireland intermediate doubles semi-final on Sunday last as they went down in two games to Kilkenny duo Timmy and David Clifford. The Swinford/Ballaghaderreen duo got off to a bad start in the opening game and lost is 21 aces to 10. It was a different story in the second as the Mayo duo really got stuck in and, playing some great handball coupled with top class serving, they led 16 aces to 8 at one stage. However try as they might they simply could not finish off this game and despite serving out game ball at 20 aces to 19 they lost the second by a single ace 21-20 and with it their hopes of a tilt at the title in three weeks’ time. However much credit must go to Cassidy who put the heartbreak of his father’s death just nine days ago behind him, to turn in a fine performance on the day.
There were no real surprises in the two provincial senior finals at Ballaghaderreen on Saturday afternoon as all-Ireland senior doubles champions Dessie Keegan and Joe McCann maintained their unbeaten run to take the provincial title at the expense of fellow club mates Vincent Moran and Campbell Brennan. The champions were in devastating form in a very one sided opener and they won it for the loss of just two aces. Moran and Brennan finally got around to playing some handball in the second and the duo, to their credit, made a real fight of it and it looked like the game could go either way at one stage. However Keegan and McCann did just enough to see off the challenge as they won the second 21 aces to 17. Marianna Rushe ran out the expected easy winner of the ladies’ senior singles final with an easy two games to nil victory over fellow St Coman’s contender Leona Doolin.
Mayo did not have any involvement in the two All-Ireland club finals which were decided at the weekend, but the record will show that Ballaghaderreen were the only Connacht club winners in 40x20 this year. St Coman’s were beaten by an impressive Liscarrol side at Crinkle on Saturday, while Salthill’s brave bid for junior club honours came to naught as they narrowly lost out to Coolboy on Sunday at Dolla, Silvermines. Salthill did feature well-known former Ballinrobe handballer Tom Sweeney in their line up, but the Galway side’s cause was as good as lost by the time Sweeney got to see any action. Coolboy’s Jerome Willoughby did most of the damage as he defeated Kevin Craddock of Salthill 21-10, 21-11, in the opening singles. John Ward and Bernie McDonnagh were unable to close the gap for Salthill in the doubles against impressive young Coolboy duo Keith Kavanagh and Gary Donohoe, losing out 42 aces to 31 overall. This meant that Salthill were 30 odd aces adrift, and while Sweeney’s determined effort resulted in a 21-7 victory it was never going to be enough. Coolboy’s John Rodgers finished off the job in the second to record a 10 ace victory overall. Credit to Coolboy whose senior team gave Ballaghaderreen a run for their money last week, they at least did not finish the season empty-handed.