Diarmuid O’Connor kicks superb winner as Ballintubber edge out Breaffy in Mayo final
Colm Gannon reports from MacHale Park
WHEN IT CAME down to the winning moment of this game, Diarmuid O’Connor was the man who came good and kicked the winning score at the end of hard fought local derby in MacHale Park.
Ballintubber battled back from conceding a goal early on and thanks to seven points from Cillian O’Connor and some experienced play from Alan Dillon in the final few minutes they had enough to claim their fourth Mayo senior title since 2010.
Aidan O’Shea was posted at the edge of the square at the start and five minutes in he was fouled as he tried to break for goal and the outsiders were awarded a spot kick which was dispatched by Peter Dravins.
Ballintubber cut the gap back to two not long after when Steven O’Malley fired over from close range. The gap was brought back to one point on the ten minute mark through a Cillian O’Connor free and the same man had the game level from another free by the 11 minute mark.
Gareth Dunne and Damien Coleman traded points to have the game level as the quarter of an hour mark approached.
Cillian O’Connor put his side in front the for the first time from a close range free after he was fouled himself with 18 minutes gone on the watch. The same man stretched his sides lead out to two points on 23 minutes from another placed ball, as Breaffy’s ill discipline in defence began to cost them.
Seamus O’Shea is challenged by Brian Walsh.
Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO
Breaffy keeper Robert Hennelly at this stage missed three long range frees that his side could really have done with getting. They did get the last score of the game through a Conor O’Shea free from 35 meters out after he was fouled himself on the way to goal.
Cillian O’Connor edged his side two clear again a minute into the second half with a long range free from beyond the 45-metre line. It was fourth time lucky for Robert Hennelly who landed a 45 to leave just one between the sides two minutes later.
Alan Dillon then rolled back the years with a brilliant score after Ballintubber capitalised on a slack pass from Peter Dravins. Then Tommy O’Reilly and Cillian O’Connor traded points from play to leave the Tubber 0-9 to 1-4 up after 35 minutes.
O’Connor nailed another long rang free with 15 minutes to go to keep Breaffy at arms length as the game entered it’s final furlong. The gap was cut to one by a Tommy O’Reilly point two minutes later and it was all to play for still.
Steven O’Malley doubled the lead after Alan Dillon got in behind the rearguard to set him up with eight minutes left, but that was responded almost instantly too from a Conor O’Shea free.
With five minutes to go Conor O’Shea pointed a close range free to level it up, but the man who has lit up the closing rounds of the club championship Diarmuid O’Connor stepped up to put his side back into the lead just before the end of normal time and they saw out the five minutes of extra time to reclaim the Mayo senior title.
Scores for Ballintubber: Cillian O’Connor (0-7, 6f), Steven O’Malley (0-2), Damien Coleman (0-1), Alan Dillon (0-1), Diarmuid O’Connor (0-1)
Scores for Breaffy: Peter Dravins (1-0), Conor O’Shea (0-3, 3f), Tommy O’Reilly (0-2), Gareth Dunne (0-1), Robbie Hennelly (0-1, 1f), Robert Fadden (0-1)
1. Brendan Walsh
2. Gary Loftus
3. Cathal Hallinan
4. Brian Murphy
5. Damien Coleman
6. Michael Plunkett
7. Ruaidhri O’Connor
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8. Jason Gibbons
9. Diarmuid O’Connor
10. Ciaran Gavin
11. Alan Dillon
12. Alan Plunkett
13. Bryan Walsh
14. Cillian O’Connor
15. Steven O’Malley
Subs: 21. Jamsie Finnerty for Alan Plunkett, 18. Myles Kelly for Loftus, 20. Padraig O’Connor for Gavin (BC), 19. Joe Geraghty for Ruaidhri O’Connor.
1. Robert Hennelly
2. Marke Servan
3. James Minogue
4. Colm Kelly
5. Keith Mulchrone
6. Seamus O’Shea
7. Dylan Cannon
8. Matthew Ruane
9. Peter Dravins
10. Robert Fadden
11. Aidan O’Shea
12. Rory Martyn
13. Tommy O’Reilly
14. Conor O’Shea
15. Gareth Dunne
Subs: 20. Michael Hall for Martyn , 18. Colm Dravins for Dervan, 19. Gerry Jennings for Colm Dravins (BC), 22. Gary Walsh for Peter Dravins, 24. Stephen McDermott for Fadden, 17. Daire Morrin for O’Reilly.
Referee: Vincent Neary (Bonnicolon).
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