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Major milestone for Mayo hurling with historic Connacht club title breakthrough

Tooreen have become the first club from the county to reach the All-Ireland series.

THE NARRATIVE OF Mayo GAA may focus on their football exploits but for the small pocket of hurling in the county, yesterday produced a major breakthrough.

Tooreen Mayo duo Fergal Boland and Kenny Feeney both starred for Tooreen. Source: INPHO

Tooreen became the first Mayo club to lift the Connacht intermediate hurling crown since the competition was introduced in 2005 and now the county will feature for the first time at the last four stage of an All-Ireland club hurling championship.

A 1-15 to 1-11 victory over Galway’s Ballinderreen granted the Mayo club a historic success at the Roscommon venue of Athleague.

The Mayo and Roscommon senior champions both contest at intermediate level on the provincial stage but that has not interrupted Galway’s traditional dominance with 12 straight title wins since 2005 for Tribesmen clubs.

Tooreen were only two points adrift in their previous Connacht final showing in 2013 against Kilnadeema-Leitrim while another Mayo club Ballyhaunis only lost out after a replay last year to Ahascragh-Fohenagh.

Last month Tooreen ended the Ballyhaunis hopes of four-in-a-row in the county arena to an end in the Mayo final before seeing off Roscommon’s Padraig Pearses last Monday in the Connacht semi-final and then triumphing yesterday.

Shane Boland and Kenny Feeney, who won Nicky Rackard Cup medals with Mayo in 2016, hit 0-11 between them.

Mayo senior footballer Fergal Boland, who featured in the early stages of this season for Stephen Rochford’s side, chipped in with 0-3 for Tooreen, whose players line out in football for their sister club Aghamore.

David Kenny, a Mayo All-Ireland U21 football winner in 2016 along with Boland, lined out in defence yesterday for the new hurling champions.

David Kenny Mayo's David Kenny. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

The club now has an All-Ireland semi-final date to look forward to in 2018 on the weekend of 20/21 January where they will face the Leinster kingpins.

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