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Ballintubber hit nine goals with Cillian O'Connor scoring hat-trick to reach Mayo final

Ballintubber went goal crazy against Knockmore in today’s semi-final.

Cillian O'Connor found the net three times today in Castlebar.
Cillian O'Connor found the net three times today in Castlebar.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Ballintubber 9-11
Knockmore 2-12

THOSE PRESENT AT MacHale Park in Castlebar were left scrambling for the record books today as an awesome performance from Ballintubber saw them cruise to a Mayo SFC final clash against neighbours Castlebar Mitchels.

Seven first half goals from the 2010 and 2011 county champions were the platform for this incredible win against Knockmore.

And the conductor of the orchestra was Mayo star Cillian O’Connor. He ended the game with 3-3 beside his name but he was responsible for so much more. He played the final ball for three more first half goals as Knockmore wondered just what had hit them.

It was a memorable day for all the O’Connor family. The four brothers started the game and incredibly each of them hit the net. Cillian, Diarmuid and Padraic were all on target in the first half and wing-back Ruaidhri completed the remarkable achievement with his goal, arguably the pick of the bunch, in the 39th minute.

Diarmuid O'Connor celebrates at the final whistle Diarmuid O'Connor, last year's All-Ireland minor winner, netted for Ballintubber today. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Ballintubber had lost to Knockmore in last year’s quarter final and from the early stages it was clear they were men on a mission.

Diarmuid O’Connor struck the first goal on five minutes after a surging run from brother Cillian and by the 14th minute three more goals had followed, two from Cillian and one from Padraic O’Connor.

Knockmore did not know what hit them but you could argue the best goal of the game came from them – Darren McHale finishing superbly to the top corner after a fine run.

That came in the 30th minute and just in case it appeared like it might be some sort of tonic before half-time, Ballintubber went up the field to score their second. Mayo’s Jason Gibbons turned over possession, found Cillian O’Connor who in turn placed Alan Plunkett who struck his seventh goal.

Stephen Broderick struck their other first half goal, finishing smartly after a gem of a diagonal ball from Cillian O’Connor. Ballintubber were in front by 7-6 to 1-6 at half-time.

The winners had their nine goals by the fortieth minute after both Ruaidhri and Cillian O’Connor found the net.

The game tapered out from there but Knockmore didn’t throw in the towel. Midfielder Andrew Keane hit a goal and the likes of Kieran Langan and Kevin McLoughlin never gave up the fight and kept the scoreboard ticking over.

They ended with 2-12, a great tally most days but not when your opponents plunder you for 9-11.

Alan Dillon dejected 21/10/2012 Alan Dillon was in action for Ballintubber today. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Scorers for Ballintubber: Cillian O’Connor 3-3 (0-1f), Alan Plunkett 2-1, Padraic O’Connor 1-2, Diarmuid O’Connor 1-1, Stephen Broderick 1-1, Ruaidhri O’Connor 1-0, Alan Dillon 0-1, Ray Geraghty 0-1, Brian Walsh 0-1.
Scorers for Knockmore: Kieran Langan 0-6 (0-4fs), Kevin McLoughlin 0-4 (0-2fs), Darren McHale 1-0, Andrew Keane 1-0, Colm Reape 0-1 (’45), Gerard Gaughan 0-1. 

BALLINTUBBER
1. Brendan Walsh

5. Michael Plunkett
6. Cathal Hallinan
17. Paul Earley

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2. Myles Kelly
3. Gary Loftus
7. Ruaidhri O’Connor

8. Jason Gibbons
9. Stephen Broderick

21. Alan Plunkett
11. Diarmuid O’Connor
12. Damien Coleman

10. Alan Dillon
14. Cillian O’Connor
15. Padraig O’Connor

Subs for Ballintubber:
13. Daire Summerville for Diarmuid O’Connor (43)
4. Brian Murphy for Paul Earley (43)
22. Ray Geraghty for Padraic O’Connor (45)
20. Danny Geraghty for Jason Gibbons (47)
19. Joe Geraghty for Ruaidhri O’Connor (50)
23. Brian Walsh for Cillian O’Connor (56)

KNOCKMORE
1. Colm Reape

4. Jason Clarke
3. Brian Gibbons
7. Justin Rice

5. Kieran Langan
6. Gerry Higgins
2. Tomas Hanley

17. Thomas Clarke
9. Andrew Keane

13. Darren McHale
12. Stephen Sweeney
10. David McHale

11. Keith Ruttledge
15. Gerard Gaughan
8. Kevin McLoughlin

Subs for Knockmore:
18. Alan Loftus for Gerry Higgins (15)
20. Francie O’Neill for Thomas Clarke (15)
26. Alan Staedler for Tomas Hanley (30)
25. Ciaran Canning for Stephen Sweeney (43)
19. James Langan for David McHale (52)
22. Jarlath O’Hora for Darren McHale (52).

Referee: Kevin Connelly (Hollymount/Carramore)

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About the author:

Edwin McGreal

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