INPHO Last year's Connacht finalists Ballintubber are back in the Mayo decider (file photo).
final hurdle

Late Gavin goal seals return to Mayo senior football final for champions Ballintubber

A seven-point success for the titles holders tonight against Ballina.

Ballintubber 1-10
Ballina 0-6

Colm Gannon reports from Elverys MacHale Park, Castlebar

THE DEFENDING MAYO senior football champions Ballintubber booked their place in the final with a seven-point win over Ballina Stephenites in MacHale Park on Saturday night.

Ciaran Gavin got the only goal of the game in injury time to round off the scoring at the end of slow burning encounter, where both sides looked to choke off the others attacking threats.

The first half wasn’t a high scoring affair but it was a tactical battle and Ballintubber went in leading by three points at the break on a scoreline of 0-5 to 0-2.

Alan Plunkett got the first score a minute in – but there wouldn’t be another score for 11 minutes until Ciaran Tracey hit the first of two first-half frees, the only points registered by Ballina in that half.

Ballina did have two goal chances with Sean Regan crashing an effort off the bar and Conor McStay pulling an effort wide of the post in the middle period of the half.

Cillian O’Connor hit the first of three points he registered in the opening 30 minutes winning the ball well in front of Ger Cafferkey and firing over on the spin on the quarter of an hour mark.

He tagged on two more in the 26th and 27th minute to put his side 0-4 to 0-1 up. Tracey cut the gap back to two with his second point of the day, with Noel Geraghty rounding up the scoring for the half in injury time with Ballintubber’s fifth point of the day.

Ballintubber pushed themselves into a five point least inside the opening four minutes of the second half thanks to a brace of Alan Plunkett points before Mikey Murray landed the north Mayo men’s only score from play of the day on 36 minutes.

The closest that Ballina got to the victors was two points when Ciaran Tracey kicked his fifth pointed free of the day on 50 minutes to leave his side trailing 0-8 to 0-6, but that was his outfits last point of the evening.

Ballintubber tagged on points from Cillian and Diarmuid O’Connor before Gavin’s goal to seal their place in the final once again.

Scorers for Ballintubber: Ciaran Gavin 1-1, Cillian O’Connor 0-4 (0-1f), Alan Plunkett 0-3, Noel Geraghty, Diarmuid O’Connor 0-1 each.

Scorers for Ballina: Ciaran Tracey 0-5 (0-5f), Mikey Murray 0-1.


1. Brendan Walsh

2. Gary Loftus
19. Ruaidhri O’Connor
4. Brian Murphy

5. Damien Coleman
6. Michael Plunkett
7. Myles Kelly

8. Jason Gibbons
9. Diarmuid O’Connor

10. Ciaran Gavin
11. Cillian O’Connor
12. Bryan Walsh

13. Neol Geraghty
20. Alan Plunkett
15. Stephen O’Malley


3. Joe Geraghty for Brian Murphy
21. Keelan McDonnell for Alan Plunkett
18. Padraig O’Connor for Stephen O’Malley


1. David Clarke

2. Stephen Mullins
3. Ger Cafferkey
4. Chris Hunt

5. Rory Tigue
6. James Doherty
7. David O’Mahoney

18. Padraig O’Hora
9. Jack Irwin

10. Mikey Murray
11. Sean Regan
12. Ciaran Tracey

13. Keith Tigue
21. Simon Leonard
15. Conor McStay


29. Thomas Doherty for Rory Tigue
14. Evan Regan for Sean Reagan
26. David Tigue for Keith Tigue
8. Ciaran Sweeney for Stephen Mullins
20. Kevin Newell for Conor McStay
27. Luke Doherty for Ciaran Sweeney (Black Card)

Referee: Garryowen McMahon (Davitts)

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