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Darren McHale the star as Knockmore win first Mayo county title in 23 years

There were also wins for Tourlestrane in Sligo while in Roscommon St Brigid’s won yet another county title.

Knockmore celebrate their first Mayo championship in 23 years.
Knockmore celebrate their first Mayo championship in 23 years.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

KNOCKMORE CAME FROM behind to claim their first Mayo county championship since 1997, when they defeated Breaffy by two points at McHale Park, winning 1-12 to 0-13.

In the final analysis, Darren McHale’s seventh minute goal proved crucial, not just because it helped Knockmore establish an early four-point lead and a foothold in the game but also, ultimately, because of the narrow margin between these sides at the end.

They’d already scored the opening point of the game – courtesy of Keith Ruttledge – when McHale struck his goal. Breaffy got on the board via Colm Flynn but when Peter Naughton pointed on 10 minutes, they had re-established their four-point lead and were looking good.

That picture changed by half-time, however, as Breaffy went on a charge: Matthew Ruane, Tommy O’Reilly and Conor O’Shea were among the scorers as they drew level by the 20th minute, then Ruane pushed them ahead with seven minutes left of the opening half.

By half-time Breaffy were two points ahead and two points quickly became three when captain Aidan O’Shea knocked over the opening score of the second period.

But again Darren McHale struck a key score – Knockmore’s first in 23 minutes –and as the half wore on, Knockmore got increasingly on top. Peter Naughton levelled it and when Keith Ruttledge put them ahead on 41 minutes, they never looked back, outscoring Breaffy four points to three in the concluding minutes.

aidan-oshea-dejected-at-the-final-whistle A dejected Aidan O'Shea at the final whistle. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Elsewhere, St Brigid’s won the Roscommon county football championship with a 1-11 to 0-8 victory over Padraig Pearses, the key score coming 11 minutes into the second-half when Brian Stack scored the only goal of the game.

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Until then, it had been nip and tuck – Padraig Pearses taking the lead on two separate occasions in the first half, then drawing level via Paul Carey on 23 minutes. But when Brian Derwin put St Brigid’s back in front on 25 minutes, they never looked back, leading by one point at half-time before they outscored Pearses 1-6 to 0-4 in the second half.

After Stack’s goal, they were in complete control – Pearses never getting it any closer than a four-point deficit between the goal and the full-time whistle.

In Sligo, Tourlestrane defeated Drumcliffe/Rosses Point by three points, largely thanks to the efforts of Liam Gaughan, who scored six points, three from play, and Pat Harte, who finished the game with 1-2.

The additional scoring contributions of Jonny Kelly, Kenny Gavaghan, Conan Marren, James Leonard and Oisin Kennedy proved too much for Drumcliffe/Rosses Point who stayed in touch thanks to Paul Logan’s seven points – six from frees and Sean Waldron’s goal.

In addition, Sean Power’s two points and scores from Kieran Lynam and Brian Monaghan made a real game of it but it is Tourlestrane who prevailed to win their fifth title in a row.

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