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Kevin McLoughlin's Knockmore retain Mayo football crown against Belmullet

The champions ran out six-point winners in Ballina.

Belmullet's Evan Ivors tries to get away from Knockmore's Connell Dempsey.
Belmullet's Evan Ivors tries to get away from Knockmore's Connell Dempsey.
Image: Evan Logan/INPHO

Knockmore 1-9

Belmullet 0-6

Colm Gannon reports from Ballina

KNOCKMORE MADE IT back-to-back Mayo senior football titles after a six-point win over fellow north Mayo men Belmullet in Ballina.

Ray Dempsey’s side powered home in the final quarter of the game to see off the challenge of a stubborn Belmullet side who refused to go away and stayed in touch for long periods of the game.

Peter Naughton kicked five points over the hour with James Ruddy’s goal just before half time the vital score in giving Knockmore the advantage on the scoreboard at the break that their dominance of the play deserved.

It was a low scoring affair on the scoreboard in the opening half with Knockmore leading 1-2 to 0-1 at the break. Peter Naughton and Pearse Ruttledge got the points for Knockmore with Ryan O’Donoghue raising Belmullet’s sole white flag in the half.

The key score arrived just before the break when Ruddy climbed highest to win a ball in from Aiden Orme. He turned his man and fired it low past Shane Nallen in the Belmullet goal.

The second half was a tense affair with every time that Knockmore looked to be pushing themselves clear, Belmullet digging in and fighting back. Peter Naughton and Conor Flynn kicked early points for Knockmore to put them 1-4 to 0-1 in front.

Belmullet hit back with points from Eamon McAndrew, Ryan O’Donoghue and Shea O’Donoghue to cut the gap back to three at the second water break to leave the game on a knife edge as the final quarter approached.

The defending champions used all their knowledge and experience down the home straight, outscoring their opponents by 0-5 to 0-2, but only after Belmullet had brought it back to a two-point game after a fine score by Owen McHale.

Knockmore rallied and Conor Flynn kicked his second point and Naughton kicked three more from frees and Connell Dempsey dove over one on the run to seal the win and send the Moclair Cup a few miles out the road for the second year in a row.

Scorers for Knockmore: Peter Naughton (0-5, 4f), James Ruddy (1-0), Conor Flynn (0-2), Pearse Ruttledge (0-1, 1m), Connell Dempsey (0-1)

Scorers for Belmullet: Ryan O’Donoghue (0-3, 3f), Shea O’Donoghue (0-1), Owen McHale (0-1), Eamon McAndrew (0-1)

Knockmore

1. Colm Reape

2. Marcus Park
3. David McHale
4. Sean Holmes

5. Nathan Armstrong
6. Kieran King
7. Conor Flynn

8. Kevin McLoughlin
9. Shane McHale

10. Pearse Ruttledge
11. Adam Naughton
12. Connell Dempsey

30. James Ruddy
14. Aiden Orme
15. Peter Naughton

Substitutes:

24. Charlie Bourke for Adam Naughton
17. Keith Ruttledge for Armstrong
13. Darren McHale for Ruddy
20. Liam Durcan for Shane McHale (Blood Sub)
20. Liam Durcan for Bourke

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Belmullet

16. Shane Nallen

2. Mikey Barrett
3. Colin Barrett
4. Conan Connor

5. James Kelly
6. Eoin O’Donoghue
7. Shea O’Donoghue

8. Owen Healy
9. Evan Ivors

22. Owen McHale
11. Daithí Cosgrove
18. Fionnan Ryan

23. Ciaran Conway
14. Ryan O’Donoghue
15. Jason Boylan

Substitutes:

19. Marty Boylan for Healy
20. Eamon McAndrew for Jason Boylan
10. James O’Donnell for Cosgrove
21. Cathal Barrett for Marty Boylan
17. Leo Howard for Mikey Barret

BTL 5

About the author:

Colm Gannon

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