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Mayo club masters, Tralee dominance in Kerry and Loughmore get that winning Tipp feeling

A look at the talking points from the weekend’s club action.

Knockmore's Charlie Bourke after their Mayo final win.
Knockmore's Charlie Bourke after their Mayo final win.
Image: Evan Logan/INPHO

1. Knockmore make their presence felt in Mayo

September 2020 marked the end of Knockmore’s 23-year wait for Mayo senior football glory. The current bunch have clearly got a taste for success, retaining that title yesterday and emulating their predecessors who achieved back-to-back wins in 1996 and 1997.

There was signs of their experience and nous in yesterday’s final in the manner in which they shut down Belmullet, the breakout team this season in Mayo, restricting them to 0-6 and keeping their talisman Ryan O’Donoghue scoreless from play. It was a clinical and controlled showing. Last year there was no Connacht adventure to subsequently embark upon, in a fortnight they’ll get a chance to test themselves when facing Sligo’s Tourlestrane.

2. A novel Tralee derby in store in the Kingdom

With three of the four semi-finalists supplied by sides from the Tralee area, there was a clear dominant theme to the weekend’s Kerry senior football action. That will only be reinforced by the outcome as two Tralee clubs will face off in the decider for the first time since 1963, while it will be the first final between Austin Stacks and Kerins O’Rahilly’s since 1936.

The semi-final successes were achieved in different fashions. Austin Stacks performed in sporadic bursts but availed of good fortune with their goals and then produced terrific marksmanship with their penalties against St Brendan’s. Kerins O’Rahillys dug deep to demonstrate their resolve with a powerful second-half reeling in Dr Crokes and enable them to break their losing semi-final streak. It sets up a final rich in promise on the first weekend in December. 

kilmacud-crokes-players-and-supporters-celebrate-with-the-cup Kilmacud Crokes players and supporters celebrate their Dublin final win. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

3. A tough loss for St Jude’s to absorb as Kilmacud reign in Dublin

It is a remarkable way to win a county final. Scoring a single point in the first half would generally be too damaging a setback for teams to recover from, but Kilmacud Crokes managed to cope yesterday in Parnell Park. They stayed within sight of St Jude’s and edged ahead when it mattered most as Callum Pearson kicked an injury-time winner.

That pushed them ahead 1-7 to 1-6 and left St Jude’s heartbroken once more. A third final defeat in 12 seasons, the second in four at the hands of Kilmacud. They’ve also suffered a run of semi-final defeats. Given their 1-4 to 0-2 advantage at one juncture in the second half, they seemed in pole position but wound up a luckless outfit once more.

noel-brian-and-john-mcgrath-celebrate-their-victory The McGrath brothers after their Tipperary senior football triumph. Source: Tom Maher/INPHO

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4. Tipp joy for Loughmore as they go forward with momentum

The plaudits lobbed in Loughmore-Castleiney’s direction have been plentiful in recent times. Their double-jobbing between football and hurling has been extremely impressive but outside admiration is not adequate compensation for county final losses.

The pain of two defeats in 2020 was well-documented, they dug out a draw in the hurling encounter last Sunday week and then yesterday provided the welcome sight of a win after a final appearance. They achieved it in a typically resilient manner with John McGrath again their saviour in front of goal with his late strike to the net. Their post-match joy indicated they will savour this. It gives them a great springboard ahead of a Tipperary hurling final replay and Munster football quarter-final over the next fortnight.

BTL 5

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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