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O'Connor brothers help Ballintubber take third Mayo crown after early goal blitz

Last year’s losing All-Ireland finalists are out of this year’s competition.

Ballintubber players celebrate after the game.
Ballintubber players celebrate after the game.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Ballintubber 2-9

Castlebar 1-9

Ballintubber won their third Mayo senior football title in five seasons with a three point win over arch-rivals Castlebar Mitchels in MacHale Park this afternoon.

Ultimately it was two goals in the first ten minutes which proved decisive for the West Mayo side against a Castlebar title who they also beat to win the club’s first two county titles in 2010 and ’11.

Padraic O’Connor struck the first goal after five minutes and his brother Cillian found the net on nine minutes. While Mitchels will not be happy with how they defended the high ball for both of those goals, both O’Connor brothers finished decisively.

Mitchels had actually led by two points thanks to early scores from Barry Moran and Eoghan O’Reilly but those two goals, together with a point from Alan Plunkett put Ballintubber in the driving seat, leading by five points.

The winners led by 2-2 to 0-6 at half-time as reigning Connacht champions Castlebar Mitchels showed their pedigree to come back into it.

Points from Richie Feeney, Niall Lydon, Fergal Durkan and Eoghan O’Reilly, countered only by a point from Alan Dillon, meant the game was very much in the mix at the break.
Playing into the wind in the second half you sensed Castlebar would need a goal to gain a foothold and that’s just what they got after 39 minutes. Ballintubber were three in front when Barry Moran palmed the ball to the back of the net and it was level pegging.

Paul Galvin Paul Galvin was an interested spectator today. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The next scores would be crucial and it was the youngest of the O’Connor brothers, Diarmuid, who stood up. He sent over two vital points and Castlebar would never get back on level terms again.

With Alan Dillon central to so much of their play, and leaving with the Man of the Match gong, combined with the ever accurate Cillian O’Connor at full-forward, Ballintubber were able to keep the scoreboard ticking over as Castlebar mounted another comeback bid.

A Richie Feeney point on fifty minutes had the gap to one again. The next play was vital and it was Alan Dillon who won the break from that kick-out and seconds later Padraic O’Connor pointed.

Castlebar would not score again and, looking for a goal, they only got a glimpse but Ray O’Malley’s shot was well blocked.

The final say was left to Cillian O’Connor who swung over a monster free from outside the 45 metre near the left sideline to seal the deal for the champions who now go on to face Roscommon champions St Brigid’s in the Connacht semi-final on November 9.

Scorers for Ballintubber: Cillian O’Connor 1-3 (0-3f), Padraic O’Connor 1-1, Stephen Broderick 0-2, Diarmuid O’Connor 0-2.
Scorers for Castlebar: Barry Moran 1-1, Eoghan O’Reilly 0-2 (0-2f), Richie Feeney 0-2, Niall Lydon 0-1, Fergal Durkan 0-1, Aidan Walsh 0-1 (0-1f), Danny Kirby 0-1.

Ballintubber

1 Brendan Walsh

6 Brian Murphy
3 Cathal Hallinan
4 Paul Earley

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7 Ruaidhrí O’Connor
2 Michael Plunkett
5 Myles Kelly

8 Jason Gibbons
9 Stephen Broderick

10 Damien Coleman
12 Diarmuid O’Connor
13 Alan Plunkett

11 Alan Dillon
14 Cillian O’Connor
15 Padraic O’Connor

Subs
17 Joe Geraghty for Paul Earley (46)
19 Daire Summerville for Alan Plunkett (54)
21 Ray Geraghty for Padraic O’Connor (62)

Castlebar Mitchels

1 Ciarán Naughton

7 Patrick Durcan
6 Tom Cunniffe
3 Alan Feeney

4 Donal Newcombe
25 Eoghan O’Reilly
5 Ray O’Malley

8 Barry Moran
11 Richie Feeney

10 Niall Lydon
12 Fergal Durkin
9 Danny Kirby

13 Cian Costello
14 Aidan Walsh
15 Neil Douglas

Subs
21 James Durcan for Fergal Durkan (48)
20 Stephen Keane for Cian Costello (51)
23 Seán Conlon for Ray O’Malley (53)
16 Rory Byrne for Niall Lydon (56)

Referee: Eamon McAndrew (Claremorris).

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Edwin McGreal

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