Karol Mannion of St Brigids INPHO/Mike Shaughnessy

St Brigid's and Ballaghaderreen set for meeting in Connacht decider

In a busy weekend of GAA club action in the western province, there were senior football semi-finals, the intermediate football final and the junior football and hurling finals.

THIS YEAR’S CONNACHT senior club football title will be decided by the champions of Roscommon and Mayo.

St Brigid’s and Ballaghaderreen were both successful in their semi-final ties yesterday over Salthill-Knocknacarra and Curry respectively.

They will now go forward to the decider on November 25th with Roscommon’s St Brigid’s aiming for their third successive title while Mayo’s Ballaghaderreen will compete in their first final since 1972. Here’s how their semi-final wins unfolded.

St Brigid’s (Roscommon) 0-15 Salthill-Knocknacarra (Galway) 0-8
St Brigid’s maintained their status as a premier force in Connacht club football when they won by seven points against Galway’s Salthill-Knocknacarra in their semi-final clash in Pearse Stadium.

St Brigid’s moved into an early lead by 0-4 to 0-3 and by the interval had extended that advantage to lead by 0-8 to 0-4. Salthill-Knocknacarra, appearing in their first Connacht club campaign since 2005, a year when they defeated St Brigid’s in the final, struggled to make an impact against the Roscommon side who had Karol Mannion in magnificent form.

In the second-half St Brigid’s maintained their dominance but their cause was helped by Salthill-Knocknacarra’s Seamie Crowe limping off with a hamstring injury and even though Sean Armstrong kicked four points for the Galway club, St Brigid’s were able to maintain their dominance.

They were ahead 0-11 to 0-7 midway through the second-half and by the final whistle had a seven-point cushion behind them with Frankie Dolan and Senan Kilbride both having left their mark on the game for St Brigid’s.

The Kiltoom-based club, who are managed this year by former Mayo star Kevin McStay and have his fellow county man Liam McHale in their backroom staff as well, will now contest their sixth final in the last eight years and will be aiming for their fourth title in that time frame.

St Brigid’s manager Kevin McStay with coach Liam McHale. Pic: INPHO/Mike Shaughnessy

Ballaghaderreen (Mayo) 1-15 Curry (Sligo) 1-7
Ballaghaderreen reached their first Connacht final in 40 years with an eight-point victory over Sligo champions Curry in Elverys McHale Park in Castlebar. The Mayo champions, appearing in only their third ever provincial campaign, claimed honours after a powerful second-half display.

Opponents Curry had lead the way at half-time by 1-5 to 0-6. They were boosted by an early goal from David Maye in the 7th minute and though Barry Regan helped Ballaghaderreen draw level, it was points from Cathal Brennan and Adrian Marren that ensured the Sligo outfit lead by two at the break.

But Ballaghaderreen got off to a powerful start in the second-half with James Kilcullen storming through the middle for an early goal. Curry then suffered a major blow when John Feeney was sent-off and with Regan starring up front, Ballaghaderren were ahead by 1-13 to 1-5 with twelve minutes left. They closed out the game from there to book their place in the final in a fortnight’s time.

Meanwhile Charlestown Sarsfields of Mayo were 0-14 to 0-8 winners over Sligo side Bunninadden in Saturday afternoon’s Connacht club intermediate football final in Markievicz Park.

The Mayo club, who were relegated last year from the senior club ranks before bouncing back to win the county intermediate title this season, added the victory to the Connacht senior crown that the club won in 2001. They will now meet the winners of the Leinster championship in the All-Ireland semi-final next January.

In the Connacht junior club football final on Saturday, Ballinasloe of Galway were comprehensive winners by 4-11 to 0-7 against Roscommon outfit Oran in Kiltoom.

While in the Connacht junior club hurling final on Saturday, Sligo’s Calry-St Joseph’s were narrow winners over Sylane of Galway by 1-12 to 0-11 at the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence in Ballyhaunis.

2012 Connacht Club SFC team-by-team guide