Mayo Intermediate Final win 2000

November 7, 2018

Mayo Intermediate Final



‘Robe in full flow as Ballagh’ run aground



Ballinrobe             1-21

Ballaghaderreen    0-6


By Michael Commins


Ballinrobe were crowned Mayo Intermediate football champions at Claremorris

on Sunday afternoon after they destroyed Ballaghaderreen in the opening 20

minutes of this lob-sided encounter. Showing fierce commitment, passion and

lots of skill, they ran through the Ballagh’ lines in a fiercely

concentrated opening blitz that all but quenched the Ballaghaderreen flame.

To all intents and purposes, the game was over as a contest after

18 minutes by which time they led by 1-9 to no score. It had been an

awesome performance by the Ballinrobe lads.

Ballinrobe, who earlier this year won the Mayo U-21 ‘A’ title, crowned a

very special year for the club with this classic performance. Only a few

years ago, a huge question mark hung over the club as they went through a

dismal spell at underage level. Now, all that is behind them and Ballinrobe

find themselves back in the Mayo senior championship next season.

From the opening bell, Ballinrobe tore into this match. Sean Grimes was

majestic at midfield and he played a pivotal role in the early stages.

Micheal Keane, probably the fastest draw in the West, was again showing

extraordinary pace. Points from Michael Keane, Adrian Flannery, Sean Grimes

and Maurice Horan had lifted them four clear after eight minutes. Things

were looking good for Ballinrobe who were also playing against the wind.

There was no let up in the pressure, no holding back in the intensity of

their will to succeed, and no slackening in the pace as they availed of the

opportunity to rattle Ballaghaderreen still further. Wave after wave

emanating from Grimes and O’Loughlin and the midfield area rolled towards

the Ballagh’ posts as they brushed aside the opposition.

Grimes slotted over another point before Tony Walkin placed Maurice Horan

for the only goal of the match … a low shot that crept in to the bottom

corner of the net past a despairing Pat Towey. Quick and ready to answer

the call were the Ballinrobe lads who were now in full flight. The whole

team were ‘on fore’ and Grimes potted a sweet point. Walkin added another

after Towey had effected a fine save from Micheal Keane. Horan placed

Flannery well for yet another score while Sean Grimes and Micheal Keane

combined well for Keane to shoot a delightful point to leave them ahead by

1-9 to nil.

It must have been heart-breaking for the Ballaghaderreen players and

management and supporters. As joint manager Christy McCann said afterwards:

‘We never got out of the blocks today’.


Ballagh’ deflated


The damage had been done and the confidence level well and truly deflated

after just 20 minutes. James Mitchell was drafted in and he did have a

steadying influence on the side. He laid on the pass for Gary Conway to

raise their first white flag after 22 minutes. Before the interval, Gary

Conway and Barry McKenzie picked off two further points.

But during that time, Ballinrobe had extended the lead still further with

points from Fergal Costello and Tony Walkin and a great one from a solo

effort by Micheal Keane.

Just before halftime, Ballinrobe once again blazed through the Ballagh’

defence with a swift attack featuring Sean Grimes, Fergal Costello, Tony

Walkin, Micheal Keane and Keith McTigue. Goalie Pat Towey advanced to block

McTigue who looked destined to score a goal and conceded a penalty in the

tackle. The Ballagh’ goalie also incurred a serious ankle injury and had to

be stretchered off the field as Barry Conway was drafted in to replace him.

Tony Walkin’s penalty shot touched the top of the crossbar and sailed over

to leave Ballinrobe ahead by 1-13 to 0-2 at the interval.


Inevitable conclusion


Ballinrobe eased back a bit in the second half but the Ballaghaderreen

cause was a lot one and proceedings drifted towards the inevitable

conclusion. It was Sean Grimes who extended the lead further before Maurice

Horan scored a spectacular point that drew deserved applause from the big

contingent of Ballinrobe supporters.

Two points from James Mitchell, one from a free and the other from a

‘fifty, put a little more respectability on the scoreboard for

Ballaghaderreen. But they had to endure more torture in the closing 20

minutes as Ballinrobe outgunned them 0-6 to 0-1. Maurice Horan, Fergal

Costello, Keith McTigue, Tony Walkin, Adrian Flannery and Sean Grimes all

got on the score sheet again. James Mitchell kicked the Ballagh’ point from

a free. Indeed, Maurice Horan was unfortunate not to rattle the net when he

crashed a pile-driver off the post six minutes from time.

For the Ballinrobe team management of Peter Forde, Martin Walsh, Dick

Langan, Sean Fahy and Billy Burke, this was as near to the ‘dream’

performance as they could ever wish for. Fortunate to edge home by a point

in the semi-final against Lahardane, Ballinrobe hit one of those special

days on Sunday. It was as if they had been listening to Mid-West Radio a

short time earlier when the song from ‘Oklahoma‘ came over the airwaves 

‘Oh what a beautiful morning/Oh what a beautiful day/I’ve got a wonderful

feeling/Everything’s going my way’.

In every sector of the field, Ballinrobe were superb. Paul Tiernan coped

easily with all that came his way. Colm Jennings, Paul Finnerty and Donal

Costello were always in charge at the rear. Ruairi Keane and Harry Murphy

worked solidly throughout in the halfback line with Fergal Costello

enjoying a fine game and coming forward to score two great points in the


Sean Grimes lorded it at centrefield with Fergal O’Loughlin also displaying

sterling service throughout. Maurice Horan, Micheal Keane and Keith McTigue

cut through the Ballagh’ defence time and time again while Tony Walkin,

Aidan Golden and Adrian Flannery all played significant roles and enjoyed a

day that will long remain in the Ballinrobe sporting memory. This was a

magical team performance by the lads from the ‘Robe.

The game was almost a mirror image of the Galway v Sligo Connacht

semi-final back in June. Everyone knows that Sligo did not do themselves

justice on the day and are a much better team than the outcome of that game

would suggest. The same goes for Ballaghaderreen last Sunday. It was just

one of those days they will want to exorcise from the memory as soon as


Tom Regan was one player that never gave up the battle. He worked

tirelessly to the very end. Kevin Cahill came more into the game in the

second half. James Mitchell was another who tried desperately hard to lift

the team. Up front, Gary Conway was Ballagh’s most impressive player on the

day while Maurice O’Gara, David McKenzie and Barry McKensie had their

moments too. All in all, it was a disappointing days for trainers Christy

McCann and Paul McHugh and all the Ballaghaderreen panel.

Bonniconlon referee Vincent Neary handled the game with consummate ease.

The Cup was presented to Ballinrobe captain, Tony Walkin, by P.J. McGrath,

chairman of the Mayo County Board.

Ballinrobe: P. Tiernan, C. Jennings, P. Finnerty, D. Costello, R. Keane, F.

Costello (0-2), H. Murphy, S. Grimes (0-5), F. O’Loughlin, A. Golden, A.

Flannery (0-3), M. Keane (0-3), K. McTigue (0-1), T. Walkin (0-4), M. Horan

(1-3). Subs: P. Malone for M. Keane, P. Walkin for P. Tiernan, A. Flannery

for C. Jennings, P. Kennedy for A. Golden, A. O’Toole for D. Costello.

Ballaghaderreen: P. Towey, L. Dillon, K. Cahill, T. Regan, D. McHugh, N.

Towey, R. Conway, D. McKenzie, B. Colleran, J. Quinn, M. O’Gara, L. Geever,

G. Conway (0-2), B. McKenzie (0-1), B. Ryan. Subs: J. Mitchell (0-3) for B.

Colleran, B. Conway for P. Towey (inj), G. Carmody for J. Quinn, C. Brennan

for B. Regan, P. O’Grady for M. Towey.

Referee: Vincent Neary (Bonniconlon).