Mayo Intermediate Football Championship Final Preview

November 7, 2018

The 70s Show

‘I DON’T remember a whole lot about that year but I do remember that we won

every one of our four games by eight points. And we beat Crossmolina in the


I was just 17 but I had already played full-forward in 1978 when we won the

County Minor title as well. I know I had two good corner-backs either side

of me, Tom Moran and Pat Fleming. They were very clever and we had a good

understanding but I’d have brought any of our backs into battle with me.

Tommy O’Malley was our player/trainer and Michael Flannery was the captain.

We used to meet up in the Lakeland on the mornings of championship games

and Tommy would talk tactics while Mike Flannery’s role would be to get us

psyched up. I remember some lads like Dinny Conroy would be naturally

pumped up for matches but I preferred just to stay quiet and do my own

thing in the dressing room.

I think that side of things has changed in the last couple of years. Teams

don’t go in for the running on the spot and counting to ten as much because

I don’t think that works with footballers any more. You don’t need noise or

any of that. If you want to win games then your mind and body have to be

ready a long time before the day of the game.

You might still hear that roaring and shouting in an odd dressing-room here

and there but I would nearly always see that as ‘faking’.

Our training back then was a lot different from what it is now as well. We

did an awful lot of our training down the Green, running up and down the

little hills down there. We were very fit but there were no such things as

drills. We just ran and ran and ran. It was a very well prepared team,

Tommy O’Malley made sure of that, but it was a very talented team as well.

The main difference between then and now is that players then, all of us,

had more natural skill. When we were 18, 19, 20, we always had a football

at our disposal. You never really left a ball out of your hand and you were

always kicking and practising. I suppose if we were to win on Sunday then,

inevitably, there would be comparisions made with that team.

There were some great characters on that team of ’79. The likes of ‘Junior’

Flannery, Tommy O’Malley, Jimmy ‘The Clint’ Maughan, the late Billy Diskin

. . . I remember we had some brilliant sing-songs after matches and Padraig

Costello, one of the corner-forwards, would always like to get the

full-back line to sing together; the half-back line to sing together and

the two midfielders would have to do the same. We’d move from pub to pub

but Mick Mulvey’s was a favourite haunt of ours back then.

We went senior for a good few years after ’79 and we were always

competitive but never made the breakthrough. We dropped back down as far as

junior in 1989 but bounced back up again the following year. It is 21 years

since we won the Intermediate Championship but I’ve told our lads that it’s

not up to them to be worrying about bridging that gap. They just have a

game to play, just another game.’

BALLINROBE won the 1979 Intermediate title by virtue of a 1-9 to 0-4 win

over Crossmolina at McHale Park, Castlebar. Goalkeeper Martin Murphy saved

a penalty in the first half of what was described in The Mayo News of the

time as ‘a mediocre game’.

Ballinrobe: Martin Murphy; Tom Moran, Peter Forde, Pat Fleming; John

Cosgrove, Geoff Diskin, Dinny Conroy; P.J. O’Loughlin (0-1), Billy Diskin

(0-1) (R.I.P.); Tommy O’Malley (1-0), Jimmy Maughan (0-1), Michael Flannery

(0-2); Padraig Costello (0-2), Joe Heneghan
_(0-1), Billy Burke (0-1).