Mayo U-21 "A" semi-final

November 7, 2018


Mayo U-21 ‘A’ semi-final



Ballinrobe advance for derby showdown with Kilmaine


Ballinrobe     2-11

Ballintubber  0-7


By Michael Commins


A confident Ballinrobe team surged past Ballintubber in the U-21 semi-final

at Tourmakeady yesterday (Monday) and will now meet neighbours Kilmaine in

the county final at Hollymount on Sunday (3 p.m.). Already, the build-up to

this major local derby showdown is underway and the biggest crowd to attend

a Mayo U-21 decider for some years is confidently predicted for Hollymount

this coming weekend.

This semi-final, originally fixed for Hollymount, was transferred to

Tourmakeady where a fine crowd gathered in Riveria-style weather conditions

for the big game. The pitch was in excellent condition and the Tourmakeady

club spared no effort in rising to the occasion.

Ballinrobe opened with a pep in their step with Micheal Keane raising the

first white flag in the opening minute. This was no false dawn was Keane

was to prove the most influential player on the field. Fate smiled sweetly

on Ballinrobe a short time later when Sean Grimes lofted in a high ball

that the Ballintubber goalie failed to control and suddenly Ballinrobe had

opened up a four point gap.

Gary Dillon and Mark Walkin exchanged points from frees and Dillon added

another to reduce the margin. Ballintubber were dealt a severe blow minutes

later when Gary Dillon received a head injury in an accidental clash and he

was removed to Castlebar General Hospital for further observation.

Despite this setback, Ballintubber appeared to raise their game for a time

and launched several attacks but also squandered numerous scoring chances

as the wides tally began to mount. Two points from frees by Mark Walkin and

one from play by Micheal Keane were responded to by Shane McDonagh and Colm

Staunton who kicked two fine scores for Ballintubber. The teams retired at

the interval with Ballinrobe ahead by a rather flattering 1-5 to 0-4.

Ballinrobe really wrapped it all up in the early minutes of the second

half. Micheal Keane shot another fine point after a good delivery from Sean

Grimes. And when Mark Walkin lobbed the ball from the left wing towards the

Ballintubber square, Keith McTigue was well placed to finish it to the net.

They nearly had another goal a minute later but Declan Dillon pulled off a

fine save from Aiden Golden.

Ballintubber tried to rally again and it took two good saves by Ballinrobe

goalie, Paul Tiernan, to deny them the scores which may have lifted their

challenge. Shane McDonagh reduced the deficit with two points from frees

but Ballinrobe finished in style with points from Mark Walkin, Kevin

Feerick, Keith McTigue and Walkin again to ease out comfortable winners.

Micheal Keane gave an outstanding display for Ballinrobe. Mark Walkin’s

contribution from placed balls and general play was also top class. Rory

Keane, Paul Finnerty, David Colleran, Sean Grimes, Harry Murphy, Paul

Tiernan and Anthony O’Toole were others to excel on the day.

Niall Munroe gave a whole-hearted display in the halfback line for

Ballintubber. Kieran Lally, Shane McDonagh, Joseph Nestor, Gary Dillon

(until injured), Alan Dillon, Colm Staunton, Brian Feeney and sub Con Lydon

also looked impressive during spells of the match.

Ballinrobe: P. Tiernan, P. Finnerty, P. Costello, A. O’Toole, C. Killeen,

R. Keane, D. Colleran, S. Grimes (1-0), H. Murphy, R. Macken, A. Golden, M.

Walkin (0-6), K. Feerick (0-1), M. Keane (0-3) L. Butler. Subs: J. O’Malley

for C. Killeen, K. McTigue (1-1) for R. Macken, A. Murphy for K. Feerick.

Ballintubber: D. Dillon, C. Feeney, P. Earley, J. Nestor, N. Munroe, T.

Earley, J. Kelly, B. Feeney, P. Coonan, K. J.C. Lally, A. Dillon, K. Lally,

S. McDonagh (0-4), G. Dillon (0-2), Colm Staunton (0-1). Subs: T. Kilcoyne

for G. Dillon, C. Lydon for K. J.C. Lally.

Referee: Michael Daly (Ballyhaunis).