Mayo U21 final preview 2000

November 7, 2018

ELEVEN weeks after the first ball was kicked in the County U-21
Championship, fate has conspired to bring Ballinrobe and Kilmaine together
again this afternoon.
A meeting of friends, neighbours, rivals and footballers that has captured
the imagination of the entire South Mayo region. And then some.
There are a number of factors which have helped to mould this final into an
eye-catcher: almost twenty of the players on opposite sides today were
members of the Ballinrobe Community School team which won the All-Ireland
‘B’ title last year; many, like Sean Grimes, Brian Maloney, Ruairí Keane
and Alan Burke have played county football together. The latter two lined
out for Mayo against Sligo last night in the Connacht minor championship.
Throw in the geography of the area and you get the picture.
Kilmaine have made a habit of collecting prized scalps since their first
round victory over Moy Davitts in February. Five points from Andrew Casey
set the tone for both his campaign and that of his team as the visitors
from East Mayo were handed a six point whipping (0-12 to 0-6).
Next came Claremorris in the quarter-final. This time Casey went one better
and drilled six points during a 0-13 to 0-10 win. Home advantage also
provided a comfortable backdrop.
In the semi-final against Swinford the talismanic Andrew Casey was sent off
after twenty-eight minutes. By that stage he had kicked six points (four
frees) and ended the game as top scorer. A goal from Paul Doherty proved
crucial in sealing a 1-6 to 2-5 victory.
Meanwhile, over at their own patch, Ballinrobe were endeavouring to reach
their first U-21 Final for over fifteen years. Backboned by the spine of
the team which were crowned U-16 ‘A’ champions in 1996, they did just that.
Westport fell first; a wonderful goal from corner-back Paul Finnerty
cementing a 3-9 to 1-8 win for the guests from the south. Then Breaffy,
complete with the talented Marty McNicholas, were gunned down by powerful
midfielder Sean Grimes in the quarter-final. He kicked four points and gave
an exhibition of fielding in a 0-12 to 0-3 win.
The semi-final unravelled under a baking sun in Tourmakeady only last
Monday. Ballintubber provided the opposition and, after a game which ebbed
and flowed on the thin air, were duly dismissed by 2-11 to 0-7.
It will remembered for many a long day for two moments – both goals. The
first came after four minutes when Sean Grimes’ shot from sixty yards
dropped into the net. The second, just after half-time, from Keith McTigue
surprised nobody more than the scorer himself.
Both these winding roads reach a junction this afternoon and, either way,
there will be a new team on the trophy later today.
Already Ballinrobe have beaten Kilmaine this year: by a point in the
Brennan Cup (South Mayo) Final. That was March and this is May.
Let the battle commence.