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Ballintubber captain Damien Coleman lifts the Paddy Moclair Cup after victory over Breaffy in the Mayo SFC Final. 
Ballintubber captain Damien Coleman lifts the Paddy Moclair Cup after victory over Breaffy in the Mayo SFC Final. 

Ballintubber defeat Breaffy in Mayo SFC Final

Mayo Senior Football Championship Final


By Colm Gannon at MacHale Park

Diarmuid O’Connor was the hero for Ballintubber as they claimed their fourth Mayo senior football championship, kicking the winning point against Breaffy in MacHale Park on Saturday night to put the full stop on a nail-biting battle.

Breaffy got off to the perfect start, with Peter Dravins firing the ball home from the penalty spot after five minutes. The spot kick came about after Aidan O’Shea won a long ball in and was hauled to the ground by Cathal Hallinan.

Ballintubber responded two minutes later with a well taken score from corner forward Steven O’Malley. The three time champions had the game all tied up through two Cillian O’Connor frees by the 11 minute mark - but Breaffy struck back through Gareth Dunne to edge back in front soon after.

Ballintubber captain Damien Coleman wasted no time in levelling up the game with a well worked score 12 minutes in. Six minutes later Ballintubber took the lead for the first time through O’Connor’s third pointed free after he was fouled breaking for goal.

Seven minutes from the short whistle O’Connor put his side two clear from another placed ball as Ballintubber began to wrestle control of the game from their opponents, with Breaffy missing three long range placed ball attempts by Robbie Hennelly up to this juncture.

Conor O’Shea cut the gap back to a single point before the break with a free from 35 meters out after he was fouled himself sending Ballintubber in leading 0-6 to 1-2 at the short whistle.

The lead was stretched back out to two by O’Connor’s fifth free of the day just after the restart this one from well beyond the 45m line. Robbie Hennelly landed a 45 two minutes later to leave just the minimum between the sides.

In a blistering minute of action Alan Dillon and Cillian O’Connor hit points for Ballintubber and Tommy O’Reilly kicked one for Breaffy to leave Ballintubber leading 0-9 to 1-4 with 25 minutes to go.

Robbie Fadden cut the gap back to one with an effort from distance on 40 minutes, but five minutes later O’Connor nailed another long range free to keep the gap at two points.

Tommy O’Reilly cut that again, with a well-taken effort two minutes later to leave the game on a knife edge.

Then Steven O’Malley and Conor O’Shea swapped points within 30 seconds of each other with six minutes left on the watch.

With five minutes to go Conor O’Shea pointed a close range free to level it up, but the man who has lit up the closing rounds of the club championship, Diarmuid O’Connor, stepped up to put his side back into the lead just before the end of normal time.

The Ballintubber rearguard held out through the five minutes of injury time, to claim their fourth Mayo senior football title since 2010.

Scorers for Ballintubber: Cillian O’Connor (0-7, 6f), Steven O’Malley (0-2), Damien Coleman (0-1), Alan Dillon (0-1), Diarmuid O’Connor (0-1)

Scorers for Breaffy: Peter Dravins (1-0), Conor O’Shea (0-3, 3f), Tommy O’Reilly (0-2), Gareth Dunne (0-1), Robbie Hennelly (0-1, 1 45), Robert Fadden (0-1)

BALLINTUBBER: Brendan Walsh; Gary Loftus, Cathal Hallinan, Brian Murphy; Damien Coleman, Michael Plunkett, Ruadhri O’Connor; Jason Gibbons, Diarmuid O’Connor; Ciaran Gavin, Alan Dillon, Alan Plunkett; Bryan Walsh, Cillian O’Connor, Steven O’Malley. Subs: Jamsie Finnerty for Plunkett, Myles Kelly for Loftus, Padraic O’Connor for Gavin (BC), Joe Geraghty for Ruadhri O’Connor.

BREAFFY: Robert Hennelly; Mark Dervan, James Minogue, Colm Kelly; Keith Mulchrone, Seamus O’Shea, Dylan Cannon; Matthew Ruane, Peter Dravins; Robert Fadden, Aidan O’Shea; Rory Martyn; Tommy O’Reilly, Conor O’Shea, Gareth Dunne. Subs: Michael Hall for Martyn, Colum Dravins for Dervan, Gerry Jennings for Colum Dravins (BC), Gary Walsh for Peter Dravins, Stephen McDermott for Fadden, Daire Morrin for O’Reilly.

Ref: Vincent Neary (Bonnicolon)

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