The O’Connor brothers stole the show as Ballintubber reclaimed the Mayo SFC title against neighbours Breaffy at MacHale Park, Castlebar last night.
Mayo star Cillian O’Connor shot seven points and delivered a man of the match performance while his brother, Diarmuid, landed the winning score in the 59th minute.
Breaffy have now lost all three of the county senior finals they have appeared in. Ballintubber also led at half-time by 0-6 to 1-2 despite getting off to the worst possible start.
Breaffy’s Peter Dravins tucked away a penalty inside three minutes after Aidan O’Shea was bundled over inside the square.
But four frees from the unerring Cillian O’Connor helped Ballintubber to get into their stride while Stephen O’Malley and captain Damien Coleman were also on target.
Meanwhile, down at the other end, Breaffy goalkeeper, Rob Hennelly, was off target with three long-range place kicks as his side struggled to get the scoreboard moving.
The second half was a much more entertaining affair than the first as both teams threw off the shackles and started to play with more directness and pace.
Well done our Man of the Match winners from tonight, Jonathan Donoghue from @BelmulletGaa for the Intermediate Final & Cillian O'Connor from @BallintubberCLG for the Senior Final. #mayogaa #gaa pic.twitter.com/5dAQG0Gunt— Mayo GAA (@MayoGAA) October 20, 2018
Cillian O’Connor tagged on three further points from frees, but Ballintubber were unable to pull away despite their territorial dominance. Breaffy stayed in touch with points from Tommy Reilly, Gary Fadden and Conor O’Shea.
Goalkeeper Rob Hennelly also broke his duck when he finally landed a long-range free and the tension was almost unbearable in the closing stages as Breaffy drew level through a Conor O’Shea free.
Breaffy substitute Colum Dravins and Ballintubber’s Ciaran Gavin were also both shown black cards as the stakes continued to mount. Diarmuid O’Connor then landed the brilliant lead score on 59 minutes and while Breaffy pushed hard during the five minutes of additional time, they were unable to dig out an equaliser.
Ballintubber: B Walsh; G Loftus, C Hallinan, B Murphy; D Coleman (0-1), M Plunkett, R O’Connor; J Gibbons, D O’Connor (0-1); C Gavin, A Dillon (0-1), A Plunkett; B Walsh, C O’Connor (0-7, 6fs), S O’Malley (0-2).
Subs used: M Kelly for Loftus (35); J Finnerty for A Plunkett (35); P O’Connor for Gavin BC, 53); J Geraghty for R O’Connor (57).
Breaffy: R Hennelly (0-1,’45); M Dervan, J Minogue, C Kelly; K Mulchrone, S O’Shea, D Cannon; M Ruane, P Dravins (1-0); R Fadden (0-1); A O’Shea, R Martyn; T O’Reilly (0-2), C O’Shea (0-3, 3fs), G Dunne (0-1).
Subs used: M Hall for Martyn (35); C Dravins for Dervan (39); G Jennings for C Dravins (BC, 41); G Walsh for P Dravins (50); S McDermott for Fadden (55); D Morrin for O’ Reilly.
Referee: V Neary (Bonniconlon)