Ballintubber start title defence in style

Defending champions Ballintubber got the defence of their Mayo SFC title off to the perfect start with a comfortable victory over Breaffy in Clogher yesterday.

A goal from Alan Plunkett helped the holders to a facile 1-14 to 0-3 win as their West Mayo neighbours struggled without the injured O’Shea brothers, Aidan and Seamus.

Former Mayo forward Aidan Kilcoyne was the star of the show for Knockmore as the North Mayo side pipped Shrule/Glencorrib by 1-18 to 1-16.

Kilcoyne landed 11 points (six from frees), with late scores from Kieran Langan and Keith Ruttledge saving the day for Ray Dempsey’s side.

Elsewhere, Mervue Utd striker Alan Murphy shot 1-6 for Ballinrobe as they stunned Crossmolina, winning away by 2-13 to 0-11.

There was also a surprise win for Claremorris away to Davitts (1-10 to 0-9) while Andy Moran notched a goal as Ballaghaderreen easily overcame Tourmakeady by 1-17 to 1-7.

In the same group, Ballina and Westport drew 0-8 apiece with Liam Staunton landing the equaliser from a free two minutes into injury-time for the ‘Port.

Meanwhile, Castlebar Mitchels got their campaign off to a winning start with a solid 1-13 to 1-8 victory away to Kiltane in Bangor.

Pat Holmes’ side, who have lost the last two county finals to Ballintubber, led at half-time by 1-10 to 1-3.

Ronan O’Boyle scored the Mitchels goal with Mikey Sweeney replying for the homeside from the penalty spot.

Mayo midfielder Barry Moran landed Castlebar’s first score of the second half on 53 minutes to steady the ship, and they held out.

Elsewhere, Garrymore made home advantage count as they ground out a 1-6 to 1-4 win over Aghamore.

A penalty from Mayo attacker Alan Freeman early in the second half threw Aghamore a lifeline.

However, Garry’ refused to panic and managed to hold out in a frantic finish.

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