James Horan has not given up on Gavin Duffy featuring in Mayo’s race for the All-Ireland SFC title this year.
The former Connacht Rugby captain was drafted into the Mayo squad by Horan shortly after he retired from professional rugby earlier this summer, but has yet to play a minute of football for them.
Horan was in Tuam Stadium on Saturday evening, to assess Duffy’s progress as he helped Salthill/Knocknacarra to a 1-8 to 0-8 win over Caltra in the Galway Senior Football Championship.
Michael Meehan started for Caltra but his side were unable to capitalise on their one-man advantage after Ruairdhí McTiernan was sent off with eight minutes left.
A Sean Armstrong goal helped the Seasiders into a 1-3 to 0-1 lead after 18 minutes.
The late introduction of veteran Seamie Crowe boosted the Seasiders’ attack and his two points helped last year’s beaten county finalists to the win.
Some of Galway’s underage stars were to the fore for Mountbellew/Moylough in the first of the double-header in Tuam on Sunday evening as manager, Val Daly’s son, Michael hit the net twice on the way to a 2-12 to 0-11 victory over Killererin.
Meanwhile, Shane Hughes put on the perfect display of free-taking as he scored 10 times from the placed ball but was unable to carry his side over the line.
Shane Hughes’s free got Killererin going in the first minute but five minutes later Daly replied with an unstoppable shot to the top corner of Alan Kelly’s net.
The teams went point for point from there but Mountbellew/Moylough converted their scoring opportunities from play whereas Killererin relied on the efforts of Hughes, with Michael Boyle the only other to score, as they went in trailing 1-4 to 0-6 at the break.
Playing with the wind at their backs in the second half, it took Val Daly’s side until the 15th minute to take advantage and it was worth the wait.
Another wonderful flowing move involving Daly and Joe Bergin was hammered home stylishly by Daly as they raced into a 2-8 to 0-7 lead.
From here, they never looked backed, and despite some defiance from Shane Hughes, Barry McHugh kicked the clinching scores for Mountbellew/Moylough.
The second of the double-billing had promised so much but turned out to be a dour affair as Tuam Stars were easy winners over their near neighbours, Cortoon Shamrocks, on a scoreline of 1-11 to 0-7.
Tuam pressed home their advantage in the second 30 minutes and despite being one point down just eight minutes in, they went on to score 1-5 without reply as Jamie Murphy’s goal killed off the Cortoon challenge.
Fiontán Ó Curraoin won his personal battle with fellow Galway star, Paul Conroy as Micheal Breathnach defeated St James’ on a scoreline of 4-10 to 2-13 in Pearse Stadium on Friday evening.
Jack Mac Giolla Bhríde’s goal in the 11th minute had given the men from the Gaeltacht a three-point lead.
David O’Connell finished to the net for James’ first goal but after Eoin Concannon’s rocketed goal set up a grandstand finish, late points from Diarmuid O Maoileoin and Fiontán Ó Curraoin eased Michael Breathnach to victory.
Meanwhile, in the Connemara derby in Pearse Stadium on Saturday evening, Bearna prevailed after extra-time, beating rivals An Cheathru Rua 1-13 to 0-13.
Declan Walsh’s last-minute goal for Bearna, tied the game up in ordinary time at 0-12 to 1-9 and they went on to dominate the 20 minutes of extra-time to book their place in the quarter-finals.