Ballaghadereen are the new Mayo SFC champions after dethroning last year’s winners Ballintubber by 1-9 to 0-4 in Castlebar this afternoon.
Midfielder Barry Kelly tapped home the game’s only goal in injury-time and a crisply struck ‘45’ from David Kilcullen finished off the scoring in a hard-fought but lacklustre final.
The game lacked quality particularly in a second half in which Ballintubber only scored one point, and defences were very much on top for long spells.
Ballagh’ set the early pace with points from Barry Regan, Keith Rogers and Joe Dillon with Jason Gibbons answering back for the defending champions.
A second long range free from Regan opened up a 0-4 to 0-1 advantage. By the interval, he had two more on the board to leave Ballagh’ 0-6 to 0-3 to the good.
Damien McGing and Alan Dillon claimed Ballintubber’s other first half points, and the latter opened the scoring on the resumption as the gap was cut to two points.
Both sides blundered in front of goal as crucial chances went a-begging, until Ballagh’, driven on by captain and man-of-the-match Stephen Drake, found their rhythm again in the final five minutes.
Rory Conway restarted the scoring for the east Mayo club, who put two hands on the Moclair Cup after Kelly netted from a goalmouth scramble. It is their first county title since 2008.
Meanwhile, Tyrone champions Errigal Ciaran cleared the first hurdle in the AIB Ulster Club Championship by storming past Cavan title holders Mullahoran on a 4-15 to 1-7 scoreline.
They were well on their way to victory at half-time with Darren McDermott and Peter Harte both finding the net for a 2-7 to 1-3 lead.
Mullahoran were reduced to 14 men before the break as four-time World handball champion Paul Brady, playing as a substitute, was dismissed for a striking offence.
Bryan Horisk and Tomas Canavan bagged further goals in the second period for Errigal, whose manager Ronan McGuckin will be plotting the downfall of his home club, Derry champions Ballinderry, in the quarter-finals.
Carbury blew their chances of winning the Kildare SFC crown today, hitting 11 wides in total as they lost out to Sarsfields (2-11 to 0-11).
Conor Tiernan netted a 57th minute penalty, to add to a Declan McKenna goal ten minutes earlier, as Sash won their first county title since 2005.
Kilmurry-Ibrickane retained the Clare SFC spoils - their fourth county title in five seasons - with a 0-10 to 0-4 defeat of St. Joseph’s Doora-Barefield.
The Ennis encounter was effectively done and dusted by half-time with Kilmurry 0-8 to 0-1 ahead - Cathal O’Sullivan pointed for St. Joseph’s in injury-time.
In Limerick, Drom-Broadford and Newcastlewest will have to meet again after playing out a 0-13 to 2-7 draw at the Gaelic Grounds.
James Kelly grabbed his second goal in the 54th minute to nudge Newcastlewest closer to their first senior county success since 1992.
However, Drom-Broadford sent the final to a replay next Saturday with late points from Derry McCarthy and Mike Reidy.
Goal scorer Kelly also picked up a second yellow card and there was further drama as Newcastlewest missed a gilt-edged goal chance in the dying seconds.
It was a sixth county title in as many seasons for Portlaoise this afternoon as they defended their Laois SFC crown with a 1-13 to 0-9 victory over Arles-Kilcruise - an early goal from Brian ‘Bruno’ McCormack set them on their way.
Up north, Connie Devlin’s goal midway through the first half proved vital for Ballinderry in their Derry SFC final triumph over Slaughtneil at Celtic Park.
Former county star Enda Muldoon played in Devlin for a cool finish past goalkeeper Aaron McMullan, as the defending champions retained the title by taking a 1-10 to 0-10 verdict.
2009 champions Kilcoo wrestled back the Down SFC title with a 2-8 to 1-8 victory over Mayobridge in Newry.
Conor Laverty’s first-minute goal, tapped in after a defensive mix-up, set Kilcoo up for a 1-5 to 0-5 interval lead.
Niall McEvoy provided the assist for their second goal ten minutes after the break. His long delivery in was palmed to the net by midfielder Phelim McGreevy.
Trailing 2-9 to 0-6, Mayobridge bit back with a goal from substitute Kevin O’Rourke and they made Kilcoo sweat for the remainder of the game.
The Westmeath SFC final between Garrycastle and Mullingar will be replayed after Shamrocks staged a superb comeback from being eight points down.
Top scorer Lorcan Smyth landed the equalising point to make it 3-9 apiece.
Garrycastle, who beat Mullingar in a replay to win the title twelve months ago, had been 3-8 to 2-5 ahead after Conor Cosgrove knocked in his second goal.
Extra-time was needed in the Longford SFC final replay at Pearse Park as Emmet Og Killoe overcame Longford Slashers by 0-15 to 0-12. It is the Killoe’s first senior county success in 17 years.
Two Sean McCormack frees got them back level at 0-12 apiece, and they bolted for home as another McCormack effort and two fisted scores from Daniel Mimnagh and Simon Kiernan clinched it.
AIB ULSTER CLUB SFC FIRST ROUND:
Mullahoran (Cavan) 1-7 Errigal Ciaran (Tyrone) 4-15, Kingspan Breffni Park
MAYO SFC FINAL:
Ballaghaderreen 1-9 Ballintubber 0-4, Castlebar
KILDARE SFC FINAL:
Sarsfields 2-11 Carbury 0-11, Newbridge
CLARE SFC FINAL:
Kilmurry-Ibrickane 0-10 St. Joseph’s Doora-Barefield 0-4, Ennis
LIMERICK SFC FINAL:
Drom-Broadford 0-13 Newcastlewest 2-7, Gaelic Grounds
LAOIS SFC FINAL:
Portlaoise 1-13 Arles-Kilcruise 0-9, O’Moore Park
DERRY SFC FINAL:
Ballinderry 1-10 Slaughtneil 0-10, Celtic Park
DOWN SFC FINAL:
Kilcoo 2-8 Mayobridge 1-8, Newry
LONGFORD SFC FINAL REPLAY:
Longford Slashers 0-12 Emmet Og Killoe 0-15 (aet), Pearse Park
WESTMEATH SFC FINAL:
Garrycastle 3-9 Mullingar Shamrocks 3-9, Mullingar