Colm Gannon reports from Castlebar
BREAFFY BOOKED THEIR place in the Mayo senior football championship final with a hard fought three point win over Ballaghaderren in Castlebar on Saturday night.
Mayo star Aidan O’Shea lined out at full forward for most of the game and his tussle with fellow Mayo senior player David Drake was one of the highlights of the contest.
Breaffy burst out into an early three point lead with Conor O’Shea getting the scoreboard moving inside the first minute after Drake was blown up for over-carrying coming out of defence.
That was followed by a point from Aidan O’Shea not long after when the won a high ball pumped in on top of him by Peter Dravins.
Tommy O’Reilly put three between the sides before three minutes had elapsed when he pointed a free after Aidan O’Shea was fouled close to goal.
The east Mayo men got their first score of the day from the veteran attacker Barry Began who clipped over a good score under pressure four minutes in.
That was responded too by O’Reilly’s second point after Aidan O’Shea had cleared the space through the middle with a barreling run.
Luke O’Grady made it a two point game with a fine finish after good work in the build up from Andy Moran and Barry Regan to creates space for the Ballagh’ corner forward.
But Breaffy pushed the gap back out to three through a Conor O’Shea free. Ballagh’ began to find their feet and points from Andy Moran and another Regan free had it back to a one point game 12 minutes in.
Breaffy struck the games first goal just after the quarter-of-an-hour mark when a ball into the danger area by Matthew Ruane was missed ball, bar Garath Dunne who snuck in around the back to punch the ball home and put his team into a 1-5 to 0-4 lead.
That was followed closely by a Conor O’Shea free to extend his sides lead to five points and it really should have been eight – but Robbie Fadden saw his goal bound effort bounce back off the post.
O’Reilly did make it 1-7 to 0-4 from a placed ball with five minutes to go to the break, but Ballaghaderreen kept plugging away and points from Regan and Andy Moran left just four between them at the break.
That gap was back to just two inside the opening three minutes of the second half with Cormac Doohan and Andy Moran bisecting the posts.
Nine minutes elapsed before the next score arrived through an O’Reillly point for the west Mayo man. Ryan Lynch responded for Ballaghaderreen and Regan and Moran kicked a point each with O’Reilly and Dunne responding for Breaffy to leave their side 1-10 to 0-10 up with ten to go.
Breaffy then hit what looked like a winning run of scores with Conor O’Shea, Matthew Ruane and Seamus O’Shea all landing points on the spin to put their side six clear.
The drama wasn’t over yet though as Kuba Callaghan got his leg onto a ball fizzed across the box by Ryan Lynch to put just three between them with injury time approaching.
But try as they might they couldn’t not force the goal they needed and Breaffy held on for a three point win.
Scores for Breaffy: Tommy O’Reilly (0-5, 2f), Gareth Dunne (1-1), Conor O’Shea (0-4, 1f) Aidan O’Shea (0-1) Matthre Ruane (0-1), Seamus O’Shea (0-1)
Scores for Ballaghaderreen: Barry Regan (0-4, 3f), Andy Moran (0-3), K Callaghan (1-0), R Lynch (0-1), L O’Grady (0-1), C Doohan (0-1)
1. Rob Hennelly
2. Mark Dervan
3. James Minogue
20. Colm Kelly
5. Keith Mulchrone
6. Seamus O’Shea
7. Dylan Cannon
8. Matthew Ruane
9. Peter Dravins
10. Robert Fadden
11. Aidan O’Shea
24. Rory Martyn
13. Tommy O’Reilly
14. Conor O’Shea
15. Gareth Dunne
22. Gary Walsh for Dunne
21. Eddie Conroy for O’Reilly
1. Patrick Sharkey
2. David Drake
3. Seamus Cunniffe
18. Kane Phillips
5. Peter Kelly
6. Sharoize Akram
7. Owen Jordan
8. Darragh Kelly
9. Ryan Lynch
10. Cian Hanley
11. Andy Moran
12. Keith O’Donnell
13. Cormac Doohan
14. Barry Regan
15. Luke O’Grady
28. David McBrien for Phillips
27. Kuba Callaghan for O’Donnell.
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