Breaffy and Castlebar advance, Tooreen claim hurling spoils

It was semi-final day today at MacHale Park in the county senior football championship where Castlebar Mitchels and Breaffy emerged as clear winners in their respective ties to set up a novel Moclair Cup decider in two weeks time. Breaffy recorded an emphatic 1-15 to 1-6 win over Charlestown in the day’s first semi-final while the Mitchels’ goal-getting abilities proved decisive in their 3-7 to 0-9 victory over Knockmore. Colm Gannon’s report for the Mayo Advertiser on the day’s action is here and a report on the two semi-finals in The Score is here.

Castlebar are, of course, no strangers to county final day – their most recent appearances on decider day were in 2010 and 2011 when on both occasions they lost out to Ballintubber – but you have to go back as far as 1993 for their last title win. They’ll be chasing a 28th Moclair Cup victory in a fortnight’s time.

Breaffy, in contrast, have never made it this far before and they’ve had to survive much of their sixty years of existence in the shadow of their illustrious neighbours – when the club was founded in 1953 Castlebar were winning their 16th senior club title – so this should add a bit of piquancy to proceedings on the 27th. So too, no doubt, will the close geographical proximity between the clubs not to mention the unusual sibling rivalry it’ll involve, with the two O’Reilly brothers – Eoghan for Castlebar and Tommy for Breaffy – lining out on opposing sides.

In the last of today’s MacHale Park triple-header, meanwhile, Cill Chomain captured the county junior crown when they recorded a decisive 2-12 to 1-7 victory over Ardnaree Sarsfields. I don’t have a link for a match report on this one but here’s a photo of Cill Chomain’s captain David Coyle lifting the cup:

Cill Chomain with the Cup

Photo: @MayoGAA

Over in Ballyhaunis, the county senior hurling final took place this afternoon where the home team were chasing their sixth county title in a row against perennial rivals Tooreen. In a result that might perhaps augur well for Breaffy in two weeks time, this particular town vs. country clash ended in a clear win for the country lads, with a 3-6 barrage from Kenny Feeney – the three goals coming in a six-minute spell in the first half – contributing handsomely to a 4-10 to 1-6 win for Tooreen. A brief match report in the Irish Times (I know, it wouldn’t be my first port of call for such a report either) is here.

Tooreen hurling champs

Photo: @TooreenHurlers

While today’s victory brings their county title haul to twenty-seven, this one was Tooreen’s first since 2003 and with the ‘Haunis having won eight of their nine titles in the meantime it was, surely, past time for them to put some manners on the townies.

24 thoughts on “Breaffy and Castlebar advance, Tooreen claim hurling spoils

  1. WJ is it just me or does the poll for the final not make sense…i.e. number of votes and percentage seems to be inaccurate?.
    Anyway Breaffy and Mitchels both deserved win. I thought Aido excellent today. Should be a cracker of a final

  2. Great win for Tooreen today. They’ve had tough days and especially poignant to see Cathal Freeman get man of the match. Well done to all involved.

  3. At semi-finals in Castlebar today. Breaffy played some good football with Alan Durcan exceptional and Liam Irwin not far behind. The O’Sheas were just great – Seamus’s workrate and understanding of midfield play (its not all about the spectacular) was a lesson for others. Aidan’s cultured left foot was seen to great effect while his score-taking was encouraging.
    Castlebar were disappointing compared to previous Sunday – the goals got them out of jail on this occasion but that may not be readily repeatable in the final. Attendance was very good, which of course contributed so much to the atmoisphere.
    I noticed today and also at the qrtr-final stage that all the teams involved completely lost their shape as the games progressed – far too much abandoning of the wings resulting in alot of sterile crowded play down the centre reminiscent of u12s all in pursuit of the ball.

  4. Nice earner today for Mayo HQ, very decent crowd at 15 a pop and a good day’s football. Well done to Castlebar and Castlebar junior today 🙂

  5. I think Breaffy never made it past the quarter final before so a fine achievement by them to reach the final. Castlebar with Barry Moran to return will be odds on to win their first county title for two decades but the midfield battle will be worth the admission fee alone.

    Well done to Tooreen they use to rule the Mayo championship for years and are now back on top of the pile.

  6. Where was Barry Moran today? Surely not another injury?
    Looking forward to his clash with the O’Sheas in the final.

  7. Sounds from your post there Mayo Exile, that the standard of football on offer wasn’t very good – no new talent on show then, that might enhance the County panel ?

  8. well done to Cill Chomain on their victory today, another great day for football in Erris which is long regarded as an outpost of the GAA in Mayo.

  9. Yes indeed, Barry Moran did not line out today due to injury. The only year he was free of injury was 2012 when Cian O’Neill planned a specific programme of fitness for him. Let’s hope he will be back for the final. The battle with the O’Sheas will be fascinating. Danny Kirby was quite good in centre field today and scored a good goal. Neil Douglas seems to be a forward worth watching. He was excellent last week and again today. James Durcan at right full forward is also an excellent prospect. For Breaffy Gerry Jennings at No. 10 and Liam Irwin at No. 13 really stood out as tireless workers who could take their scores. Tom Parsons played very well for Charlestown but he was on his own.

  10. Defintely the two best teams in the final. Breaffy’s form has really impoved with every game.

    Either way, the victor will have their work cut out for them. I was at the Galway County Final today. Corofin were really impressive, tho it pains me to say it (salthill being my club) and they are 3rd fav’s for the all ireland :/ They are going to dominate galway football for the next few years, there’s no team near them down here.

    How old is that Durcan lad who scored 5 pts today?

  11. Well done to Cill Chomain on an emphatic victory, great to see the erris teams to the fore in recent weeks. For kiltane and Cill Chomain to tog out a combined total of 83 players for the inter and junior finals is staggering, given the erris region is one of the hardest hit by emigration. Listened to all 3 matches on Midwest, and from what billy fitz and John casey were saying the standard was pretty ordinary. In fact, both seemed to suggest that the best score taking of the day was on display in the first half of the junior final.

    It’s long been a bugbear of mine that the mayo county team virtually ignore junior clubs when it comes to Finding new players. There are roughly 55-60 adult clubs in mayo. 16 senior, 16 intermediate, and 25 odd junior clubs. Almost half of the counties adult clubs are dismissed when it comes to finding new players for mayo. This attitude irritates the f**k out of me. As I have said before there should be divisional junior sides who play in the senior championship. Cork and Kerry to name 2 are counties who have pulled some outstanding players from junior/inter ranks. Maurice Fitz, declan & darren o sullivan, paul galvin all came from junior/inter clubs. They played senior championship with divisional sides and went on to play for Kerry. In mayo it seems senior inter county football is a closed shop unless your from a senior or the odd intermediate club. I guarantee there was at least 2 or 3 guys playing for both Ardnaree and cill chomain yesterday who would take their place on any club senior team in the county and its such a shame to deny these guys the opportunity to play senior football just because they happen to be born in a junior club.

    If anything your more likely to find a hidden gem outside of the castlebars, breaffys, balintubbers, ballinas etc. Anyone good enough from these clubs is already on the county panel long ago.

  12. Well done Cill Chomáin, some great points kicked in that game I hear. And Ruddy coming back from Perth to play in the final!! Great stuff!

  13. Exactly. Theres no logic that says a talented individual cannot come from a poor club. The difference is that any such player who can hold his own against players from senior clubs will have more potential because he will benefit more from the opportunity of better coaching.

  14. Yes left boot, hadn’t thought of that but now that you say it, it makes perfect sense. But are you sure Junior and Intermediate Clubs are ignored? if so, then it’s very wrong. A hidden gem as you put it, can be found anywhere and when exposed to top class coaching, can blossom into a star player very quickly. Certainly something to be looked at over the coming months, as Mayo are urgently in need of of some fresh talent, could this be the answer ???

  15. Alan Durcan must be 28/29. Was a free taker for Mayo under 21s and had a run out in some league games probably around the Maughan 2004/2005 time.

  16. mayo mchale – sorry for delayed response. Durcan, Irwin and Douglas displayed the skills and composure one associates with natural scoretaking forwards. I was looking forward to seeing Aidan Walsh but unfortunately he had to leave the scene through injury. No doubt there were others on view who would progress greatly if nurtered by means of a development squad. If teams kept their shape, it would facilitate fast wing forwards and also challenge and develop their opposite numbers, in order to counteract them.

  17. To follow Mac’s comments, in the Junior final, the stand out player for me was the Cill Chomain no 10 – Rurai o’Gionnaltaigh per the programme (Rory Ginty…?). While he did not get the Man of the Match award, he appeared to have boundless energy, excellent vision, excellent fielder, gave some great passes, popped up in a few different positions and was generally an instigator of many attacks. Worth a look in the League next Spring, based on his performance yesterday, in my opinion. But, it’s hard to know how big a step up it is to senior inter county – based on the standard in the two semis, its not too big a step for him.

  18. Yeah ruairi ginty is a very good player, was a panelist on the 08 Mayo minor panel that lost to Tyrone and included AOS, Kevin keane, rob hennelly and Shane mc hale. It is a big step up but he is certainly as deserving of a run out for mayo as anyone else being considered for next spring at the moment.

  19. I totally agree with your post regarding junior footballers. Junior teams have been regarded as past overweight sell by date players.That is not the case particularly clubs who only play junior football. I played junior football with some very very good footballers in my day but just because they were playing junior football they were totally ignored. The blame does’nt entirely lay with the mayo management but also the clubs,because if you were not an ass kisser you could forget about it. In fairness to the present Mayo senior football manager he did have two junior players in the panel Michael Walsh of Ardnaree and Michael Forde of Ballycastle.Also players need to be playing consistently well just because they play very well in one game ie county final it does’nt mean that they should be on the county panel. A number of years ago if you played one good game for Mayo you were set, it was harder to get off the team than to get on it. There should be divisional junior clubs playing in the senior championship

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