Connacht SFC: Ballintubber grind out low scoring win over Tourlestrane
Cillian and Diarmuid O’Connor made the difference for the Mayo champions
Ballintubber’s Cillian O’Connor was inspirational in their win. Photo: Tommy Grealy/Inpho
Tourlestrane (Sligo) 0-5 Ballintubber (Mayo) 0-6
In this low-scoring possession game it was Ballintubber’s intercounty aces, Cillian and Diarmuid O’Connor, who made the difference for the Mayo champions in their one-point defeat of a dogged Tourlestrane, 0-6 to 0-5, at west Sligo’s Quigabar.
Cillian landed five pointed frees and Diarmuid shot the winners’ only point from play – as well as earning the Player of the Match gong – as Ballintubber secured a Connacht Club SFC semi-final against Leitrim champs Aughawillan.
Ballintubber, with Sligo man Kevin Johnson in charge, played with the wind during the first-half but only managed three points courtesy of the O’Connor siblings. Such a meagre return should have been worrying, along with five wides, as they led 0-3 to 0-1 at the break.
The fact that Tourlestrane just scored once in the first-half, Cathal Henry on target, meant that Ballintubber had something to work with for a second-half against the stiff breeze.
Ballintubber stayed in front during the second-half and kept cool even when Tourlestrane closed the margin to a point on three separate occasions.
Tourlestrane’s cause wasn’t helped by a straight red for Shane Dunne after 46 minutes. The losers were never able to get level and relied on Cathal Henry for three of their five scores.
TOURLESTRANE: A Broe; C Neary, B Walsh, B Kennedy; O Kennedy (0-1), A McIntyre, J Leonard; S Henry, P Harte; A Dunne, C Henry (0-3, 1f), S Dunne (0-1); G Gaughan, J Marren, J Kelly
Subs used: John Quinn for Gaughan (8), C Surlis for Marren (45), L Gaughan for Quinn (54), C Marren for Henry (56).
BALLINTUBBER: B Walsh; G Loftus, C Hallinan, B Murphy; D Coleman, M Plunkett, R O’Connor; J Gibbons, D O’Connor (0-1); C Gavin, A Dillon, A Plunkett; B Walsh, C O’Connor (0-5, 5f), S O’Malley.
Sub used: J Finnerty for O’Malley (51), P O’Connor for Gavin (58), M Kelly for Loftus (60).
Referee: Paddy Neilan (Roscommon).