Match Review - FINAL Junior Champ 07 "League Winds Down"- Mayonews 23/10/07

League winds down 

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

ARMED AND DANGEROUS Achill’s Michael Denis McNamara tries to go past Islandeady’s Brian Heraty during Sunday’s TF Royal Hotel and Theatre 2007 Mayo Junior FC Final in McHale Park, Castlebar. Pic: Michael Donnelly

Teams learn their fate after league’s dramatic last day

Mike Finnerty

AS expected, Sunday turned out to be a day of high drama in the Mayo GAA football leagues that ended with four senior teams forced to return to the training ground this week.

This quartet must prepare for relegation play-offs on Sunday, November 4 that sees Castlebar Mitchels (who finished bottom in Division 1B on scoring difference) take on Louisburgh (second from bottom in Division 1A) and Shrule/Glencorrib (second frombottom in Division 1B) face Kiltane (bottom in Division 1A). Both games will be played at McHale Park.

The drama in Division 1B began shortly after 1 o’clock last Sunday when Kevin O’Connor’s Castlebar ground out a one-point home win over Shrule/Glencorrib. The victory wasn’t enough to lift the Mitchels out of the relegation zone but it did drag Declan Ronaldson’s team into the mire.

However, Shrule/Glencorrib would only face into the play-offs if Kilmeena got anything from their visit to high-flying Ballaghaderreen, and if Claremorris beat Ballina.

Incredibly, Shane Conway’s Kilmeena earned a draw in Ballagh’ that was enough to lift them out of the drop zone. The West Mayo side led at half-time by 0-6 to 0-3 but Frank Kelly’s side turned on the style in the second half and led by 1-10 to 0-6 with only four minutes remaining.

The dying moments of the game had to be seen to be believed as two heart-stopping goals from John Reilly and Davy Feehan hauled Kilmeena level. There was still time for more drama as Ballagh’ hit the woodwork in stoppage-time as they chased a winning score. But a draw it was.

Shrule/Glencorrib then faced an agonising wait to see what happened in Claremorris as that game had a later throw-in because of a bereavement in the area.

Anthony Joyce’s team produced one of their best performances of the year to score a deserved three-point victory over the county champions. Ten points from the boot of Mickey Mullins meant that Claremorris leapfrogged their fierce rivals in South Mayo and were safe.

Meanwhile, over in Division 1A, Westport’s confident eight-point dismissal of Kiltane kept the Bangor Erris men rooted to the bottom of the table after only two victories from their nine games.

Elsewhere, Belmullet’s two-point victory over Louisburgh in Carne meant that Frank Noone’s team finished second from bottom in the division. All of which means that a long year just got longer for Castlebar, Shrule/Glencorrib, Kiltane and Louisburgh.

At the other end of the tables, goals from Colum Lyons and Marty McNicholas proved decisive as Breaffy recorded a 2-10 to 0-15 victory over Knockmore in Breaffy on Sunday afternoon. It secured second spot behind Ballaghaderreen in Division 1B for Breaffy, their highest ever league placing, but looked unlikely with five minutes remaining.

Knockmore led by three at that stage - Ciaran Butler and Damien Munnelly doing most of the scoring damage – but a superb Marty McNicholas goal levelled matters for Breaffy. McNicholas followed that with an exceptional point and Declan Jennings got what would prove to be the winner, Kieran Langan’s late point proving too little, too late for the visitors.

In Division 1A, Crossmolina had to round up all available troops for their last game against Moy Davitts but still did enough to earn a draw that consolidated their place on top of the table.

MEANWHILE, next Friday night sees the novel County Cup semi-finals taking place with Shrule/Glencorrib up against Ballaghaderreen under the floodlights in Ballinrobe while Cill Chomáin face Ballintubber in the other semi-final in Aghamore. Both games throw-in at 8pm.

Article taken from, and copyright of the "Mayo News" 23rd October 2007.