Mike Finnerty reports from Enniscrone
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DESPITE SCORING JUST once from open play, Mayo champions Ballintubber did just enough to squeeze past Tourlestrane in today’s Connacht club senior quarter-final at a windy Enniscrone.
As expected this game was a cagey and tactical affair with the winners struggling to break down Eamonn O’Hara’s well-organised and defensively-solid unit. However, Tourlestrane were left to count the cost of red cards for Shane Dunne and Adrian McIntyre in the 46th and 64th minutes.
Cillian O’Connor finished with five points from frees for Ballintubber with Diarmuid O’Connor landing their only score from play in the 16th minute. The West Mayo side led at the end of a disappointing first half by 0-3 to 0-1, despite having played with the strong wind behind them.
Two long-range frees from Cillian O’Connor were supplemented by a superb score from his brother, Diarmuid, to leave Ballintubber three points up after 22 minutes. It took Tourlestrane half an hour to open their account through the impressive Cathal Henry.
The sides traded points three times during the third quarter to maintain the status quo with Cathal Henry (free), Oisín Kennedy and Shane Dunne all on target for Tourlestrane.
Dunne was sent off less than a minute after his inspirational point for a high challenge on Ruaidhri O’Connor. These scores were cancelled out by three frees from Cillian O’Connor to leave Ballintubber ahead by 0-6 to 0-4 swinging into the last ten minutes.
Cathal Henry fired over a brilliant point in the 57th minute to keep Tourlestrane in the hunt, but a second booking for Adrian McIntyre in injury-time didn’t help their cause as they hunted an equaliser.
Scorers for Ballintubber: Cillian O’Connor 0-5 (0-5f), Diarmuid O’Connor 0-1.
Scorers for Tourlestrane: Cathal Henry 0-3 (0-1f), Shane Dunne, Oisin Kennedy 0-1 each.
B Walsh; G Loftus, C Hallinan, B Murphy; D Coleman, M Plunkett, R O’Connor; J Gibbons, D O’Connor; C Gavin, A Dillon, A Plunkett; B Walsh, C O’Connor, S O’Malley.
Subs used: P O’Connor for Gavin; J Finnerty for O’Malley; M Kelly for Loftus.
A Broe; C Neary, A McIntyre, B Kennedy; O Kennedy, B Walsh, J Leonard; S Henry, P Harte; C Henry, S Dunne, A Dunne; G Gaughan, J Kelly, J Marren.
Subs used: J Quinn for Gaughan; C Surlis for Marren; L Gaughan for Quinn; C Marren for S Henry.
Referee: Paddy Neilan (Roscommon)
Clann na nGael 1-15
Tír Chonaill Gaels 1-10
In today’s other quarter-final tie, Roscommon’s Clann na nGael ran out five-point victors over London side Tír Chonaill Gaels at Dr Hyde Park.
Five points from Liam Gavaghan and a goal from a penalty by Eoin Murray helped Tír Chonaill Gaels go in front 1-6 to 0-8 at the break.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH!
Graham Pettit popped up after 44mins to smash home the goal for our Matrix Bathrooms/Kennedy's Supermacs sponsored Senior lads in the @ConnachtGAA QF.
Watch it back here! #RosGAA @AIB_GAA #TheToughest #ClannGAA #ConnachtClub pic.twitter.com/jdyJAH0SFj
— Clann na nGael (@ClannGAA) November 4, 2018
But captain Donie Shine inspired Clann na nGael’s fightback in the second half as he finished with 0-9 overall while Ciaran Lennon chipped in with 0-3 and captain Graham Pettit fired home a goal.
They now advance to face reigning All-Ireland champions Corofin in next weekend’s Connacht semi-final after their victory in the Galway final replay this afternoon.
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