Seniors make their point
Mayo Senior Football League
THE Ballinrobe seniors must beat Burrishoole in their final league game to give themselves a chance of staying in Division 1A next year.
That’s the state of play after the ‘Robe turned in a much-improved performance to earn a draw away to Crossmolina last weekend, and some other surprise results kept things tight at the bottom of the table.
A win over Burrishoole in their final game will give Ballinrobe a fighting chance of staying up, depending on other results, but a defeat will leave them staring relegation in the face.
Former Mayo star Ciaran McDonald, spurned a glorious chance to kick the winner for Crossmolina in injury-time last Saturday evening when he was off-target with a 20m free.
However, a draw was no more than Ballinrobe deserved after turning in one of their most impressive performances of a very disappointing campaign overall.
Both teams ‘togged strong’ and there was never much between them throughout.
Crossmolina led at half-time by 2-7 to 1-6 with two goals from Peadar Gardiner, who lined out as an orthodox corner-forward, illuminating the first half.
Interestingly, his Mayo team-mate, Donal Vaughan, also played in Ballinrobe’s full-forward line and he also hit the net during the first period.
The visitors made a flying start and quick-fire scores from Micheál Keane and Mark Walkin eased them three points ahead.
But Crossmolina settled into their stride and Gardiner’s first goal had the locals in front by 1-4 to 0-4.
Ballinrobe got back on level terms thanks to Vaughan’s green flag, after Mark Walkin’s clever pass, but Crossmolina’s response was impressive.
Peadar Gardiner’s second goal, after James Cafferky set him up, was enough to help John Maughan’s side establish a four-point lead at the break.
The Deel Rovers were still four points up midway through the second half when Ballinrobe manufactured a purple patch that produced scores from Mark Walkin (2), Alan Murphy and Ray McGreal to draw level.
It was nip-and-tuck in the closing stages but wing-back, David McDonnell, looked like he might have won it for the visitors when he landed the lead score from long range.
However, fittingly, the excellent Peadar Gardiner popped up in the last minute of normal time to fist the equalising score and complete his tally of 2-2 from play.
Norman O’Brien’s side will conclude their Senior League campaign at home to Burrishoole on Saturday week next, October 29, at 5pm.
K O’Malley; E O’Malley, C Killeen, R Keane; D McDonnell, S Grimes, R McGreal; D Killeen, R Macken; C Keane, P Staunton, M Keane; S Burke, M Walkin, D Vaughan.
Subs used: A Murphy for Burke; A Flannery for Macken.
C Reilly; D Howley, D Syron, J O’Boyle; D Keating, M Leonard, M Gallagher; C McDonald, G Walsh; P Duffy, J Cafferky, C Carolan; B Benson, J Keane, P Gardiner.
Subs used: J Keane for Howley; S Rochford for Cafferky.
Referee: P Doherty (Moygownagh)