Ryan O'Donoghue. . .an ankle injury ruled him out of encounter and he was badly missed by Belmullet.

Extra-time heartbreak for brave Belmullet

An Spideal 0-13

Belmullet 0-09



BELMULLET'S run in this year's Connacht IFC came to an end this afteroon as they were beaten by Galway IFC champions An Spideal 0-13 to 0-09 in Tuam, writes Stuart Tynan.

An Spideal were the first to settle, with Antaine Ó Laoi kicking his first free of the day after six minutes.

Belmullet got their first point of this contest two minutes later from the left boot of Jonathan Donoghue. He then knocked over a free after an off-the-ball foul on Eamon McAndrew.

A great point by Gerry Barrett gave them a two-point lead before a free from An Spideal's Finnian O Laoi reduced the lead to one by the end of the first quarter.

Belmullet's biggest opportunity came with seven minutes left of the half. A point attempt by Colin Barrett dropped short, but the keeper's unconvincing clearance fell at Michael Keane's feet. But with the goal at his mercy, he struck his effort just wide of the post.

Belmullet wouldn't be deterred. Two frees in the final five minutes of the half, from Jonathan Donoghue and Michael Keane respectively, gave Belmullet a 0-05 to 0-02 lead at the interval.

Two frees from Antaine Ó Laoi in the opening ten minutes of the second half reduced the lead to a single point. But a stunning left-foot strike between the posts by James Kelly from 30 metres out, as well as a point each from Cathal Barrett and Eamon McAndrew, left Belmullet leading by four points going into the final quarter.

A point and a free from Finnian Ó Laoi cut the lead to two, before Belmullet were reduced to 14 men, with Shane Nallen picking up his second booking for a foul on Antaine Ó Laoi.

Belmullet looked to be home and dry, but a free and a point with seconds remaining by Antaine Ó Laoi took this game to extra-time.

The Ó Laoi's combined once more, with a point from Antaine and two frees from Finnian to see An Spideal leading by three. But Ryan O'Donoghue great score at the end of the first half gave Belmullet a glimmer of hope.

Their hope would be extinguished within minutes. A free from An Spideal's Maghnus Breathnach and a close-range effort from Aodán Ó Curraoin seeing off the Mayo men, their frustration evident with Gerry Barrett receiving a straight red cards in the final moments.

An Spideal: M. Breathnach (0-1f), E. Ó Droighneáin, É, Ó Conláin, L. Ó Ceallaigh, C. Ó Laoi, M. Ó Curraoin, S. Ó Droighneáin, D. Mac An Rí, P. Eoin Ó Curraoin, S. Ó Curraoin, A. Ó Laoi (0-6, 0-4f), F. Ó Laoi (0-5, 0-4f), B. Ó Conghaile, C. Ó Laoi, C. Ó Caoimh

Subs: A. Ó Curraoin (0-1), L. Ó Conghaile, T. Ó Fátharta

Belmullet: S. Kilker, E. O'Donoghue (0-1), Chris Barrett, C. Connor, Ciarán Barrett, M. Boylan, Colin Barrett, Cathal Barrett (0-1), S. Nallen, J. Kelly (0-1), G. Barrett (0-1), C. Conway, J. Donoghue (0-3, 0-2f), E. McAndrew (0-1), C. Barrett (0-1)

Subs: D. Murray, P. Ruddy

Ref.: P. Guckian (Leitrim)