Keith Higgins inspires Ballyhaunis hurling triumph with stunning display
by Aiden Henry
BALLYHAUNIS caused a major upset in the Mayo senior hurling final when they defeated odds-on favourites Tooreen in the decider played in the Adrian Freeman Memorial Park Tooreen on yesterday evening.
Inspired by Mayo Gaelic football star Keith Higgins who scored nine brilliant points, Ballyhaunis were full value for their win and regained the TJ Tyrrell Cup they last won in 2016.
Tooreen who were the reigning Mayo senior champions and Connacht intermediate club championships could have no excuses as they were beaten by a better team on the day.
Ballyhaunis laid the foundation for this great victory when playing against the strong wind in the opening half.
Right from the start they got stuck into their opponents and it was evident from an early stage that they were really up for this clash with their near neighbours.
Although Shane Boland popped up to score a goal for Tooreen in the 28th minute and added two more points, Ballyhaunis were the more happier team at half time after a couple of points from Higgins and one from Jason Coyne left them just trailing by a goal at the interval, 1-7 to 0-7.
Five minutes after the resumption Ballyhaunis were back on level terms after scoring three unanswered points.
However, the crucial score of the half and indeed the game came in the 42nd minute when Higgins' inch perfect pass found the unmarked Jason Coyne who in turn found the back of the Tooreen net. From there to the end both sides added four points which left Ballyhaunis the well-deserved winners by three in the end.
Ballyhaunis: D. O’Brien (0-1), A. Brennan, Jack Coyne, B. Hunt, C. Gardiner (0-1), E. Collins, D. Keadin (0-1), K. Kiely, A. Lyons, E. Roe, K. Higgins (0-9), K. McDermott, S. Hoban (0-1), A. Phillips (0-1), Jason Coyne (1-1).
Subs used: C. Phillips, S. Griffin, J. Lyons, M. Phillips.
Tooreen: S. Leneghan, G. Nolan, S. Coyne, J. Cassidy, M. Morley (0-1), D. Kenny, C. Henry, C. Freeman, D. Huane, S. Kenny (0-3), F. Boland (0-4), S. Boland (1-3), L. Lavin, E. Delaney (0-1), L. Hurley. Subs used: S. Regan, A. Henry, B. Douglas, P. Lyons.
Referee: E. Shaughnessy (Castlebar).