BREAFFY booked their place in the county final a little more comfortably than the final scoreline would suggest (1-13 to 1-10) in what was a lively and entertaining semi-final in the first of a double-header at Elverys McHale Park this evening.
The west Mayo side were six points clear with five minutes remaining, and while a Kubla Callaghan goal threw Ballaghaderreen a lifeline, it was Breaffy who held out for a deserving win.
Ballaghaderreen trailed by four points at the break and pared it back to two when they had their best spell early in the second half, but Breaffy regrouped, with Matthew Ruane coming up with a big score along with Conor O'Shea and another on the left boot of Seamus O’Shea easing the pressure from Breaffy before that Ballaghaderreen goal arrived.
Breaffy were full value for their interval lead - 1-7 to 0-6 - and should, in fact, have been a lot further ahead, with the butt of the post denying Robbie Fadden, and a fine save from goalkeeper Patrick Sharkey just on the stroke of half-time.
Breaffy’s formula was simple - a strong midfield platform was established by Matthew Ruane and Peter Dravins, with good support from Seamus O’Shea, and the ball was hoofed into Aidan O’Shea on the edge of the box where he won a lot of ball, scoring a point himself and earning a few frees which were knocked over by his sibling, Conor.
Tom O’Reilly was also on target with a free and from play but the big score came on 20 minutes when another high ball into the area was deflected to the net by Gareth Dunne to give Breaffy control of the game - 1-5 - 0-4.
Ballaghaderreen picked off some fine scores of their own, Andy Moran with two from play and Barry Regan with three points - two free frees, while Luke O’Grady had their other point, but the Breaffy defence stood tall in that half.
Breaffy: R. Hennelly, M. Dervan, J. Minogue, C. Kelly, K. Mulchrone, S. O’Shea (0-1), D. Cannon, M. Ruane (0-1), P. Dravins, R. Fadden, A. O’Shea (0-1), R. Martyn. T. O’Reilly (0-5, 2f), C. O’Shea (0-4, 3f), G. Dunne (1-1).
Subs used: G. Walsh for Reilly (60), E. Conroy for Dunne (59).
Ballaghaderreen: P. Sharkey, D. Drake, S. Cunniffe, K. Phillips, P. Kelly, S. Akraim, O. Jordan, D. Kelly, R. Lynch (0-1), C. Hanley, A. Moran (0-3), K. O’Donnell, C. Doohan (0-1), B. Regan (0-4, 3f), L. O’Grady (0-1).
Subs used: K. Callaghan (1-0) for O’Donnell (ht), D. McBrien for Phillips (ht), A Lynch for P. Kelly (50).
Referee: K. Conneely.