DIARMUID O’Connor nailed the winning point on his trusted left peg two minutes from the end of normal time to secure Ballintubber their fourth county senior title (0-12 to 1-8) before a crowd of over 8,000 at Elverys MacHale Park this evening.
It was heartbreaking for Breaffy who were searching for their first ever title and they had the chances to at least force a replay.
However, a few bad shot selections and a teak tight Ballintubber defence left Breaffy fighting for scraps, with scores very hard come by in a game which finally came to life in a lively second half.
Breaffy got the dream start of a penalty after just three minutes when Aidan O’Shea was hauled to the ground, and the resultant penalty was fired home by Peter Dravins.
However, Cillian O’Connor was soon on the scene and he punished Breaffy indiscipline with four frees, and a point each from Steven O’Malley and Damien Coleman accounted for Ballintubber’s first half tally.
Gareth Dunne and Conor O’Shea (free) were the other Breaffy scorers in a half which failed to come to life.
Breaffy upped their game in the second half and were always snapping at the heels of Ballintubber until they finally drew level at 1-8 to 0-11, Conor O’Shea with two frees and a superb ’45 from Robbie Hennelly keeping them in the game.
A replay looked on the cards until Diarmuid O’Connor nailed that winner from over 40 yards, but even in five minutes of injury-time Breaffy had their chances but Ballintubber just had that little edge in experience, and, of course, they also had the two aces in the pack in the O’Connor brothers.
Ballintubber: B. Walsh, G. Loftus, C. Hallinan, B. Murphy, D. Coleman (0-1), M. Plunkett, R. O’Connor, J. Gibbons, D. O’Connor (0-1), C. Gavin, A. Dillon (0-1), A. Plunkett, B. Walsh, C. O’Connor (0-7, 6f), S. O’Malley (0-2).
Subs used: J. Finnerty for A. Plunkett (40), M. Kelly for G. Loftus (40), P. O’Connor for Gavin (BC).
Breaffy: R. Hennelly (0-1, ’45), M. Dervan, J. Minogue, C. Kelly, K. Mulchrone, S. O’Shea, D. Cannon, M. Ruane, P. Dravins (1-0, pen), R. Fadden (0-1), A. O’Shea, R. Martyn, T. O’Reilly (0-2), C. O’Shea (0-3, 3f), G. Dunne (0-1).
Subs: M. Hall for Martyn (38), C. Dravins for Dervan (40), G. Jennings for Dravins (BC, 41), S. McDermott for Fadden (58), D. Morrin for T. O’Reilly (62).