Connacht JFC final: More history for Maughan's men
Lahardane 1-15 Ballymote 3-5
Mayo junior football champions Lahardane McHales were crowned kings of Connacht following their four-point victory over Ballymote of Sligo in Castlebar yesterday.
Lahardane, who are managed by former Mayo boss John Maughan, won their first ever county junior title last month and now have created their own bit of history by adding the Connacht title as well.
Playing into a strong wind at Elverys MacHale Park, Lahardane played most of the good football in the opening half but the Sligo champions got off to a dream start with a Jack Hever goal in the opening minute.
They played second fiddle to their opponents for the remainder of the half, however, before getting a second goal against the run of play when Lahardane's Barry Leonard knocked a ball off the post and into his own net. This left Ballymote leading by 2-2 to 0-4 at the interval.
On the resumption, Lahardane scored six unanswered points with Tony Dever and Gary Naughton lording it at midfield. Four minutes from the end of normal time they had the game wrapped up after team captain Naughton scored a brilliant goal to cap a man-of-the-match display.
Ballymote did manage a third goal from Niall Brennan in added time but all it did was put a better look on the final scoreline.
Scorers - Lahardane: A Leonard 0-5 (3f); G Naughton 1-1; S Loftus 0-3 (1f); T Dever, C Reilly 0-2 each; J Maughan, P Coleman 0-1 each. Ballymote: J Heever, N Brennan, A Leonard (og) 1-0 each; P Lyons 0-3 (3f); N Cosh (f), S Ross 0-1 each
Lahardane - J Mulhern; B Leonard, C Coleman, P O'Malley; P Coleman, M Queenan, C Rowland; T Dever, G Naughton; A Murphy, A Leonard, C Reilly; S Loftus, J Maughan, K Loftus. Subs: M Noone for Murphy, G Mulhern for Loftus, M Coleman for P. Coleman.
Ballymote - G Feely; C McCann, D Clarke, K Meehan; R Flannery, M Doddy, A Caffrey; M Rafferty, C Byrne; C Meehan, N Cosh, 1f, S Ross; J Heever, M Irwin, P Lyons. Subs: K Tigue for Meehan, N Brennan for Ross, G Rafferty for Byrne, C Maguire for Flannery.
Ref - B Healy (Roscommon).