Plunkett sets up revenge mission for Ballintubber
Connacht club SFC quarter-final: Ballintubber 1-11 Glencar-Manorhamilton 0-9
Mayo champions Ballintubber got their bid for the club's first Connacht senior title up and running with the minimum of fuss at MacHale Park, Castlebar, yesterday where they always had the edge on Leitrim champions Glencar-Manorhamilton.
They now meet Corofin, the team they lost to in last year's final, in Tuam next Sunday.
Even without the absent Cillian O'Connor, Ballintubber had too much in them and a goal inside a minute of the restart from Alan Plunkett put them well in control, leading 1-6 to 0-5. Any hopes of a Leitrim comeback were killed off when a second yellow card saw Killian McGriskin sent off in the 34th minute.
Conor Dolan, who finished on 0-6, did his best to keep his side in the game but Ballintubber had the edge in experience and class on a wet day which made ball control difficult.
That was reflected in the half-time score with Ballintubber leading 0-6 to 0-5 - Ciarán Gavin scoring four of those for the Mayo side.
Ballintubber raced into a three- point lead after just five minutes but by the 16th minute Glencar-Manorhamilton were back on terms - James Glancy with a fine effort from play and two frees from Dolan.
The Mayo champions pulled ahead by two again but a superb point from play from Dolan - who was the best player on the pitch - just before half-time made it a one-point game.
The second half was barely a minute old when Plunkett - who was called up to replace the unavailable Cillian O'Connor - fired a cracker to the roof of the net.
Although Clancy nailed a free almost immediately, Jason Gibbons and points from Plunkett and Alan Dillon had Ballintubber well in control and heading for victory.
SCORERS - Ballintubber: C Gavin 0-4 (2f); A Plunkett 1-1; S O'Malley 0-4 (4f); A Dillon, J Gibbons 0-1 each. Glencar/Manorhamilton: C Dolan 0-6 (4f); J Glancy 0-2 (1f); D Byrne 0-1.
Ballintubber - B Walsh; G Loftus, B Murphy, R O'Connor; D Coleman, M Plunkett, M Kelly; J Gibbons, D O'Connor; C Gavin, A Plunkett, B Walsh; N Geraghty, A Dillon, S O'Malley. Subs: K McDonnell for N Geraghty (inj, 31), P O'Connor for A Plunkett (50), J Finnerty for B Walsh (BC, 55), J Geraghty for Kelly (57).
Glencar/Manorhamilton - A McDonald; T McDonald, F Rooney, T Coyle; K McGriskin, B McDonald, P Gilmartin; D Sweeney, P Maguire; A Croal, J Glancy, J Rooney; N Brady, E Sweeney, C Dolan. Subs: G Hickey for T Coyle (45), D Maguire for Croal (45) P Poniard for McDonald (BC, 50), R Flynn for Glancy (54), D Byrne for Brady (57).
Ref - B Judge (Sligo)