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Breaffy have a chance to banish Championship demons
Breaffy GAA have long been a big team in the Mayo Senior Football Championship. This has been largely helped by their heavy contingent of county players. The three O’Shea brothers, Rob Hennelly, and the emerging Matthew Ruane are names widely known.
However, they are yet to add a county championship to their CVs. Nonetheless, they have been knocking on the door for a long time. For example, Breaffy have featured in three of the senior championship finals since 2013. The most recent of these was in 2018.
Now, Breaffy are back in the final. Last weekend they saw off a strong Westport team to reach the fixture.
Furthermore, Aiden O’Shea’s team have had to work to get there. This was the second time they met Westport. In the opening round, they suffered a one-point defeat. Yet, they emerged from the group of death by defeating Castlebar Mitchels and Charlestown. Next, they showed severe resilience in beating 2019 finalists Ballaghaderreen at the quarter-final stage.
Breaffy have experience to call on
Aiden O’Shea usually takes the spotlight. Indeed, his form this year is perhaps deserving of it. In spite of this, brother Conor O’Shea has been prolific. Moving between midfield and full-forward, he has been a pest for oppositions. Additionally, Seamus O’Shea’s presence at centre-back brings security to the defence. Now 34, Seamus has not been slowed down by age.
Also, Rob Hennelly in goals has the ability to find any area of the pitch with his kick-outs. In fact, his dead ball expertise have led to some long-range scores when needed. In the engine room, U21 All-Ireland winner Matthew Ruane is showing why he should be considered for the county team.
Peter Ford and Shane Conway are at the helm this year. They have brought a determination to Breaffy that was perhaps absent in previous years.
Knockmore are the opposition for the final. They are no underdogs either. In fact, they dumped back-to-back winners Ballintubber from the competition in the quarter-final. Then, they convincingly overcame a heavily backed Ballina team in the semi-final.
Knockmore last featured in the final in 2016. On that occasion, they came out second best. As a result, they have their wrong to right this year.
Breaffy will be favourites to finally get over the line this year. However, they will be hoping that past demons won’t be back to haunt them.
Mayo SFC Final: Breaffy vs Knockmore, 20th September 15:30.
— The GAA (@officialgaa) September 8, 2020
In today’s Mayo News we’ve 17 pages of top class coverage ahead of the Mayo GAA County Finals as Knockmore, Breaffy, Balla, Kiltimagh, Kilmaine and Kilmeena prepare for their big days.
— The Mayo News (@themayonews) September 15, 2020