Davitts, fielding ten of the side that played in the All-Ireland Intermediate final two weeks ago, were defeated at home by Ballinrobe, 2-8 to 1-9, in the first round of the O’Mara Cup, in front of a large attendance. The damage was done in the first half with the hungrier looking Ballinrobe team making good use of the tricky wind to lead by 2-6 to 0-4 at the break. The second half belonged to Davitts who produced a stirring fightback. A string of superb points by the inspirational Ronan McNamara (3) and Fergal McGrath (2) and a lovely goal finished by Seamus Roche after great work by Keith Prendergast and McGrath left just a point between the sides with ten minutes normal time remaining. Davitts had a couple of chances to equalise but these were squandered and Ballinrobe secured the final score of the game with the last kick, on a rare second half visit to the Davitts half of the pitch.
Davitts will be disappointed to have lost but very encouraged by the excellent second half display. Ballinrobe will be delighted to have held on and used their experience well to close the game out though their time wasting tactics may not work as well against the top referees.
Best for Davitts were Alan, Colm and Seamus Roche, Johnno Clarke, Ronan McNamara, Paul Carey and Fergal McGrath. It was great to see Aidan McTigue play again and he looked lively before being replaced at half time.
Davitts: David Mitchell, Colm Roche, Alan Roche, Kevin Gallagher, Johnno Clarke (0-1), James Cummins, Mark Ronayne, Ronan McNamara (0-3), Paul Carey, Keith Prendergast, Josh Ronayne (0-1), Seamus Roche (1-0), Aidan McTigue (0-1), Fergal McGrath (0-3), Liam Kearns.
Subs used: Michael Waldron, Martin Cosgrove.