FINAL HEARTBREAK Breaffy’s Matthew Ruane is pictured after the final whistle in Sunday’s Mayo SFC Final. Pic: Sportsfile
BREAFFY have an unwanted record now.
They have lost four county senior football finals in eight seasons.
We’re not sure if any Mayo club has ever lost four finals without ever winning one, and while you could argue that Breaffy will be as competitive as anyone next year, you also have to wonder how heavily the toll of those losses will weigh on their shoulders.
Many of their players have been knocking on the door in each of their four county final campaigns, and while they will do their very best to keep the fire burning, they will have to find something deep inside of themselves to force a different outcome in the years ahead.
Their final record is one we are in the county can emphasise with for it’s approaching Mayo All-Ireland levels of heartbreak.
Spare a thought for their county men. The O’Sheas, Rob Hennelly and company have, in nine seasons, lost four All-Ireland finals for Mayo and four county finals for their club.
That is a lot of heartbreak for any young adult to deal with.
And it was clear just how heartbreaking that was when you saw Aidan O’Shea inconsolable after the final whistle.
They will know, deep down, they will have to reflect on an undeniable truth – county finals are there to be won. And while their losses in 2013 and 2015 by Castlebar Mitchels’ teams that went all the way to Croke Park were finals they were always struggling in, the same cannot be said of their last two finals.
In 2018 against Ballintubber, and in 2020 against Knockmore, the games were both in the balance. But it was their opponents who found the way to win down the home straight.
They were both deserving champions and Breaffy need to find something extra if they are to ever break their run of heartbreak.