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Balla beat The Neale to retain Mayo SFC status



SFC Relegation Play-Off
Balla 2-10
The Neale 0-8

Michael Duffy

BALLA manager Ger Butler stepped down after four years by helping to ensure the West Mayo club will play senior football in 2023 after a tense but deserved victory over a gallant Neale outfit on Sunday afternoon.
Two first half goals from Gary McHale and Pierce Dunne meant the 2020 Intermediate champions led the 2019 winners by six points at the break, 2-4 to 0-4, but the severely depleted Neale troops refused to go quietly.
An opportunistic Stephen Morrin goal on 35 minutes threw the south Mayo men a lifeline and, with just five minutes remaining, their supporters thought they had levelled matters, only for Daragh Moran’s fisted effort to land on top rather than in the net, to leave it 2-7 to 1-8.
However, Balla regained their composure and kicked the last three points of the game as Gary McHale brought his personal tally to 1-7 and Conor Walsh notched the final point to leave Balla safe in the knowledge they will be dining at the top table again next season.
The Neale will now face Davitts in a relegation play-off final.

You can read a full match report in Tuesday's edition of The Mayo News.

R McGough; B O’Donavan, S McNicholas, B Freyne; C Dunleavy, P McLoughlin, G Flanagan; C Golding, R Fadden; G Holian, V Roughneen (0-1,
1f), G McHale (1-7, 7fs); P Dunne (1-0), C Walsh (0-2), J Harte.
Subs used: S Dempsey for Dunne; JP Reilly for Roughneen; M English for Harte.

The Neale
C Hughes; D Morrin, M Varley, R Varley; H Costello, P Molloy, S Morrin (1-0); S Conroy, R Hughes; K McHugh, F Sweeney (0-2, 1f), J Luskin; S Cosgrove (0-3, 2fs), B O’Halloran (0-1, 1f), D Keane.
Subs used: D Kelly (0-1) for O’Halloran; D Moran (0-1) for Costello; B O’Halloran for Luskin.

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