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Ballinrobe link to Dunmore’s success

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GOING THEIR SEPARATE WAYS Dunmore MacHales selector Peter Walkin (left) and Ballyhaunis manager Paul Jordan shake hands at full-time last Saturday. Pic: Conor McKeown

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Mike Finnerty

BACK in the day he was a Ballinrobe goalkeeper and club chairman.
Now Peter Walkin is a selector with Dunmore MacHales after putting down roots in the North Galway town when moving to live there with his wife, Joan, a native of Dunmore.
And last Saturday evening he was a happy man after seeing his adopted club advance to the Connacht Intermediate club final at the expense of Ballyhaunis.
“We won two Intermediate titles in my time with Ballinrobe, but unfortunately there was no Connacht competition in those days,” he reflected afterwards. “To get to a Connacht Final with Dunmore is every bit as good as winning a county title with my own club.
“They’re a great bunch of lads,” he added.
“We were beaten in the final last year, and we all made a vow that we’d go back this year and give it one almighty craic. To try and right the wrongs from last year.
“We left it behind us last year. But this year we’ve been getting better all the time.”
That’s not to say that the Galway champions weren’t concerned at half-time last Saturday.
A point down having played against the wind, the favourites looked to be struggling for form.
Peter admitted that Dunmore knew they were up against it.
“Ballyhaunis were the best team we’d met in the championship this year. We knew going into the second half that we had to perform or we’d be gone, we’d be beaten.
“We didn’t do ourselves justice in the first half. We knew we were so much better than that.
“We were so disappointed at half-time.
“In fairness to Ballyhaunis, in the first half they worked harder than us, they were smarter than us, and they had a game-plan that took us a while to get to grips with.
“But we made a couple of changes at half-time that worked and the work-rate in the second half was phenomenal.”
The entire extended Walkin family are now onboard the Dunmore bandwagon, including Peter’s father, Tony, who is known far and wide as a businessman and football fan.
Peter’s son, Seán (18), is also the team’s sub-goalkeeper.
“He’s getting great tutelage from Conor Gleeson, the Galway goalkeeper,” said Peter.
“And my other son, Rory, is helping out with the stats and my wife, Joan, is making the tea!
“We don’t want this journey to end.”

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