Cross’ over the Lina

06 November 2006
Crossmolina made good their second bite of the cherry to defeat Ballaghadereen by 1-13 to 2-7 in a thrilling Mayo SFC final replay at Castlebar.

It was a rocky road for the holders though and they needed the leg-up of a sublime individual display by county star Ciaran McDonald to help them over the finishing line in first place.

Twice Ballaghadereen came back from a five points deficit only to be thwarted by the winners’ craft and experience.

A goal from Brian Benson - after a dream pass from McDonald - helped give Cross’ a useful 1-7 to 0-5 cushioned interval lead but within 12 minutes of the restart, the challengers had drawn level after Andy Hanley goaled.

However Crossmolina’s greater experience came into play and a brilliant effort from play by McDonald helped put the champions five clear with three minutes left to play.

Crossmolina were rocked back on their heels though when Andy Moran sent the ball to the net from 25 yards to set up a titanic finish.

However Crossmolina’s youngest player Mark Leonard sealed the win with a superb point three minutes into injury time.