The intermediate team finally bowed out of the championship on Sunday in Ballina, when they were defeated by Belmullet, 1-9 to 1-7, in a second replay. On this occasion Belmullet deserved to win and even though they were reduced to 14 players for most of the second half, their support play was of such a high standard that it looked like they had the extra player.
The games two major turning points came in a five minute period in the first half. Belmullet were awarded a free 40 yards out, and Billy Jo Padden’s kick ended up in the Davitts net. Five minutes later, a terrific six man Davitts move, culminated with Aidan McTigue’s goalbound shot from ten yards being miraculously saved on the line by a defender, after McTigue had rounded the goalkeeper. Belmullet led by 1-5 to 0-4, after playing with the assistance of the stiff breeze in the first half, and the only time they looked like they might be in danger was in injury time in the second half, when Davitts midfielder David McDonagh blasted a twenty metre free kick to the roof of the net, to narrow the gap to two points with two more minutes remaining.
Belmullet managed to survive in a frantic finish with Davitts coming very close to getting the winner on two occasions. Davitts best players were Tommy Nolan, Kevin Gallagher, the superb Colm Boyle, David McDonagh, Colm Roche and Paul Carey.
Davitts team: Brendan Devane, Tommy Nolan, Frankie Barrett, Kevin Gallagher, Johnno Clarke, Colm Boyle, Colm Roche, David McDonagh (1-1), Pat Coyne, Liam Kearns (0-3), Seamus Roche, Keith Prendergast, Fergal McGrath (0-1), Paul Carey (0-1), Aidan McTigue (0-1). Subs used: Shane Mitchell, Carlos O Gara and Martin Cosgrove.
On Saturday, the minor team travelled to Lahardane, and defeated the homeside by 3-6 to 2-5, in the Division 5 league semi final. Manager Ronan Kirrane deserves great credit for lifting his players, after their heartbreaking defeat to Balla in the championship semi final a few weeks earlier. Davitts will now face either Balla or Mayo Gaels in the final. Davitts had stars all over the field in this game but goalie David Mitchell (who saved a second half penalty), Mark Ronayne, Dara Halligan, Michael Waldron, Josh Ronayne, Darren Connolly and team captain David Hyland were particularly outstanding.