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Castlebar Mitchels made to work for spot spot in Connacht decider

Tourlestrane put it up to the Mayo heavyweights.

Danny Kirby: goal hero.
Danny Kirby: goal hero.
Image: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

Castlebar Mitchels 1-13

Tourlestrane 0-9

By Colm Gannon in MacHale Park

DANNY KIRBY’S GOAL with nine minutes left in MacHale Park was the score that ensured that Castlebar would progress to the Connacht senior club final in a fortnight’s time.

The three-in-a-row Mayo champions were made work hard for this win for 50 minutes by the Sligo champions, but once Kirby sold a dummy to Alan Bowens and rolled the ball to the back of his net the game was done as a contest – with that score putting Mitchels six clear and out of danger of a Tourlestrane late goal throwing the cat amongst the pigeons.

The contest was tied at seven points each at the break but Castlebar were by far the more clinical side in the second half with Tourlestrane only managing to kick two points in the regulation 30 minutes and injury time of the second half to Castlebar’s 1-6.

They did kick the first score after the break with Brian Egan putting over a free to edge his side into a 0-8 to 0-7 lead but that was as good as it got for the rest of the half. David Stenson levelled it up with a free on 38 minutes and then scores from Neil Douglas, Kirby and a monster of an effort from Paddy Durcan put their side three clear. Once Kirby netted there was only going to be one winner and Douglas added on two more points before the final whistle to wrap things up for the Mayo men.

The Sligo champions made no fewer than half-a-dozen changes to the the team named in the programme ahead of this one, with their goalkeeper, three defenders, one midfielder and two attackers coming into the side from the 15 named before hand.

They also came with a plan and despite playing with the aid of a strong breeze in the first half they sat back leaving just three attackers up and looked to soak up the pressure from the home side and hit them the break and that plan worked well right through the first half, which saw both sides go in level at seven points each.

Tourlestrane went into an early two-point lead with Liam Gaughan slotting over after a strong run by Gary Gaughan. From the resulting kick-out Stephen Henry won a mark and fed it to John Kelly who fired over on the run. Castlebar hit back one minute later with Danny Kirby arcing over a fine score from out near the right touchline. The visitors edged two points clear again when Brian Egan kicked the first of the three from frees in the opening half on six minutes – which was replied to by the first of David Stenson’s five points in the first 30 minutes of action.

Egan landed another free after former Mayo man Pat Harte was fouled off the ball by Ger McDonagh to put his side into a 0-4 to 0-2 lead on 11 minutes, but over the next nine minutes the home-side outscored them 0-3 to 0-1 with Stenson kicking two more – one from play and the other from a free with James Durcan landing the third – while Alan Dunne responded for the Sligo champions leaving the game tied at five points each with 10 minutes to go in the half.

Mitchels pushed themselves two clear over the next 10 minutes through another brace of Stenson frees, but injury time scores from Brian Egan and Gary Gaughan sent the teams in all square at the break.

Scores

Castlebar Mitchels: David Stenson (0-6, 5f), Danny Kirby (1-2), Neil Douglas (0-3, 2f 1 45), Paddy Durcan (0-1), James Durcan (0-1)

Tourlestrane: Brian Egan (0-4 4f), Liam Gaughan (0-1), John Kelly (0-1), Gary Gaughan (0-1), James Leonard (0-1), Alan Dunne (0-1)

Castlebar Mitchels

1. Rory Byrne

2. Johnny Maughan

3. Ger McDonagh

4. Donie Newcombe

17. Niall McCarney

6. Eoghan O’Reilly

7. Paddy Durcan

8. Aidan Walsh

9. Barry Moran

10. James Durcan

11. Danny Kirby

12. Cian Costello

13. David Stenson

14. Neil Dougla

15. Ray O’Malley

Subs: 5. Shane Irwin for Maughan (BC), 19. Shane Hopkins for McCarney, 18. Anthony O’Boyle for Moran, 25. Mark Towey for Paddy Durcan, 20. Conor Stenson for Costello

Tourlestrane

16. Alan Bowens

19. Colin Neary

17. Noel Gaughan

4. Barry Walsh

18. Shane Dunne

6. Adrian McIntyre

7. James Leonard

8. Stephen Henry

24. Alan Dunne

10. Cathal Henry

11. Brian Egan

12. Gary Gaughan

13. Liam Gaughan

14. Pat Harte

22 . John Kelly

Subs: 20. John Francis Carr for Stephen Henry, 21. John Quinn for Harte, 23. Conan Marren for Shane Dunne, 15. John Marren for Kelly

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