Garrymore thrown lifeline - Ballintubber cruise into final
A POINT from a free in the third and last minute of injury-time sent a cracking Mayo SFC county semi-final between Castlebar Mitchels and Garrymore to a replay back at MacHale Park this Wednesday evening.
In the second of a double-header, Ballintubber cruised past Claremorris to book their place in next Sunday’s final.
The county champions almost paid a heavy price for failing to close out a game in which they enjoyed a lot of possession.
Castlebar Mitchels were good value for their three-point lead at the break - 0-7 to 0-4 - and the margin could have been wider but for some poor shooting by the Mitchels, who had seven first-half wides.
When Danny Kirby found the net with the opening goal of the game in a move straight for the throw-in, the Mitchels appeared to be heading for the final.
But showing true grit and sheer determination, Garrymore produced a stunning goal of their own from Cathal Slattery 15 minutes from time to set this game alight.
A magnificent free from all of 50 yards from Shane Nally had the margin back to a point as injury-time approached.
Mitchels had a chance to close out the game but Cian Costello’s effort tailed just wide.
However, Garrymore, for sheer perseverance alone, deserved a second chance, 36-year-old Jimmy Killeen landing the pressure free from over 30 yards to force the replay.
Final score: Castlebar Mitchels 1-11, Garrymore 1-11.
Castlebar Mitchels: R. Byrne, J. Maughan (0-1), G. McDonagh (0-1), D. Newcombe (0-1), R. Malley, P. Durcan, S. Irwin, D. Kirby (1-0), E.O’Reilly, J. Durcan (0-1), B. Moran (0-1) C. Costello (0-1), D. Stenson (0-3 2f), N. Douglas, (0-2, 1f) S. Hopkins.
Subs used: A. Walsh for Hopkins (4, inj), A O’Boyle for B. Moran (56).
Garrymore: B. Lynskey, J. King (0-1), J. Oates, P. Hession, T. Nally, K. Cunningham, M. Connolly (0-1), B. Cunningham, S. Nally (0-2, 1f), C. Crowe, G. Golden, C. Slattery (1-0), J. Killeen (0-4, 2f), M. Fallon M. Tierney (0-2, 1f).
Subs used: D. Quinn (0-1) for M. Fallon.
Referee: J. Glavey (Aghamore).
O’Malley lights up Ballintubber
STEPHEN O’Malley - who scored 2-5 from play in the first half - was the main man as Ballintubber brushed aside Claremorris in the second semi-final.
Cillian O’Connor provided the inch-perfect pass for his brother Diarmuid for their opening goal after just two minutes as the 2014 champions ran the show against a very young and inexperienced Claremorris team who failed to reach the same level of performance which saw them dispatch of Breaffy in the quarterfinal. O’Malley thrived on the excellent service from his midfield to fire two goals past Alvin McCallig in the Claremorris goal.
There was some consolation for Claremorris, who picked off a few points and were rewarded for their hard work with two fine goals from Stephen McGreal and Matthew Macken, both arriving in the last five minutes, but, by then, Ballintubber could afford to rest a few of their top players with their ticket to the final never in any doubt.
Final score: Ballintubber 3-16, Claremorris 2-9.
Ballintubber: B. Walsh, G. Loftus, C. Hallinan, B. Murphy, M. Kelly, M. Plunkett (0-1), D. Coleman (0-1), J. Gibbons, D. Geraghty, P. O’Connor (0-1), A. Plunkett, A. Dillon (0-1), D. O’Connor (1-1), C. O’Connor (0-5, 2f, 1’45), S. O’Malley (2-5).
Subs used: D. Clarke for Hallinan (5, inj), S. Broderick (0-1) for D. O’Connor (38), R. Geraghty for A. Dillon (40), J. Geraghty for Murphy (46), S. Finnerty for D. Coleman (51).
Claremorris: A. McCallig, P. Barry, A. Butler, S. Brennan, N. Pilbrow, J. McCormack (0-2), B. Finn, D. O’Reilly, D. Egan (0-1), R. Quirke, J. Shaughnessey (0-5, 4f), D. Takkos, G. Cummins, C. Diskin (0-1), S. Diskin.
Subs used: C. Gill for G. Cummins, M. Macken (1-0) for Quirke (25), M. Higgins for S. Diskin (38), D. Gannon for Finn (48), S. McGreal (1-0) for Takkos (40).
Referee: V. Neary (Bonniconlon).