First silverware of the weekend goes to west Mayo
The first silverware on a busy weekend of GAA action in Mayo was handed out early this afternoon in Crossmolina, where Kilmeena beat Cill Chomáin in the TF Royal Hotel Exclusive JFC A final by 1-10 to 1-7.
A goal by captain Sean Ryder in added time at the end of the first half proved crucial as it eased Kilmeena into a four-point advantage – 1-6 to 1-2 – at the short whistle, giving them a platform to push on in the second half.
It was never easy as Cill Chomáin came roaring back at them from the start of the second period and at one stage they had the gap down to one, 1-6 to 1-7, before Kilmeena settled, two points from Ryder and one from Darragh Keaveney putting them four ahead with less than 10 minutes to go.
The Erris men had a great outlet in Justin Healy, who gave the Kilmeena defence a torrid time, but they couldn't get enough ball into him in the closing minutes as the west Mayo team played keep-ball to control proceedings.
A pointed free by Darragh Murphy was all Cill Chomáin could muster in the final stages as Kilmeena dug deep to close it out.
The eventual winners enjoyed a good start to go three points up but Cill Chomáin rattled them with a goal on 12 minutes, Murphy with a brilliant finish. The goal seemed to upset Kilmeena as they fell behind by two points but, when the pressure came on, they rallied with three points in a row before Ryder's goal put them in the driving seat.
Great cheers from the large Kilmeena contingent among the fine crowd greeted the full-time whistle as the west Mayo club bridged a gap of 19 years to claim honours at junior level once again.
*See Tuesday's print edition for a full report on the match