DESPITE 20 minutes of extra-time, Castlebar Mitchels and Ballintubber could not be separated (it finished 1-12 each) in the second of the county senior semi-finals at MacHale Park tonight.
Cillian O'Connor came to the rescue of Ballintubber with a free in the last action in four minutes of injury-time to force extra-time in the second of the double headers at MacHale Park.
At the end of the first period of extra-time Ballintubber led by a point thanks to the only score of that period, which came from substitute Jamsie Finnerty.
Myles Kelly put Ballintubber two ahead in the second period of extra-time but Castlebar hit three on the bounce - two from Neil Douglas and one from Barry Moran - but another O’Connor free tied the game at 1-12 apiece and that was how it finished after a mistake-laden game, but one which had no shortage of drama.
Fourteen man Castlebar had the chances to win the game in normal time but Ballintubber never gave up the fight as they trailed by three points - 1-9 to 1-6 - with 10 minutes remaining.
Ciaran Gavin produced a big score but it was the deadly Cillian O'Connor, who finished on 0-8, who rescued Ballintubber at the death to leave it at 1-9 apiece at the end of normal time.
Mitchels suffered a double whammy in the first half as they lost Aidan Walsh to a second yellow card, but they suffered an even worse blow when centre-back Michael Plunkett fired to the net on 24 minutes after a killer pass from Cillian O‘Connor.
Up to the goal the sides were well-matched and tied at 0-3 apiece, as Ballintubber took an early lead thanks to Cillian O’Connor and Ciaran Gavin (free), but a ’45 from Neil Douglas and the first of four points from David Stenson had matters squared and it was still level at 0-3 apiece when the goal arrived.
Castlebar pulled back two from Stenson to trail by one at the break - 1-3 to 0-5 - but it was Ballintubber who had played the better football in that first half and should have been further ahead but for six wides, Cillian O’Connor off target with two scoreable frees.
Castlebar Mitchels 1-12
Castlebar: R. Byrne, S. Conlon, G. McDonagh, D. Newcombe, R. O’Malley (1-0), P. Durcan, S. Conlon, A. Walsh, D. Vaughan, S. Hopkins, D. Kirby, J. Durcan, B. Moran (0-2), N. Douglas (0-4, 1f, ‘45,) D. Stenson (0-5, 2f).
Subs used: E.O’Reilly, N. Lydon, A' O’Boyle (0-1), J. Maughan, R. O'Grady.
Ballintubber: B. Walsh, G. Loftus, C. Hallinan, B. Murphy, D. Coleman, M. Plunkett (1-0), R. O’Connor, J. Gibbons, D. O’Connor, C. Gavin (0-2,1f), A. Dillon, A. Plunkett, P. O’Connor, C. O’Connor (0-8, 7f), S. O’Malley.
Subs used: P. O’Connor, J. Finnerty (0-1), M. Kelly (0-1), S. O'Malley, D. Larkin.
Referee: L. Devenney