Ballaghaderreen picked up right from where they left off in the quarter-finals with a powerful and well executed performance to dump Castlebar Mitchels out of the championship on Sunday afternoon in MacHale Park.
They won this game by seven points, but it could have been much more only for the intervention of Mitchels custodian Rory Byrne who pulled off a number of top drawer saves over the hour - while they will celebrate this win with gusto - Ballagh’ will know they’ll have to make those chances count in the final against the defending champions Ballintubber.
The victors hit the ground running and were five points to the good inside the opening ten minutes, Andy Moran got them moving four minutes in fisting over the bar after beating Donie Newcombe to the ball in the left corner.
Kuba Callaghan had the first of the many goal efforts Ballagh’ had on the day brilliantly saved by Byrne a minute later, with Moran adding on his second of the day a few seconds later from free after Sharoize Akram was fouled.
Ryan Lynch took the first half by storm finishing up with four points before the break and he kicked two in a row from long range in quick succession and Cormac Doohan made it 0-5 to 0-0 on nine minutes.
Callaghan had another chance to either go for goal or play in a pass to a team-mate but he got he got lost in his thought process and Byrne smothered the ball to safety along with his defence.
Neil Douglas got Mitchels first score of the half on 11 minutes tapping over a free after he was fouled by David Drake - the battle between the pair was one of the many interesting little battles taking place all over the park.
James Durcan had a half goal chance three minutes later but blazed his effort over the bar on the run - Lynch stemmed the run of Mitchels points with another point from downtown.
The county town men hit back with points from Douglas and James Durcan to close the gap to two with the 20 minute mark approaching - but it was the eastern raiders who drove on before the conclusion of the half.
Lynch landed another long ranger, Comrac Doohan slotted over one from play then Dylan Feeney got in on the act. David McBrien hit an effort toff the post and Andy Moran really should have found the back of the net - but pulled a close range effort just wide of the target. Kuba Callaghan hit his sides tenth point of he day on the 30 minute mark and there was still time for Byrne to again pull off a great save this time denying Cian Hanley and then Akram.
Despite missing the goal chances Ballaghaderreen will have been quite happy going leading by six points at the break on a scoreline of 0-10 to 0-4.
The second half started as the first finished with Byrne again saving well this time from Callaghan a minute in. Andy Moran pushed his team seven to the good from a free - not long after Mitchels introduced Barry Moran to fray and he had an immediate impact getting fouled for a penalty.
Neil Douglas stepped up and drove the ball low to the right hand side but not far enough into the corner with Patrick Sharkey getting down well to save and put it out for a 45. Douglas held his nerve from the resulting placed kick and drove the ball over the bar to out six between the teams.
Doohan pushed that back out to seven and Moran had another goal chance that Byrne somehow managed to keep out before a Gavin Durcan free put half-a-dozen between the teams with 18 minutes to go - but a Mitchels comeback didn’t really look on the cards as Ballagh’ kept their composure down the stretch and saw the game out to book their first county final since 2012.
Come the final they will be looking for similar performances from the likes of Drake, Akram, Hanley, Lynch, Owen Jordan and Andy Moran that they got in this one, each of the men were top class and could have been picked as the player of the game.
Ballaghaderreen: Ryan Lynch (0-4 ), Cormac Doohan (0-4 ) Andy Moran (0-3, 1f ), Kuba Callaghan (0-2 ), Dylan Feeney (0-1 ), Thomas Carmody (0-1 )
Castlebar Mitchels: Neil Douglas (0-4, 1f, 1 45 ), James Durcan (0-3 ), Gavin Durcan (0-1, 1f )
Ballaghaderreen: P Sharkey; D Drake, S Cunniffe, P Kelly; D McBrien, O Jordan, S Akram; D Kelly, R Lynch; D Feeney, C Hanley, L O’Grady; C Doohan, A Moran, K Callaghan. Subs: T Carmody, A Lynch, D Forrest, C O’Donnell
Castlebar Mitchels: R Byrne; J Maughan, D Newcombe, R O’Malley; G McDonagh, R O’Reilly, S Conlon; D Vaughan, P Durcan; S Hopkins, N Dogulas, J Durcan; C Costello, G Durcan, B Walsh. Subs: N Lydon, B Moran, F Durcan, D Kirby, P Ruddy.