Three goal salvo sends Mitchels into the final

LGFA: All Ireland IFC Semi-Final; Castlebar Mitchels 3-7 Castleisland Desmonds 2-7

Celebration time: Niamh Hughes and Laura Brody celebrate after Castlebar Mitchels win in the All Ireland Intermediate Championship semi-final. Photo: Sportsfile

Celebration time: Niamh Hughes and Laura Brody celebrate after Castlebar Mitchels win in the All Ireland Intermediate Championship semi-final. Photo: Sportsfile

A rapid fire start to the third quarter backboned Castlebar Mitchels progress to the All-Ireland Intermediate Club Championship final.

The Mitchels were the best side in this game throughout and only for some poor shooting in the first half they would have been out of sight much sooner.

The home-side put the ball wide of the target on eleven occasions in the first half and when the visitors from Kerry levelled the game up at six points each on the whistle for the second water break, it looked like those misses would come back to cost Mitchels dearly.

But that’s not how it panned out at all. Just after the resumption Laura Brody rattled the ball to the back of the net from close range to give Mitchels the breathing space their play had deserved. That was followed shortly after by their second goal from Niamh Hughes and then a point from Anna Tuohy.

Danielle Caldwell danced here way through the Castleisland Desmonds defence before driving home an excellent goal three minutes later and the game looked done and dusted with Mitchels leading 3-7 to 0-6 and their opponents looking shell shocked.


Back of the net: Danielle Caldwell celebrates scoring her sides third goal. Photo: Sportsfile 

There were a few more twists left to play out in this one. With five minutes of normal time left Amy Curtin let fly from distance and her effort flew into the back of the net to cut the gap back to seven points.

Four minutes later Julia Ann Twomey got on the end of a long ball into the danger are and found an inch of space to turn and steer the ball home and the game was back to four points with injury time coming up.

The Kerry side kept prodding and probing looking to create a third goal, but the best they could come up with was a pointed free from Paris McCarthy to close the distance to just three points.

Despite the howls from the home faithful for the final whistle to be blown there was still time for a few more plays as the Kerry side decamped inside the Mitchels rearguard. But the Castlebar defensive line held firm and they saw it out to book their place in the All Ireland final.


Tha winning feeling: Kathryn Sullivan celebreates at the full time whislte. Photo: Sportsfile 

The Mitchels deserved this win on the balance. They took the game to Castleisland for the most part and if they had their shooting boots on they could have had the game well out of sight before the half time whistle.

Niamh Hughes got things going on the scoreboard with a pointed free two minutes in. Castleisland-Desmonds replied through a Niamh Walsh pointed free two minutes later. But the play was all going one way.

Anna Tuohy, Orla Conlon and Laura Brody all tagged on points in the middle of a series of wides for Mitchels. Paris McCarthy hit back with one for her side to leave the score 0-4 to 0-2 at the first water break for the home-side.


On the ball: Tanya Flynn clears her lines for Mitchels. Photo: Sportsfile 

Both sides exchanged points through Niamh Hughes and McCarthy in the second quarter to keep the gap at two, at the half-time whistle.

Niamh Walsh cut it back to a single point early in the second half, but a Hughes free stretched it back out to two in favour of the hosts on 40 minutes. Castleisland-Desmonds looked to have found their feet in the game finally when Lorraine Scanlon and McCarthy kicked points to live the game up at the three quarter-mark - but the contest was only really going to kick into gear once the fourth quarter arrived.


Castlebar Mitchels: N Hughes (1-3, 2f ), L Brody (1-1 ), D Caldwell (1-0 ), A Tuohy (0-2 ), O Conlon (0-1 )

Castleisland Desmond: P McCarthy (0-4, 2f ), J A Twomey (1-0 ), A Curtin (1-0 ), N Walsh (0-2, 1f ) L Scanlon (0-1 )

Castlebar Mitchels: F McLoughlin; K Moore, A Brody, A Towey; T Flynn, O Conlon, D Caldwell; L McManamon, K Sullivan; G Flynn, A Tuohy, E Lyons; N Hughes, L Brody, S Conlon. Subs: M McDonald, A Hussey, L Touhy.

Castleisland Desmond: F Griffin; L Cox, S Murphy, E Towmey; G Kearney, C Griffin, E Mangan; P McCarthy, JA Twomey’ H Herlihy, C Lynch, N Walsh; A Curtin, L Scanlon, R Cahill. Subs: E Doody, M Curtin, L Joyce, K O’Connor, H Bourke.

Ref: J Devlin (Galway )


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