Knockmore and Mitchels set up league final date

GAA: Mayo Senior Football Leagues

Kicking into the final: Peter Naughton played a key role for Knockmore in their win over Ballina Stephenites last weekend. Photo: Sportsfile

Kicking into the final: Peter Naughton played a key role for Knockmore in their win over Ballina Stephenites last weekend. Photo: Sportsfile

Castlebar Mitchels and Knockmore will set up an intriguing league final clash this Sunday in Ballina after coming through their respective semi-finals last weekend.

Castlebar Mitchels' late surge in Josie Munnelly Park where they outscored Garrymore 1-7 to 0-1 to overturn a four point deficit at the three quarter-mark, was a promising showing for Barry Moran's men.

Mitchels were able to call on youth and experience from the bench in the shape of Neil Douglas, Paul Walsh and Mark Cunningham down the stretch and all three played key roles in their win, with Cunningham's goal a decisive moment in killing off the Garrymore challenge.

The south Mayo side were on top for large portions of the game with Trevor Nally impressing, kicking five points for his side along with goals from Ciaran McGrath and Aaron Hughes key factors in them building up a 2-8 to 1-7 lead as the final quarter approached.

But Mitchels' bench along with the likes of James Durcan, who kicked six points on the evening, just had too much for the south Mayo men on a sticky hot evening in Castlebar.

On Sunday afternoon it was the north Mayo heavyweight clash, which, like the Mitchels and Garrymore game, will be repeated in the club championship in a few weeks' time.

Knockmore showed all the experience they have gained in claiming the last two club championship titles to hold off a wasteful Ballina Stephenites side, who will be wondering how they did not win this game with the amount of chances they created and then wasted.

Goals in either half from Pearse Ruttledge and Connell Dempsey were key to the Knockmore win, Dempsey's finish in particular was a stunning strike. But they also had to thank Colm Reape in goal who pulled off a number of fine saves from Ballina chances during the game.

Peter Naughton showed again why he is one of the best forwards in the club game, kicking five points - with his footwork at times having defenders in sixes and sevens.

Ballina will be scratching their heads at how they let this one slip, Frank Irwin top scored for them with five points while Conor McStay and Ciaran Tracey both chipped in with two points each. While they will be disappointed to have not got over the line in this one, they know they have plenty to work on ahead of championship, but will still be going into it knowing that with a few tweaks here and there, they will not be very far away this year.

In the division one relegation play off, Kiltimagh pulled off a massive win over Ballaghaderreen on the road to retain their top division status for next year and send the east Mayo men into division two, after extra time was needed to separate the two sides.

Kiltimagh trailed by eight points twice in the game, but then found themselves two points up near the end, only for Ballagh' to fight back and tie it up at the final whistle. But Kiltimagh came good in extra time to run out 5-13 to 3-17 winners. Brian Gallagher hit 2-2 for the winners with Conor Malee chipping in with 2-1 and Donovan Cosgrove getting 1-3 for Damien Gallagher's side. For Ballagh' Kuba Callaghan and Dylan Feeney both bagged 1-4 while Cian Hanley got 0-4 and Leitrim senior manager Andy Moran chipped in with 0-2 after his introduction to the action.

Davitts and Parke-Keelogues-Crimlin set up division two final

Extra time was needed in Hollymount last weekend to separate the hosts Hollymount-Carramore and Davitts in their semi-final meeting, with the visitors eventually winning out 2-15 to 2-14 thanks to a monster free from veteran Ronan McNamara from over 50 yards.

The hosts had a chance to send the game to penalties when Thomas Morris had a free right at the death to level it up, but his effort failed to hit the target and Davitts held on.

Davitts looked to have the heavy lifting done as the game approached the final few minutes leading 2-10 to 0-9 with their goals coming from Ronan Tracey and Fintan Kelly - but the hosts fought back and goals from Dylan Morris and Enda Maloney sent the game to extra time - where there was just the one between them when all was said and done.

Parke-Keelogues-Crimlin continued their fine run of form and once again marked themselves out as serious contenders for the intermediate championship this year, by going to Tallagh and seeing off last years beaten senior championship finalists, Belmullet, by three points.

Sean Sweeney and Ronan Carolan both chipped in with three points each to do the bulk of the scoring for the west Mayo men, who led 0-8 to 0-4 at the break. While they were only able to add on three more points in the final 30 minutes, they were also able to keep their hosts to just four and deservedly booked their place in the final of the competition and earned themselves promotion to division one for next season.

It was a local affair for the division two relegation play-off battle when Crossmolina Deel Rovers took on Lahardane in the Nephin derby in Bofeenuan last Sunday. It looked like the outsiders from Lahardane might just do it when they burst into an early five-point lead but Crossmolina worked themselves into the game and didn't panic, to run out eventual winners 2-15 to 0-11 and hold on to their division two place for next year. Dean Loftus was the main man for Crossmolina on the scoreboard netting two vital goals that set up the win for his side.

Bonni' and Killala to clash in division three final

Bonniconlon and Killala will both be making the short hop into Ballina on Sunday afternoon for the division three final. Bonni' booked their place in the final thanks to a 4-7 to 0-8 win over Castlebar Mitchels B in Castlebar last weekend. The north Mayo men led 2-4 to 0-7 at the half-time break and added on 2-3 to Mitchels 0-1 in the second half to seal their win. Killala came through another north Mayo derby to see off Ardagh 1-13 to 1-9 in their semi-final to seal their place in the final.


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