Castlebar do enough in first half flurry

Mayo County Senior Football Championship

Castlebar 1-15

Aghamore 2-8

A first half power show from Castlebar Mitchels for them to gain two much needed points and leave their destiny in this years senior championship in their own hands as they go into the final round of games in the group stages next month. Neil Douglas and Aidan Walsh were the tormentors in chief for the home side as they bagged 12 points of their sides 15 on the evening.

Seven minutes into the game the home-side were 1-2 to no score up thanks to a blistering start which saw Douglas knock over two points and Adrian Roache bag the major following a neat move involving Alan Nolan and Douglas before Nolan finished the ball to the back of the net. Mitchels were moving well and considering the fact they were missing the services of the injured Mayo senior pair Tom Cunniffe and Barry Moran, it bodes well for a long run in the championship later on for Peter Ford's men. Aghamore got their first score on the board when Alan Freeman showed his class with a deft ball into the path of Adrian Freeman who cut inside his man and fisted the ball over the bar.

Mitchels weren't going to give up their advantage though as they shrugged off the set back and Aidan Walsh clipped over his first score of the game, after being set up by his forward partner Douglas. Then the favor was returned when a quick free from Walsh into Douglas let the corner forward plant the size five over the bar at the Sportlan end of the field. Alan Freeman pointed a placed ball from close range just before the quarter mark of the game, Colm Caufiled who had been moved out the field from his starting position at left corner back then struck a third and final score in the half for Aghamore in the opening half.

The rest of the half was the Castlebar show where they knocked over six unanswered points two from Walsh and two from Douglas with Alan Nolan and Eamon Kennedy getting in on the act. Douglas had the chance to bag a second goal five minutes before the turnaround, but lost the ball in mid solo under pressure and had to pull at it on the half volley and the ball flew wide. The sides went at the break with Castlebar leading 1-10 to 0-3.

Richie Feeney could have put the game beyond doubt just after the turn around when he let fly with a goal-bound shot which beat Niall Walsh in the Aghamore goal and had to be blocked off the line by Colm Garvey. Mitchels did register the first score of the half through Eamon Kennedy. Mitchels took their foot of the gas and the east Mayo men came back into the game Adrian Freeman pointed after five minutes of the half, then Brendan Jordan swung over a nice score, Alan Freeman then pointed a placed ball and just after the midway point, the goal that Aghamore needed to pull themselves back into the game arrived. A long ball was driven in that was broken down off a Castlebar defender into the arms of Adrian Freeman who finished to the back of the net from close range to put only five points between the sides.

The next score was going to be vital and that went to the home-side when Neil Douglas dropped over a free from the under the shadow of the new stand in the next door McHale Park. Enda Sweeney had the chance to really turn the game on it's head and swing it back in his sides favor when he was played in clean through coming from the right by Alan Freeman. He burst goal wards and let fly with drive that was just to high as it flew over for a point, rather than the goal that would have changed the game. Castlebar were able to shake the cobwebs off their attack and tacked on three scores from Walsh twice and Kevin Filan who managed to pick up yellow card and his point within a minute of coming on.

Aghamore did get a second major before the end when Alan Freeman tucked away a penalty just on full time and Adrian Freeman hit the last score of the game just before the final whistle.

Castlebar: Ciaran Naughton; Eóin Reilly, Alan Feeney, Brian Hennelly; Donal Newcombe, Pat Kelly, Ronan Burke; Shane Fitzmaurice, Ger McDonnagh, Eamon Kennedy (0-2 ), Richie Feeney, Adrian Roache (1-0 ); Neil Douglas (0-5,2f ), Alan Nolan (0-1 ), Aidan Walsh (0-7 ). Subs: Niall O'Hara for Kennedy (47 mins ) Kevin Filan (0-1 ) for Nolan (54 mins ), Eamon Tiernan for Douglas (60 mins )

Agahamore: Niall Walsh; Fintan Coleman, David Kilkenny, Colm Caulfield (0-1 ); Enda Sweeney (0-1 ), Caoimhin Carty, Colm Garvey; Colm Forde, Sean Og Robinson; Brendan Jordan (0-1 ), Adrian Freeman (1-3 ), R Lyons; Liam Groarke, Alan Freeman(1-2, 1f, 1 pen ), Dessie Campbell. Subs: Simon McGuinness for R Lyons (30 mins ) J Kilkenny for Campbell (25 mins )

Ref: Martin Murphy (Ballinrobe )

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