Castlebar Mitchels 2-10
Crossmolina Deel Rovers 1-9
It may or not be the last time that we see Ciaran McDonald in full flight for Crossmolina Deel Rovers in McHale Park as his side were knocked out of the Trenlaur Senior Football Championship at the quarter final stage by Castlebar Mitchels in McHale Park on Sunday.
McDonald lined out at midfield for the Deel Rovers and nine minutes into the game he scored a goal that lit up an afternoon of interesting if not exciting football. The men from the county town ran out deserved winners by four points thanks to a brace of goals from the imposing Danny Kirby. His second goal five minutes from the end killed off a brave fight back from Crossmolina. Neil Douglas did very well in the corner to win the ball under pressure, before he found Kirby who was breaking at pace from the half forward line. Kirby took the ball at speed and drove an unstoppable shot past Colm Reilly in the Crossmolina goal to put Mitchels up by 2-8 to 1-8, at a point that the game looked to be swinging in John Maughan's side's favour.
While Kirby is one of a number of young star players making their way through the Mitchels ranks it was one of the old stagers who was the linchpin to the Mitchels win. Kevin Filan once again put in a stirling performance in the full forward line, winning a number of balls and looking composed scoring from frees and play.
The sides went in level at the break on a score of 1-4 each, with both sides having goal chance early on. Tom Cunniffe drove forward from the the throw in but pulled his shot wide of the post with the goal at his mercy. Brian Benson then managed to skip around his man and Castlebar goalkeeper Ciaran Naughton, but he tried to pass it across to a team mate from a tight angle instead of taking on the shot himself.
McDonald's goal nine minutes in was a thing of beauty, the ball was played down the left channel to Benson who fed it back to McDonald and with the outside of his left boot he curled the ball past the dive of Naughton into the far corner. Crossmolina added on points from McDonald and Ian Rowland, with Castlebar replying through Neil Douglas and Sean Ryder leaving it 1-2 to 0-2 after 15 minutes. Kevin Filan knocked over a score from close in, which was quickly followed by one from Shane Hopkins. Last years beaten county finalists then plundered their first goal of the game when a free from Neil Lydon dropped short of the target, Kirby rose to win the ball and under pressure drove the ball to the back of the net to put his side two clear. But Crossmolina fought back and McDonald kicked a free, before Ian Rowland got the second of his two outstanding points in the half from out near the right touchline, he previously kicked one from near the left touchline.
The second half saw the sides swapping points early on with Mitchels pushing out into a 1-7 to 1-5 lead after 15 minutes, but Crossmolina battled back and reeled off three points of their own through two from Joe Keane and one from McDonald to push them one point in front and Castlebar were looking rattled. But the Mitchels ship was put back on course from a good point by Filan, before Kirby kicked his second goal of the game, pushing his side to victory.
Castlebar Mitchels: C Naughton; N McCarney, A Feeney, E Reilly; R Feeney, T Cunniffe, S Ryder (0-1 ); B Moran, S Fitzmaurice, S Hopkins (0-1 ), N Lydon (0-1 ), D Joyce; D Kirby (2-0 ), K Filan, (05,2f ) N Douglas (0-1,1f ). Subs: A Walsh, F Durkin
Crossmolina Deel Rovers: C Reilly; R Rochford, D Syron, J O'Boyle; P Gardiner, S Rochford, D Keating; C McDonald (1-3,3f ), G Walsh; P Duffy, J Keane(0-2 ), C Carolan; B Benson (0-2 ), J Cafferty, I Rowland (0-2 ). Subs: H McLoughlin, M Gallagher, D Hegarty.
Ref: R Gurren (Aghamore )