Castlebar Mitchels 3-8
Two goals in the 38h and 39th minute were the decisive factor in this game between these two neighboring clubs in McHale Park on Friday night. While Mitchels will showed plenty of character and commitment in holding off the challenge of Breaffy, the men in blue and white will know that they left this game behind them. Leading by 2-5 to 1-4, Breaffy were awarded a free kick out on the right hand side of their half back line. Aidan O’Shea tried to play a quick ball to his brother Conor, but the ball was turned over by the Mitchels men. Danny Kirby who had a huge game played the ball into centre half back Niall McCarney who drove a pile driver of a shot to the back of Robert Hennelly’s net. A minute later it was another Mitchels half back who hit the fifth and decisive goal of the game. Breaffy played with Tom Hanlon in a withdrawn role between the full back and half back line for most of the game. The allowed one of the Castlebar half backs to push on in open play and create two on one options on the flank for kick outs. Shane Irwin was the one who found himself free in space out on the left hand side of the field 25 yards out when he collected a ball from the opposite side and he made no mistake with the finish, to put Mitchels in front on the scoreboard for the first time in the contest.
Breaffy did have a couple of chances at near the end, most notably one for Aidan O’Shea who was thrown into the full forward line to try and rescue the contest late on. Tommy Reilly picked up the ball delivered the perfect ball into O’Shea who gathered it on the turn, 21 yards out from goal. He was able to hold off the tackle of one defender, but his shot was excellently saved by Rory Byrne in the Mitchels goal.
The game started very brightly for Breaffy when they raced into a 1-3 to 0-1 lead after ten minutes. Conor O’Shea who scored both of Breaffy’s goals, grabbed his first 10 minutes in. Peter Dravins who caused lots of problems for Castlebar early only played a inch perfect pass into the chest of O’Shea who applied a composed finish on the run. Dravins had landed two points himself at that stage along with on from Tommy Reilly for Breaffy. The solitary Mitchels score came from an Aidan Walsh free in the third minute. However, Mitchels did get their own goal 17 minutes in, when Stephen Keane found space to put the ball past Robbie Hennelly from close range after he was set up by Danny Kirby. Breaffy went in leading by 2-4 to 1-4 at the break, with O’Shea scoring a peach of goal three minutes before time. Aidan O’Shea drove up the right hand side of the field and played in his younger brother, who wrong footed the keeper before finishing the ball to the net.
Lots of credit must go to Mitchels for the their second half performance, the county town side took their scores with the opportunities arose and once they got their noses in front, they held on to book their place in the final and set up a potential treble for their club, with their senior and minor teams already having booked their county final spots.
Castlebar Mitchels: R Byrne; A Flynn, E Reilly, M Towey; P Durcan, N McCarney, S Irwin; D Kirby, A Walsh; F Durkan, C Costello, S Staunton, S Keane, S Dolan, M Durcan. Subs: D Stenson, N O’Malley.
Breaffy: R Hennelly; P Mylette, M Rice, M Livingstone, C Kelly, D Gavin, P Collins; A O’Shea, B Howley; T Hanlon, C O’Shea, K McGinty; T Reilly, J Daly. Subs: K Mulgrew, R Fadden, P Sweeney