Tonight, if things went to plan for Castlebar Mitchels, would have been a chance to mark themselves out as the premier side in the county across all the big grades this year. But double defeat last Sunday in the county senior and minor finals has left just the U21A title up for grabs for the Mitchels men. The county town side will not want to let this one slip through their grasp and will go into the game as favourites after overcoming a fancied Breaffy side at the last four stage of the competition. Both sides have bounced back from opening day defeats, with Castlebar losing to Aghamore who were beaten by their opponents on Friday night, Hollymount-Carramore at the semi-final stage and the south Mayo men going down to Westport in their first game back in the summer.
On paper Castlebar have the players to take this one home. Danny Kirby, who is fast becoming one of the players to watch for the future for Mayo football, has the potential to take this game by the scruff of the neck and drive his side on. He has a more than capable line-up of supporting actors alongside him, with former Mayo minor captain Aidan Walsh and Mayo senior panellist from this year Eoghan O’Reilly top quality players in their own rights. O’Reilly will probably be given the job of stopping Hollymount-Carramore’s main attacking threat, Darren Coen, which will be a tough task in itself. Coen has been very impressive for the amalgamations intermediate side this term and is who his team-mates will be looking to for inspiration tonight. Mitchels also can boast in their ranks the players such as Cian Costello, Niall McCarney, Fergal Durkan and Shane Irwin who can each have a big influence on the outcome of this contest. However, you can’t rule out the south Mayo men who staged a real snatch and grab raid at the death in their semi-final win against Aghamore a fortnight ago in the same venue.
Alongside Coen, players such as Liam Ferrick, Conor Keane, David Macken, and Barry Sheridan will give their all for the cause this evening. They also have an ace card on the side-line with former Mayo captain Noel Connelly, the man who has brought them this far. However Gammon Kennedy, who is over the Mitchels men this year, may just have enough on the pitch to ensure Castlebar retain the title they won last year.