Cill Chomain 1-7
The first of Sundays double header in MacHale Park saw heartbreak for the north Mayo club looking to book a spot in the Connacht final, as Cill Chomain came up short against Galway champions Headford. Ciaran Moran's side who had played with such vim and verve in the Mayo final, failed to reach the same heights on Sunday as a smart and strategic Headford side under the guidance of Mayo man Tom Flynn ran out four point winners.
The Headford full forward line of Meeneghan's Sean and Niall along with Padraic Pat Walsh were instrumental to the Galway sides win. Headford started the game brightest and mounted a number of attacks, but skewed their efforts either wide of the posts or short into Aaron Healy's hands in the Cill Chomain goal. The scoring was opened seven minutes in by the Mayo men with Terrence Moran slotting over a free. Sean Meeneghan leveled the game up a minute later when he cut in down the right hand side to make some space for a left footed effort from close range. The mounting Headford pressure on the Cill Chomain back line paid even more dividends when Padraic Pat Walsh found the back of the net after 11 minutes. The ever dangerous Niall Meeneghan played the ball across the face of the Cill Chomain goal and Walsh went in bravely to get the vital touch to send the ball to the back of the net.
The game was held up for a lengthy period of time not long after when Cill Chomain captain David Coyle received a hefty challenge and needed a lengthy period of treatment on the field before he was taken off. Coyle did return to the action in the second half once given the all clear. But the incident did turn bizarre as the referee stopped play for treatment to be allowed for the injured Coyle, but restarted the play with the player still receiving treatment on the field only to call a halt to play again shortly afterwards.
When play resumed, Cill Chomain cut the gap back to two points when Rory Ginty kicked a placed ball between the posts. Niall Meeneghan kicked Headford's second point with a fine effort to establish a the three point lead. The Galway men pushed that lead out to five points at the break with Sean Meeneghan and Niall once again adding on scores before the break. The Galway champions went in leading 1-4 to 0-2 at the turnaround.
Cill Chomain kicked the first two points of the second half as they charged back into the action. James McAndrew with a booming effort and a Terrence Moran free closed the gap back to three points, but a nerve settling Sean Meeneghan free kept the north-Galway men in front. Both sides exchanged scores for the the next 15 minutes, with Headford keeping their noses in front and at one stage pushing the lead pack out to five points. With Niall Meeneghan kicking two frees and Padraic Pat Walsh adding another. While John F Coyle launched one from way out the country over the bar for Cill Chomain and Terrence Moran kept the free count ticking over. With ten minutes left in the game, Headford were 1-8 to 0-6 up and Cill Chomain badly needed a goal. A long ball in by the now returned David Coyle bounced around inside the small rectangle and a mass of bodies pounced on the ball. Referee John Gilmartin saw some infringement by one of the Headford defenders and awarded a spot kick to the Mayo side, which was duly dispatched to the back of the net by Derek Moran with some style to cut the gap back to two points and what looked like game on for the final ten minutes. Cill Chomain really needed to get the next score to really test the metal of the Galway men, but it was Sean Meeneghan who raised the white flag next to push the gap out to three points once again. James McAndrew did respond for Cill Chomain with an effort that was tipped over the bar by Neil Walsh in the Headford goal, but it was as close as Cill Chomain got as two late points from Sean Meeneghan and Enda Hannon booked the Galway sides place in the Connacht final and ended the Mayo sides interest in the competition.
Cill Chomain: A Healy; J F Coyle (0-1 ), M Burke, D Fahy; J Healy, D Coyle, A Murphy; B Moran, D Moran (1-0, 1 pen ); R Ginty (0-1,1f ), James McAndrew (0-2 ), M Irwin; G Ruddy (0-1 ), M Geraghty, T Moran (0-3, 3f ). Subs: Alan Nolan for D Coyle, D Murphy for G Ruddy, D Coyle for T Moran, Jamie Cox for D Murphy, D McSweeney for J F Coyle
Headford: N Walsh; B Carey, J Leahy, K Carey, F Joyce, R O'Toole, P Joyce; E McHugh, D Bane; A Watters, A Meeneghan, E Flynn; S Meeneghan (0-5,4f ), N Meeneghan (0-4,3f ), P Walsh (1-1 ). Subs: A McDonagh for E Flynn, C Sullivan for A Watters, R Higgins for F Joyce, E Hannon (0-1 ) for A Meeneghan
Ref: J Gilmartin (Sligo )