The game was on the line, it was all or nothing when Neil Douglas stepped up and leveled the game up in Hyde Park on Sunday afternoon for Castlebar Mitchels. While it looked a simple free that any senior club free taker would slot over the bar, there was serious pressure on Douglas' shoulders as he did it. After the game we spoke to some of Douglas' team-mates and his manager as to what was going through their heads as Douglas placed the ball, took a few steps back and connected with the ball. Mitchels manager Pat Holmes, even admitted he did briefly consider bringing in veteran Kevin Filan to take the pressure kick for a few seconds. “My heart was in my mouth because he hadn't been hitting them all day and Tom had been hitting them and Tom had gotten the thing (knock in the build up to the free ).We were considering putting on Kevin Filan to take it, but he would have been coming in cold and 'Duggie' in fairness took on the responsibility and buried it over.”
Alan Feeney didn't back down from any challenge all afternoon, but when the all important kick was being taken, he said he couldn't bear to look at his team-mates effort “I was looking down at the scoreboard there, I couldn't watch it. Just waiting for the reaction from the crowd, thankfully he pinged it and brought it to extra time.” Alan's brother Richie did consider taking on the shot himself he said, but Douglas' confidence in his own ability saw him give the Mitchels number 14 the all important shot. “Ah, the boy's were telling me to take it, but 'Duggie' came over and said he wanted to take it. I said how yah feeling? and he said 'I'm confident'. So I said take it away there and he stuck it over the bar.” The man who won the free Tom King told the Mayo Advertiser, that he handed over the responsibility after taking a serious hit winning the free, just to make sure that he had no ill effects from the challenge that created the chance. “I got some rattle to be honest I didn't know where I was for about ten seconds afterwards. I knew 'Duggie' is a great free taker as well so I asked him to pop it over just in case I had the wobbles.” It was a chaotic end to a classic encounter and Neil Douglas stood firm in the face to the task at hand.