Three Neil Douglas goals eased Castlebar Mitchels to a 29th Mayo senior title on Sunday in MacHale Park, the Mitchels marksman along with Danny Kirby and Richie Feeney were too hot to handle for the Breaffy defence as their side ran out 13 point winners.
The Mitchels win was bedrocked by two first half goals that left Breaffy chasing the game and Mitchels able to hold their near neighbours off at a distance. The first goal came after 21 minutes when the game was deadlocked at three points each and came from the boot of Danny Kirby. Rory Byrne collected a shot from Conor O’Shea that dropped short and the ball was worked excellently down the right flank by Donie Newcombe and Ray O’Malley. Newcombe lost the ball as he went to break for goal, but Breaffy were unable to clear their lines and after the ball bounced around the small square for what seemed like an eternity Kirby pulled on the ball to send it high to the back of the net.
Breaffy had started the game well and went into an early two point lead thanks to pointed frees from Tommy O’Reilly and Conor O’Shea, they were cancelled out by scores from Aidan Walsh and Kirby before the ten minute mark. Robbie Hennelly put Breaffy back into the lead from a long range free on the quarter-of-an hour mark which was responded to by a Eoghan O’Reilly point.
Nine minutes before the break Mitchels plundered their first goal and went on to score 2-2 with out reply, with Douglas first goal of the afternoon coming three minutes before the short whistle. The Mitchels number 12 gave Hennelly with no chance after a brilliant bit of work from Richie Feeney to set the chance up. The other scores in that run came from Aidan Walsh and a Douglas point, both of them from placed balls. Breaffy did get back into the game in the final fling of the half, with Gary Walsh and Seamus O’Shea getting points to leave the score 2-6 to 0-5 in favour of the county town men at the turnaround.
Breaffy needed to get an early goal in the second half to get some momentum going and twice in an opening ten minutes they dominated the nearly did so. First Tommy O’Reilly saw an effort come back off the bar and then Matthew Ruane managed to beat Rory Byrne in the Mitchels goal, but his effort was blocked on the line by Alan Feeney who did brilliantly to keep it out as he slipped on the line.
Mitchels went back down the field and points from Kirby and Richie Feeney eased any nerves they had and when Douglas netted his second goal after Feeney had done the donkey work, before Neil Lydon laid it on for him the game was done and dusted as a competition. Mitchels had by this stage weathered the Breaffy storm and dealt with what looked like a harsh black card for Barry Moran added in.
Breaffy kept plugging away, but there was no way back for them and when Douglas dinked the ball over Hennelly with a palmed effort five minutes from time, it put the seal on a great display from the county panelist. Breaffy never got going in this game, because Mitchels never allowed them to and Ger McDonagh, Alan Feeney and Ray O’Malley did a great job in shutting down Aidan O’Shea whenever the big man moved into an advanced position.
Castlebar Mitchels: N Douglas (3-1, 1f ), D Kirby (1-3 ), A Walsh (0-3, 3f ), E O’Reilly (0-1 ), R Feeney (0-1 ), J Durcan (0-1 ).
Breaffy: C O’Shea (0-4, 1f ), R Hennelly (0-1, 1f ), T O’Reilly (0-1, 1f ), G Walsh (0-1 ), P Dravins (0-1 ), S O’Shea (0-1 )
Castlebar Mitchels: R Byrne; T Cunniffe, R O’Malley, A Feeney; P Durkan, E O’Reilly, D Newcombe; A Walsh, B Moran; S Hopkins, N Lydon, G McDonagh; N Douglas, R Feeney, D Kirby. Subs: J Durcan for R Feeney (BS ), R Feeney for J Durcan (BS ), J Durcan for B Moran (BC ), C Costello for S Hopkins, F Durkan for N Lydon, R Burke for R O’Malley, S Conlon for D Newcombe, M Towey for R Feeney.
Breaffy: R Hennelly; C Jordan, M Jennings, M Hall; R Martyn, C Kelly, D Gavin; S O’Shea, A O’Shea; G Walsh, R Fadden, K Mulchrone; G Dunne, C O’Shea, T O’Reilly. Subs: M Ruane for G Dunne, D Cannon for C Kelly, L Irwin for K Mulchrone, G Jennings for G Walsh, P Dravins for R Fadden, D Morrin for R Martyn.
Ref: L Devanney (Ballina )