Mayo supporters left Croke Park yesterday with that all-too-familiar feeling when Castlebar Mitchels saw their dreams of becoming the third Mayo side to claim the Andy Merrigan Cup go up in smoke as a classier Ballyboden St Enda’s side eased home to claim the All Ireland title on a score of 2-14 to 0-7 in GAA headquarters.
The town of Castlebar was out in full force to back the Mitchels men with a special train selling out for the game in no time and large numbers of buses and cars ferrying people to Dublin in their thousands for the occasion.
On Wednesday thousands of school children staged a parade through the town to show their support for the men in red and yellow. But the thousands who made the trek to Dublin left disappointed as Castlebar conceded a goal early on and never recovered from the blow as the Dublin side kicked on for victory.
Castlebar failed to get going in the opening half as Ballyboden St Enda’s found the back of the net twice in the first 30 minutes and went in leading by 2-5 to 0-3, with two men with Mayo blood in their veins Ryan and Colm Basquel two of the leading lights for Ballyboden St Enda’s, with the pair scoring 1-3 between them on the day.
For the Mitchels they’ll be back again as they have shown that they have the fighting spirit to overcome some of the best in the country in reaching another All Ireland final, but for now they will have to look back on what has been an amazing adventure and plan to have another assault on it next year.
The three Mayo sides who won the senior, intermediate and junior championships in the county all made it to Croke Park this year for the All Ireland final, but like Arndaree Sarsfields and Hollymount-Carramore before them, Castlebar came up short on the day. It will be particularlyheart breaking for the Mitchels men as it is the second time in three years that they’ve managed to make it this far only to be turned over by the Dublin champions.