Search Results for 'Karol Mannion'
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A few weeks ago before the county final between Castlebar Mitchels and Ballintubber I envisaged a predicament that Cillian O’Connor could find himself in. I thought nothing of it at the time because I expected Castlebar to retain the Moclair Cup. O’Connor was at the final stages of the trials for the International Rules team, with his skill set and physical attributes I have no doubt he would have been on Paul Early's panel. When Ballintubber won the county final I immediately thought of O’Connor and the predicament, club versus country? It was simple; he was going nowhere and immediately pulled out of the Irish set up to give his full attention to his club.
When the big questions are asked the big players stand up and that's what happened on Sunday, when Ballintubber battled their way into their first ever Connacht senior championship final. When the Roscommon champions came knocking, Alan Dillon, Cillian O'Connor, Jason Gibbons and Stephen Broderick all stood up and had the answers for the questions put to them and their team-mates and in a few weeks time, they'll be ready to answer those same questions from Corofin in the final.
They knew they didn’t do themselves justice last year when they crashed out of the Mayo Senior Championship at the quarter-final stage and Ballintubber used that loss as motivation to drive them on this time around.
Anytime you win a county senior title is a good time but there are certain times when it can be more favourable than others.
Finally getting over the 20-year-old itch and winning the Moclair Cup looks to have freed this Castlebar Mitchels team from the nagging doubts that many had about their ability to press on and mark themselves out as one of the truly great Mayo club sides. They have another opportunity to kick-on again this Sunday, when they go toe-to-toe with the current AIB All Ireland club champions, St Brigid's in Hyde Park. While bookmakers may have the Roscommon men as 4/7 favourites and Castlebar as 15/8 outsiders, those numbers will been have paid little heed around Páirc Josie Munnelly, as Pat Holmes along with his management team of Alan Nolan and Shane Conway put their players through their paces in preparation for Mitchels first provincial final since 1993. Last Sunday, the Mitchels wrapped up the Mayo double with a comprehensive 2-15 to 1-2 league win over the previous holders of the Moclair Cup, Ballaghaderreen. In 10 league and seven championship games they have gone into battle in this year, Mitchels have only been overturned once, on the opening day in the league, when the side they saw off in the county final (Breaffy) edged past them on a boggy and misty spring day.
St Mary’s 1-05
Castlebar Mitchels man Richie Feeney has been handed the number 11 shirt for Sunday’s Connacht Senior Football Championship semi-final against Roscommon in McHale Park. The versatile Feeney will replace the injured Cillian O’Connor who dislocated his shoulder in a club championship match for Ballintubber against Claremorris, the week after Mayo’s opening round victory over Galway in Salthill.
The waiting is nearly over and the final pieces of the jigsaw are now in place as St Brigid’s ready themselves for a titanic All-Ireland Club Football Final showdown with Dublin and Leinster club champions Ballymun Kickhams on St Patrick’s Day.
If at first you don’t succeed, try and try and try again. The footballers of St Brigid’s have enjoyed quite a bit of success over the past decade. Yet the holy grail of winning a club All-Ireland has thus far eluded them.