Castlebar in final

THIS year’s Mayo football final will be a repeat of the 2010 decider after semi-final wins for the defending champions, Ballintubber, and Castlebar Mitchels over the weekend.

Castlebar, were the first team to reach this season’s renewal when they overcame Knockmore 0-11 to 0-6 at McHale Park.

Ballintubber then made sure of their final place with a deserved 1-15 to 1-10 victory over Ballina Stephenites yesterday.

Mayo forward Cillian O’Connor turned in a man-of-the-match performance, scoring seven points for Anthony McGarry’s well-drilled outfit.

A goal from Patrick ‘Gazza’ McHale gave Ballina a 1-6 to 0-6 half-time lead, with Ger Brady (2), Evan Regan (2 frees) and Pat Harte also on the scoresheet.

However, Ballintubber found their rhythm as the second half wore on and a 45th minute goal from Alan Plunkett changed the game.

The holders tagged on five points during the final quarter, three from the outstanding Cillian O’Connor, to hold off Ballina’s stubborn challenge.

Meanwhile, Kevin Filan was the star of the show for Castlebar. The 38 year-old landed seven points as Mayo stars Richie Feeney and Tom Cunniffe, together with Barry Moran, led by example. Castlebar led 0-4 to 0-3 at half-times.

However, Pat Holmes’ side kicked on after the restart and four points from Filan, and two from Aidan Walsh, proved crucial.

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