Castlebar Mitchels to meet surprise packet in final

Champions Castlebar Mitchels will take on surprise packets Knockmore in the Mayo SFC final for the first time since 1980.
Castlebar Mitchels to meet surprise packet in final

The sides will meet next Saturday evening at MacHale Park, Castlebar at 7pm.

However, Knockmore pulled off the shock of the day when they dumped last year’s beaten finalists Breaffy out in the first of the semi-finals.

A brilliant display of counter-attacking football saw the North Mayo side come through by 0-12 to 1-7 as Breaffy paid a heavy price for a lacklustre display. Brothers Aidan O’Shea and Conor O’Shea made little impact against Knockmore’s well-organised defence, while Seamie O’Shea was unable to start due to a groin injury. He also found the going tough after being introduced early in the second half.

Knockmore were never behind in the game and led by 0-7 to 0-2 after 20 minutes.

Mayo star Kevin McLoughlin, Keith Ruttledge, Peter Naughton, and Kieran Langan were among their scorers as they set the pace and tempo.

Breaffy were thrown a lifeline before the break when Tommy O’Reilly cracked in a terrific goal, but the favourites still trailed by 1-4 to 0-8 at half-time. Knockmore edged a low-scoring second half by 0-4 to 0-3 with Peter Naughton grabbing a late score to make the game safe.

There were some ugly scenes after the final whistle as players from both sides became involved in a melee.

Mayo GAA chiefs are understood to be awaiting the referee’s report before making any decision on whether a probe into the incident will be launched.

Castlebar booked their place in the decider for the sixth time in seven seasons with a straightforward 1-11 to 1-5 victory over Ballintubber. Neil Douglas delivered eight points (five from frees) for Mitchels with substitute David Stenson scoring their goal on 59 minutes. The hosts got off to a flying start and had raced into a 0-5 to no score lead after only 14 minutes.

Mayo captain Cillian O’Connor (who failed to score from play) opened Ballintubber’s account on 22 minutes with a free. By that stage Tubber’s Damien Coleman and Castlebar’s Aidan Walsh had both been shown black cards by ref Liam Devenney.

Mitchels led at the interval by 0-6 to 0-2 and managed to stay one step ahead of their near-neighbours for the rest of the game. Ballintubber had fallen nine points behind when Danny Geraghty grabbed a consolation goal four minutes into added time.

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