Mayo champions Charlestown edge Roscommon's Castlerea

Charlestown Sarsfields (Mayo) 1-9 Castlerea St. Kevin's (Roscommon) 0-11 (AET)

Charlestown Sarsfields (Mayo) 1-9 Castlerea St. Kevin's (Roscommon) 0-11 (AET)

This afternoon's thrilling Connacht Club SFC semi-final in Kiltoom ended in a dramatic win for Mayo champions Charlestown as they edged a tense tussle with Roscommon's Castlerea.

Extra time was required to separate the protagonists, but Charlestown scraped through by the narrowest of margins.

The opening period was sprinkled with decent football as both clubs provided glimpses of their ability. Castlerea settled impressively, striking over two points courtesy of Ger Heneghan and Enda Kenny, but Charlestown responded with an expertly-taken goal.

Paul Mulligan's crisp delivery found Ollie Conway, who summoned an opportunistic finish to nudge Charlestown ahead.

The impressive Heneghan landed a splendid point from play to level matters, but then Charlestown enjoyed a small pocket of supremacy. Conway was motoring well inside and landed a point, while Richie Haran also stroked over a free as Castlerea edged two clear.

But the scores continued right up until the interval as Roscommon champions Castlerea outscored Charlestown by three points to one as the teams departed deadlocked.

Underdogs Castlerea, gaining in confidence as the afternoon went on, commenced the third quarter with real determination. Ger Heneghan converted two frees either side of a Seamus Heneghan effort from play as Castlrea suddenly seized the initiative.

Denis Carney's team were battling for every ball with admirable determination. Kenny and Michael Killilea set the tone in centre-field, aiding a defence which was anchored by Cathal Dineen.

However, Charlestown eventually ended their 33-minute search for a score when Tony Mulligan pointed with five minutes of normal time remaining.

Paul Mulligan squeezed over a pressure free from an acute angle before Tony Mulligan clipped the leveller in the 62nd minute to force extra-time.

And Charlestown dictated the first period as the Mulligans, Paul and Tony, along with Tom Parsons all kicked points as the drama continued.

Nigel Dineen and substitute John Duggan reduced the deficit, but Charlestown survived a furious climax to book their place in the Connacht final against Galway champions Corofin on November 22.

Scorers - Charlestown: O Conway 1-1, T Mulligan 0-3, P Mulligan (0-2f), T Parsons 0-2 each, R Haran 0-1 (0-1f)

Castlerea: G Heneghan 0-6 (0-4f, 0-1 '45'), E Kenny, S Ryan, S Heneghan, N Dineen, J Duggan 0-1 each.

Charlestown: J Casey; E Casey, D McMeel, D Caffrey; D Higgins, A Higgins, C Maye; D Tiernan, T Parsons; R Haran, M Caffrey, T Mulligan; P Mulligan, O Conway, B O'Connell.

Subs used: K Deignan for Maye (40 mins), M Mulvaney for O'Connell (48), E Gallagher for Conway (59), S Morris for Tiernan (60), D Sloyan for Casey (61), S Lenihan for Caffrey (74), M Divilly for Haran (76), R Haran for Higgins (80 mins).

Castlerea: G Claffey; P Duignan, N Collins, E Creaton; D Lyons, C Dineen, G McElhone; M Killilea, E Kenny; S Ryan, D Scahill, S Heneghan; R Curran, N Dineen, G Heneghan.

Subs used: N Curran for Collins (26 mins), S Stenson for R Curran (60), J Duggan for Kenny, M Sweeney for Lyons (both 71), B Carty for Ryan (72).

Referee: Eamonn O'Grady (Leitrim)

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Join us for a special evening of Cheltenham chat on Friday March 12 at 6.30pm with racing legend and Irish Examiner columnist Ruby Walsh, Irish Examiner racing correspondent Tommy Lyons, and former champion jockey and tv presenter Mick Fitzgerald, author of Better than Sex.

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