Late winner puts Castlebar into All-Ireland final

A point two minutes from time from Mayo midfielder Barry Moran clinched Castlebar's place in the AIB All-Ireland club SFC final for the second time in three years.

Late winner puts Castlebar into All-Ireland final

By Orla Bannon

Crossmaglen Rangers 0-12 Castlebar Mitchells 0-13

A point two minutes from time from Mayo midfielder Barry Moran clinched Castlebar's place in the AIB All-Ireland club SFC final for the second time in three years.

Crossmaglen led by five points in the first half of tonight's entertaining semi-final in Kingspan Breffni Park, Jamie Clarke in sensational form as they coasted into a 0-8 to 0-3 lead after 25 minutes.

However Castlebar, who'd already slayed defending All-Ireland champions Corofin in the Connacht final, hung in after a torrid start and scored five unanswered points either side of half time to draw level.

Tempers flared in a fiery finish after Moran's point edged Castlebar ahead in the 58th minute.

An ugly scuffle broke out in front of the Castlebar dugout as several Cross players were prevented from retrieving the ball and go in search of an equaliser.

Cross were the dominant force in the opening 25 minutes and were never behind until the 52nd minute through Neil Douglas' free.

Aaron Kernan's free levelled the game again at 0-12 four minutes later before Moran chipped over the winner from close range.

Just before the break, Ray O'Malley blocked Johnny Murtagh's goal-bound shot on the line, after goalkeeper Rory Byrne was caught off his line.

Castlebar kicked three unanswered points from play inside the opening four minutes from Durkam, Neil Lydon and Danny Kirby.

Paul McKeown picked up a black card with Crossmaglen reeling as the points rained over, but Douglas missed the resulting free to put Castlebar ahead.

Level for the first time at 0-8 each after 34 minutes, the sides were level four more times in an absorbing second half.

Cross managed to fend off Castlebar's attack for a few more blows, Stephen Kernan, Clarke and O'Neill putting them ahead on three occasions, but each time the Mayo champions responded before Moran's late winner.

CROSSMAGLEN RANGERS: P Hearty; P Hughes, A Rushe, P McKeown; A Kernan (0-1, f), M Aherne, J Morgan; J Hanratty, O O'Neill (0-2, 1f); M McNamee, S Kernan (0-2), T Kernan (0-2, 2f); J Clarke (0-4), K Carragher, C Cumiskey (0-1)

Subs: J Murtagh for Carragher (7), S Finnegan for McKeown (BC, 34), P Stuttard for McNamee (40), R Kelly for Murtagh (58), D McKenna for Stuttard (60)

CASTLEBAR MITCHELLS: R Byrne; T Cunniffe, A Feeney, D Newcombe; P Durkan (0-3), E O'Reilly, R O'Malley; G McDonagh, B Moran (0-2); S Hopkins, N Lydon (0-1), S Keane; N Douglas (0-6, 6f), R Feeney, D Kirby (0-1)

Subs: F Durkan for Hopkins (40), C Costello for Lydon (47), J Durkan for Keane (53), A Walsh for Feeney (56), D Stenson for Douglas (BC, 60)

REFEREE: Eddie Kinsella (Laois)

Crossmaglen Scorers – J Clarke 0-4, S Kernan 0-2, T Kernan 0-2 (2f), O O'Neill 0-2 (1f), C Cumiskey 0-1, A Kernan 0-1 (f)

Castlebar scorers - N Douglas 0-7 (7f), P Durkan 0-3, B Moran 0-2, N Lydon 0-1

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