Kiltane 3-10 Boyle 2-4
A year after being relegated from the Mayo SFC for the first time in decades, Kiltane bounced back yesterday to capture the AIB Connacht Club IFC title at MacHale Park, Castlebar.
There were great celebrations as the North Mayo side claimed a famous victory, their 32nd win from 35 outings in competitive fixtures this year.
Kiltane were far too good for Roscommon champions Boyle and they eventually ran out convincing winners to book their place in next spring’s All-Ireland semi-final. Former Mayo forward Mikie Sweeney again led the way in the scoring stakes with 1-3 from play, despite being well shackled for long spells by Colm Brennan.
Sweeney also missed a penalty in the 40th minute but recovered his composure to fire in his seventh championship goal of the season.
His recent form has been so impressive (he has scored at least one goal in each of his last six games), that Kiltane captain Pat Joe Gaughan called on the team’s fans afterwards to get ‘#MikieforMayo’ trending on Twitter.
There was no shortage of effort and industry from a well-drilled Boyle outfit, but they were woefully ineffective up front. Their scoring issues were underlined by the fact Roscommon forward Donie Smith failed to score from play and none of his colleagues were able to take up the slack.
In fact, Kiltane’s magnificent defence restricted their opponents to just one point (from a free) in a 45-minute period either side of half-time. As a result, the Mayo representatives were able to lead by 1-6 to 1-3 at the break after Sean Gaughan’s 11th-minute goal put them clear.
The winners had tacked on a further 2-3 without reply in the second half before Boyle troubled the scorekeeper again in the 54th minute.
A well-taken goal from attacking half-back Martin Gallagher, after man of the match John Reilly had prised open the Boyle defence, came shortly after Sweeney’s missed penalty.
Two excellent points from the tireless Sweeney and Daragh Carey (45) left Boyle trailing by nine points, and there was to be no way back.
The Mayo lads played some mesmerising football at times, one free-flowing move resulting in a trademark finish from Mikie Sweeney.
Boyle, to their credit, continued to plug away and they were rewarded when team captain David Callaghan palmed in a consolation goal in the dying moments.
Despite getting off to a slow start and falling five points behind inside the first 11 minutes (0-1 to 1-3), David O’Connor’s side played their best football during the second quarter.
His son Mark fired in a goal that threw Boyle a lifeline and the wing-forward also landed a long-range free that closed the gap to the bare minimum. But that was as close as the Roscommon visitors got, and Kiltane kicked on.
Scores for Kiltane: M Sweeney 1-3, S Gaughan, M Gallagher 1-0 each, D Carey 0-2 (1 45, 1f), J Reilly (f), J Healy, PJ Gaughan, T Conroy, S Lindsay 0-1 each.
Scorers for Boyle: M O’Connor 1-1, (0-1f), D Callaghan 1-0, E Smith (f), R Hannon 0-1 each.
KILTANE: MJ Reilly; K Ginty, D Carey, R Corrigan; S Gaughan, T Gaughan, M Gallagher; J Reilly, J Healy; U Corrigan, E Barrett, PJ Gaughan; T Conroy, S Lindsay, M Sweeney.
Subs: S Gallagher for M Gallagher (56), S Carey for Lindsay (56), O Munnelly for Barrett (60), C Carey for Ginty (60), J Scanlon for D Carey (60).
BOYLE: T Lowe; C Brennan, D Callaghan, C Cox; M Hanmore, S Purcell, T McKenna; C Cox, E Smith; M O’Connor, C Smith, J Suffin; D Smith, D O’Connor, M O’Donohoe.
Subs: R Hannon for C Smith (46), A Sharkey for Hanmore (54), C Beirne for Cox (55), M Goldrick for O’Donoghue (59).
Referee: Michael Duffy (Sligo).
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