Castlebar seal Connacht final place, Vincents advance too

Paddy’s Day is when the club championships reach their climax every year but it’s on dreary November Sundays, just like today, that vital steps are often taken towards a possible Croke Park outing the following spring. There was plenty of club action on today but my attention was focused on what was happening on both sides of the Shannon this afternoon.

Castlebar Mitchels weren’t given much of a chance of upsetting the odds against Galway champions Corofin in their Connacht semi-final but at Tuam Stadium this afternoon the Mayo kingpins did just that when they forged a gutsy 2-8 to 1-10 win. An early Gary Sice goal for Corofin looked to have Castlebar in bother but the Galway lads failed to translate the dominance they enjoyed in the opening quarter into scores. They were made to regret this when goals before the break from Richie Feeney and Neil Lydon swung the contest back in Castlebar’s favour. The Mitchels went in at half-time two points to the good and although they had to withstand a strong Corofin onslaught after the break, they did enough to seal a one-point win and with it a place in the Connacht final.

Waiting for them in that one will be the defending All-Ireland champions, St Brigid’s of Roscommon, who enjoyed a facile win over St Mary’s of Sligo in the day’s other semi-final. The Connacht final is scheduled for Hyde Park on Sunday week (24th).

Colm Gannon’s match report from Tuam forthe Mayo Advertiser is here.

Full time Cusack Park

I was with the kids in Cusack Park, Mullingar, meanwhile, (along with around half the population of Marino, by the looks of it) to see our local club St Vincents open their Leinster club campaign with a tricky fixture against the local side, Westmeath champions St Loman’s. Vincents were favourites to advance but facing into their fourth championship match in just thirteen days and with Diarmuid Connolly suspended, this one was never a gimme and the visitors’ task was made significantly harder less than ten minutes in when captain Ger Brennan got a straight red following an off-the-ball incident.

Loman’s never managed to make the spare man count, however, and opted instead to persevere with a fairly nonsensical blanket defence strategy, relying on a two-man inside line – featuring their main man John Heslin – to get the scores they needed. That kind of approach was never going to win a match like this, regardless of the extra man.

Vincent’s were dominant around the middle all day – where Eamonn Fennell caught every ball that came his way – and they repeatedly broke forward rapidly, taking the game to the home team. A good spell before the break saw them open a three-point lead and they led by two at the break.

Both sides failed to add to their tally as the third quarter wore on but then two frees from Heslin got Loman’s back on terms. When they swept downfield soon after to score a point that put them into the lead, following an unsuccessful goal attempt by Ciaran Dorney at the other end, it looked as if this wasn’t going to be our lads’ day.

But Mossy Quinn had other ideas and three points from him in the closing stages – he ended the match on seven points, six of them from placed balls, and was outstanding today – as well as a late insurance score from Ruairi Trainor proved enough to send the Marino contingent home happy. Vincents’ next outing is also in two weeks time, when they face Meath champions Summerhill in the Leinster semi-final at Parnell Park.

29 thoughts on “Castlebar seal Connacht final place, Vincents advance too

  1. As a proud Westport man I say big congrats to Castlebar great win in difficult conditions. Hope St Brigids is your next scalp, any win for a Mayo team is always welcome. Hopefully I’ll be cheering them on on Paddys Day.

  2. Watched Corofin v Castlebar match on tv. Castlebar poor in 1st qrtr, good in 2nd qrtr (but guilty of some appalling shooting) The 3rd qrtr performance was adequate but lacking the killer punch while the final qrtr was the usual story.
    When will a Mayo club or county team learn that ball possession is paramount at any stage of a match but essential when in the lead and approaching the final ten or so minutes. There is no gain whatever(in championship football) in increasing the margin of victory, the pursuit of more scores leads invariably to coughing up possession as Castlebar did with abandon in that final qrtr, thereby inviting Corofin on to them. Instead it should have been, keep it tight and keep the ball. Of course when a gilt-edged scoring opportunity is safely carved out it will of course be taken but no 50/50 balls in the build-up please.
    Looking at the match overall, Castlebar won today because the Corofin attack was pathetic in front of goal. They cannot rely on such ineptitude next time out so they better plan to win. Good luck to all concerned

  3. What an absolutely outstanding team performance it was too. My voice and nerves are shot, it was really tense stuff. Greta win and another great day in Tuam!

  4. Well done to castlebar today.

    On another note, does anyone know what injury aidan kilcoyne sustained. I see he had an operation 2 weeks ago. Was it ever confirmed what the injury was?

  5. Great hard earned win for Castlebar, TBH i didn’t think they would do it but like any good Mayo team they proved me wrong. If you can beat Corofin away why not Brigids and remember the game is to be played in the Hyde instead of Kiltoom which should help Mitchels chances.

    St Marys of Leitrim WJ the Sligo champions fared better v Brigids.

  6. I heard a dislocated kneecap but cannot say if that’s 100% truth.
    Sounds sore and I don’t know how he could have done that by simply running
    Get well soon to him.

  7. Willie Joe I can understand your enthusiasm for your Dublin Club, living and rearing your Family in the area and all that. But it seems that on this fabulous MayoGAABlog of yours, your many followers are only interested in matters pertinent to the auld sod. 🙂

  8. Connolly and Brennan always seem to make the headlines.

    Connolly is especially easy to lose the rag. If i were a manager i could guarantee you i could coach my players to get connolly a red, very surprised this hasnt been worked out .

  9. Who will the Connaught champions play in the all Ireland semi, or do they have to play a quarter final first against the British champions??

  10. Well done Castlebar. Digging a win out of Tuam for any Mayo side is an achievement. It was a grind in the conditions and the second goal proved most crucial. 11 scores to 10 I think was the final count so the old adage of “goals win games” does matter.

    Have to say that the ref was disastrous when you consider the conditions, wind, rain and heavy pitch. His continuous nit picky fouls left both sides (and most watching) baffled.

    Roll on the next day though. Will they have Kirby back now? Need him because Brigids are a big step up again from Corofin.

  11. I did a little research and I think the answer is Munster champions, odds on to be Dr Crokes! St Brigids played Leinster team in 2011 semi and ulster champs in 2012!

  12. Great win for the Mitchels. Thought Eoghan Reilly gave the best display by a mayo centre back all year. Strong and tough. IMO, he would give better shape to the Mayo defense if he was there instead of Vaughan. Hold the middle and allow Boyle and Keegan to attack. Unlike Vaughan who Saunders up the pitch and forgets to track back

    Also, think Tom King deserves a try with Mayo. Having spoken to a few players playing senior who have marked him over the years, he’s one player they hate marking as he has the speed to create something out of nothing and make them look foolish.

    I think Mitchels wont fear Bridgets. They’re good at the back and strong at midfield and there forwards will be better the next day. Corofin a tackling was very good and the ref gave some harsh calls against them as he did against Mitchels too. It was a clean game of football played in tough conditions and the referee made no allowance for this. For the 69 odd fouls he managed to only book two players. Mind boggling

  13. I thought the referee gave corofin some very handy frees. They had atrocious wides or would have won it easily, great moves only to shoot wide while castlebar took whatever they got most of the time

    St brigids are a big step up and have real forwards, best of luck to Mitchell’s but it’ll be very hard.

  14. Well done castlebar, my adopted home onwards ans upwards in conn. final and also my parish neighbours kiltane in the intermed. final……….great for mayo football, now get out and support no matter what club you come from …were in this together… North ,South, East and West…..Up Muigheo………..

  15. I see the FBD fixtures have been announced….only around the corner really. Games all on sat, not sure if that is correct or not, Be nice to see some sat eve games under lights.

    Saturday 4 January
    Roscommon v Sligo It, 2pm
    Mayo v NUIG, 2pm
    Galway v Sligo, 2pm
    Leitrim v GMIT, 2pm

    Saturday 11 January
    NUIG v Roscommon, 2pm
    Mayo v Sligo IT, 2pm
    Sligo v GMIT, 2pm
    Galway v Leitrim, 2pm

    Saturday 18 January
    Sligo IT v NUIG, 2pm
    Roscommon v Mayo, 2pm
    Leitrim v Sligo, 2pm
    Galway GMIT, 2pm

    Saturday 25 January

    I would hazard a quess that our first game with NUIG will be in Ballinrobe.

  16. This is one competition in the GAA calendar, where I would imagine results matters not a jot to James Horan. And anyway, who in their right mind would want to tog out for an inter-county match in the first week of January – does no favours to anyone, me think !

  17. i agree with you first of jan very unfair i wonder will COC be back for the dublin league game would it be too soon would like to see the dubs beat though.where it will be on.

  18. Those who are chomping at the bit to break into the panel and convince JH that they are good enough to be given a starting position heading into the league and championship thereafter…

  19. I hear what you’re saying 45 but to expect any new player to perform to his maximum or anything near it, is asking an awful lot so early in January. Think back to last year, we were all chomping at the bit with anticipation for the start of the FBD and the whole thing turned out to be one damp squib, both for results and unearthing new talent. In my opinion the League is time enough to show what lads are made of.

  20. Agree with a lot of what has been said about its likely impact. For all that I think I might take in a game.

    Saturday games quite appealing.

  21. Why denigrate St. Patrick’s Day witht the derogatory Paddy’s Day (usually accompanied with a smirk). This started in Ireland with the Celtic Tiger and the Bank of Ireland was promoting it for some reason which I have forgotten.

    Ironically the English now refer to it St. Patrick’s Day.

    Is mise,

    La Le Padraig

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