Castlebar Mitchels were tonight crowned the county champions at U21 level. They held off a strong second half comeback from Claremorris in an entertaining U21A Championship decider at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park, on a final scoreline of 4-5 to 0-14.
With the winds from Storm Elin gusting around the ground, it was the young guns from the Mitchels who created their own storm early on in this game. They had the ball in the Claremorris net three time in the opening ten minutes, with those goals – the first scored by Cian Mylett and the other two by Cian Walsh – putting them firmly in the driving seat.
For Claremorris it was a case of rolling with the punches. Nine points down at one stage in the opening half, they reached the break six adrift, still in this contest but only just.
On the resumption, Claremorris set out with the intention of reeling their opponents in. Five points without reply cut the gap between the sides to the minimum by the start of the final quarter. It was all to play for now.
A point from Gavin Forry gave Mitchels a bit of breathing space and it wasn’t until the final minute of normal time that Claremorris registered their next score, once again leaving just a point between the teams.
Then came Mitchels’ fourth goal, this one finally breaking the brave resolve of a battling Claremorris team. Mark Cunningham got this major, to push his team four ahead in injury time. Claremorris responded with a pointed free but Castlebar had done enough to claim a three-point win and, with it, the U21A county title.
Earlier in the day Swinford came out on top against Erris St Pat’s in the U21C final. This game, played at James Stephens Park, went to extra-time and Swinford eventually emerged with a 2-11 to 1-12 win.
Earlier on today as well Crossmolina Deel Rovers beat Parke/Keelogues/Crimlin in the semi-final of the U21B Championship by 1-17 to 0-9. They’ll now play the winners of the other semi-final, between Mayo Gaels and Breaffy, in next weekend’s U21B decider. That other semi was meant to be played today too but it’s now fixed for Mayo Abbey at midday tomorrow.