Goals decisive as Castlebar seal U21 title

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.

44 thoughts on “Goals decisive as Castlebar seal U21 title

  1. This game had everything , and demonstrates why the U 21 grade is so important to development of young players to senior level. Its was an excellent game of open football from start to finish , with some great scores , goal and point taking and controversial red cards and hard full on tackling and turn overs from both sides . Credit to the referee for letting it flow and keeping control of a tough competitive game . Castlebar got a super start and went 9 up on 10 minutes hitting Claremorris with 3 sucker punches and well taken goals . Its looked over then ….its looked like a seniors vs minors game with the age profile of the respective teams …with Claremorris starting at least 6 if not 7 minors , .however Castlebar seems to get complacent and think it was over and Claremorris kept at it in the first half and brought it back to a 6 point deficient at half time , 3-4 to 0-7.
    On resumption Claremorris took over and hit Castlebar for 5 points without reply …to bring it to a one point game . After a red card on both sides Castlebar got their first score of the second half late in the second half and scored a goal with the last play of the game . A super game of football overall and great advert for football at this grade.

  2. Thanks for the reports Willie Joe.
    This grade is super important.
    If a lot of matches were conceded or as happened we didn’t have u21, think of the effect of likely increasing the amount of players who walk away from the game.

  3. A really good game last night, both teams full of fine footballers. Dream start for castlebar with 3 excellent goals. Claremorris somehow held on by their fingertips. They managed to have 7 points kicked by half time against a strong breeze. Castlebar definitely dropped the intensity and got very sloppy in possession. Second half was all Claremorris and they worked like dogs around the middle, castlebar had plenty ball but couldn’t make it stick to their full forward line, they dropped deeper and deeper and this suited Claremorris who were winning all the dirty ball. When Claremorris got within a point they looked like they would power home but cbar went down to 14 men and this seemed to bring them back to life. A few subs by castlebar added more energy and they finished with a bit of momentum and a well worked goal.
    Overall a good night for mayo football.

  4. Well done castlebar the future looks bright for mayo football!

    @Gizmobobs i saw that about the tax payments hardly surprising but jaysus we never get a break hahaha

  5. Really good game between breaffy and mayo gaels in the u21 semi final, the mad thing is the weather was absolutely shocking but was still high scoring, maybe next year we should replace the senior championship and run the u21 competition instead the enjoyment level on another level to watching adult level games.

  6. Ethen Henry was very impressive, a big strong player, can score as his scoring today showed,is he on mayo panel?

  7. Daveslad ethan was a all star at midfield for mayo in the 2019 minor championship and was very impressive In the mayo senior championship this year kicking points from midfield, would love of he was looked at as he’s the type of player we lack at the minute.

  8. Ulster club games are great quality a lot of the time ,tg4 ,glen v scottstown , excellent so far

  9. This tax thing might blow up in our faces bit embaressing for mayo gaa …but in fairness most big gaa counties I’d say do the same..

    Niall hurley is a really exciting young player to watch not afraid and full of confidence he might be what were looking for in a few years time when he’s ready for seniors!

  10. @Corick ah why worry about it being all over the Irish independent and national news? There’s a reason it’s in the news .

    But anyway it’s great to see under 21s going so well..really gives hopes for the future such open play and exciting play there is hope yet ha!

  11. They are now, looks like they weren’t some years back and are paying the penalty for it now, well the clubs will probably be paying for it as usual….
    More expense on top of the increased spending on county teams, the huge debt burden as result of the MacHale part stand and we still don’t have a proper training facility.

  12. Don’t worry about a little tax bill,our county board are well in top of it,we are very cheaply run

  13. @corick Bridge come off it don’t worry about a little tax bill? It’s dodgy and looks dodgy and looks bad for mayo gaa in general and whi wants that we get enough bad press at times…..

    As for our county board being on top things I nearly laughed at that sorry ha!

  14. Sean, also very much enjoyed the Ulster final. Both teams not afraid to play quick ball and take scoring opportunities from a range of angles and distances. Well referreed also, and in what looked like terrible conditions.

  15. Gizmobobs – you shouldn’t refer to a regular contributor here as a troll.

    Corick Bridge – I don’t think you’re doing yourself any favours with comments like that.

  16. As regards the Tax bill , remember the tax may be accrued and not due yet or else the County Board have entered into an arrangement with Revenue ,and so are tax compliant.

  17. Apologies Willie Joe, it just seemed like clear definition of trolling, but point noted.

    That’s possibly it JR, my guess would be underpayment of PAYE or something else a while back, that we have to catch up on and pay back with interest, could be wrong though.

    The X feed from the convention is gas, more hand offs to the CCC than the whole of the rugby world cup!

  18. You’d imagine the promotion/demotion system of two up two down between senior, intermediate and Junior could have been decided on today.

    Similarly the Westport motion on Junior A/junior exclusive A could have been trialled at least. As it stands Castlebar can continue to have their second team play in intermediate, something no other second team can hope to do. Which is a major advantage to them in player development and retention. Westport obviously know they have the numbers to do this, and naturally want it changed. Knockmore have won the Junior A nearly every year since it’s Inception, maybe losing the final once, won it again this year and finished well ahead of Castlebar B in division 3 of league but are stuck there.

  19. Hope McStay and his management were watching the Ulster club final yesterday, some very good long kick passes and some great scores taken and full committment from all players, very little of the lateral hand passes and slow build up of County teams and a game that kept me glued to TV for full game.

  20. Culmore, remember Rochy has a number of years of Ulster experience under his belt. I’m sure some of it rubs off in the prep and training.

  21. God do we want Rochfords experience rubbing off on the players didn’t go well for us this year that style of play and had Rochfords style written all over it …

  22. You are right gizmobobs regarding the exclusive Junior, it should never have passed the last time to exclude b teams. The motion was put in by a junior club after castlebar won the junior a few years back. As far as I remember only 3 b teams have ever won junior in all those years. It should be open to all, the exclusive junior could run as a warm up tournament or something after the junior is finished. If b teams are good enough for junior let them play in it. Castlebar b are well able for intermediate football at the moment but if they drop off a bit and get relegated they go down to junior b with no chance of getting out of it like,.westport and Knockmore b’s.

  23. No worries, Gizmobobs – as I said, those other comments weren’t helpful and I can see why you interpreted them as you did. Agreed re the Twitter/X feed on the Convention too, which was at best a very partial account of proceedings!

  24. The young lads at work here this morning were saying Evan Regan got married at the weekend. Well done Evan. I still think he could offer this Mayo team something. But I wonder was there any talk from the ex Mayo players about coming back to give it one more shot just like what happened at James McCarty’s wedding last year when all the Dublin band was put back together. Imagine if Aido got onto the likes of Andy Moran, Tom Parsons, Colm Boyle Seamie O’Shea and Keith Higgins to come back for one more go at the All Ireland. Kevin McStay and Rochie be very happy men to have players and experience back like that. Young players would learn so much from them.

  25. Turfmanmayo,
    I think a nice present at this time of year would be to see Lee Keegan back for mid to late league, for him to be fresh for the championship.

    A new role may suit him, something just tells me that he has more to offer.

  26. @Turfman there’s a reason why evan regan doesn’t play county hes not able for county it was tried before and also there’s a big difference between playing for your club & county. Yes evan regans a decent player but not for county in my view I don’t think so anyway..

    @Bate the blanket we would all love to see keagan back but there’s absolutely no hope of that he’s done with county due to his family commitments. We need to just concentrate on the players who are holding up their hands and available to us !

  27. Sorry Willie Joe,but we have been listening to criticism of the county board since I was child,indeed I was guilty my self,but as time has passed I have realised that it doesn’t do is any good,so now all I look forward to the football,I really believe that Liam Moffat improved the board ,have a lovely Christmas you and your family,once all the contributors on here

  28. Seen the proposed motion Number 16 by Ardnaree Sarsfields of a catchment area to be enforced as the parish boundaries for each club in the County.
    I think this is one of the most imporatant issues in Mayo football.Town teams boundaries need to be policed maybe even made even tighter due to there growing numbers.Westport area really needs to be looked at. Too many rural clubs suffering from emigration and strict planning and the high cost of building new homes in the country which will lead to more almagamations.If you look at every grade from Under 14 to Senior in Mayo its dominated by the town teams and there is still very high dropout rates in the urban clubs after Minor level.

  29. Alot of talk about the possession lateral passing rochy on here. Did he learn anything in ulster.. absolutely not. Remember his tenure in donegal. Brutal to watch. Time for mcstay to man up and cut out this rubbish style of play

  30. No mention of the first game of the championship (excluding London or NY ) being included in the price of the Season ticket for 2024. Unless its hidden in the t+c ‘s ,at least I couldn’t see it anyways. League games in Division 1 and 2 priced at €20.

  31. “ The opening championship match(es) will no longer be included as part of the Season Ticket. However, the Association will have details of special Championship packages available in the New Year.”

  32. Season Tickets

    Stealth Increases.

    No championship game included.
    Even the county final removed from the plus club ticket- remains €250.
    Looks like just covers league round matches and not final.

    New this year- Selling packages for league for €100

    But renewals remain €150, only extra )if indeed it is an extra to new league package) I can see is club final entry croke park and the opportunity to buy(not attend) 6 championship games minimum to be able to buy all Ireland final ticket if Mayo get there.

    Reminder of what it covered when it started


    All league games including semi as was and final.
    One championship game and London if our turn.
    €5 off every championship game bar provincial and all Ireland final.
    Entry into any league game in your code.
    Entry into league semifinals as was, and finals if not involved.
    Club finals at Croke Park

    Seems to me they would quite like the season ticket holders not to renew.

  33. KOB, no seriously, where did you see that, it it’s true, I don’t think i will
    renew, it’s €15 or €20 into the county final, so if that’s the case, and the fact that the first inter County championship game is no longer included, well then, its just not worth renewing

  34. Kevin Filan was a brilliant listen in the interview with Mike. Talks so well and has a really good knowledge about the up and coming underage lads.

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