The women footballers of Castlebar Mitchels are on their way to the All-Ireland final. This afternoon at Josie Munnelly Park in Castlebar they prevailed over Kerry’s Castleisland Desmonds in the LGFA All-Ireland Intermediate Championship semi-final by 3-7 to 2-7.
Up until the second water break this was a tightly fought and cagey contest. Mitchels enjoyed the greater possession but their shooting wasn’t always on target – they hit 17 wides over the course of the game – and their Kerry opponents stuck doggedly with them up until the end of the third quarter.
Mitchels led by two (0-5 to 0-3) at half-time but the teams were tied at six points apiece when the second sos uisce was called. At that stage it looked as if the game’s cautious narrative would prevail up to the end. Instead, however, the match exploded into life in the final quarter.
The home team rattled in 3-1 in a four-minute spell at the start of the fourth quarter to shoot ten points clear. The goals came courtesy of Laura Brody, Niamh Hughes and Danielle Caldwell (pictured above in a cracking photo by James Killeen) while Anna Tuohy chipped in with a point.
That fusillade should have been enough to decide the contest there and then. In the event it was sufficient but only after Mitchels withstood a late fightback from the Kerry side, whose cause was helped when the home side lost Grainne Flynn to the sin bin with just over ten minutes to go.
A goal for Desmonds by Amy Curtin brought some life back into the contest with five minutes of normal time to go. With injury time looming, a second major for the visitors – this one notched by Julia Ann Twomey – cut Mitchels’ lead to four points and ensured there would be a nerve-ridden finale to the match.
Despite intense pressure, however, all Castlebar conceded after that was a single point, as they hung on to win by three to book their place in the All-Ireland final. There’s they’ll meet the winners of the other semi-final, which is between St Sylvester’s of Dublin and Kinawley Brian Borus of Fermanagh and which will be played tomorrow.
Highlights from the game are available from Stream Sport:
James Killeen has some nice action shots from the game on Twitter (including the one at the top) which you’ll find here.
Congrats to Mitchels on their great win today and here’s hoping they’ll now go on and seal the deal in the All-Ireland final.