Connacht club SFC final: Castlebar shock champions

November 22, 2015

Castlebar's Barry Moran and Daithi Burke of Corofin

Castlebar Mitchels (Mayo) 2-10

Corofin (Galway) 0-11

Barry Moran was magnificent as Castlebar Mitchels regained the Connacht club football title with a stunning victory over provincial and All-Ireland champions Corofin at Tuam Stadium.

Moran scored 1-2 from midfield as the Mayo champions repeated their 2013 semi-final victory over their much-fancied Galway counterparts. The result throws the All-Ireland race wide open and also means that incoming Mayo manager Stephen Rochford won't have to "double job" over the winter months as his reign as Corofin boss is now at an end.

Goals in either half from Moran and Neil Douglas proved vital in a game which was level at the break. Corofin opened brightly with early points from Kieran Fitzgerald and Martin Farragher before the 2014 All-Ireland runners-up signalled their intent with an unanswered 1-3 in a blistering 11-minute spell.

Neil Lydon opened their account in the seventh minute before Danny Kirby set up Moran for the opening goal. Douglas and Moran added points to leave the underdogs perched on a 1-3 to 0-2 lead by the 18th minute.

Corofin replied with three points from Gary Sice (two frees) and Ronan Steede, but back came Castlebar again with scores from Shane Hopkins and Eoghan O'Reilly (free). However, points from Ian Burke and Martin Farragher (free) ensured the holders of parity at the break, 0-8 to 1-5.

Douglas and Dylan Wall traded points on the restart before Castlebar delivered the decisive blow when Douglas grabbed their second goal in the 45th minute. Corofin introduced All Star hurler Daithi Burke, but he couldn't break the Mayo kingpins' momentum as Moran drove them to victory.

The Andy Merrigan Cup holders' fate was sealed when Martin Farragher was dismissed on a second yellow card 10 minutes from the end.

Castlebar Mitchels - R Byrne; T Cunniffe, D Newcombe, A Feeney; R O'Malley, E O'Reilly (0-1f), P Durcan; G McDonagh, B Moran (1-2); S Hopkins (0-1), N Lydon (0-1), N Douglas (1-3, 0-1f); C Costello, D Kirby, R Feeney (0-1). Subs: A Walsh for G McDonagh, J Durcan for C Costello, F Durkin for S Hopkins, S Conlon for D Newcombe, S Keane (0-1) for N Lydon (BC), R Burke for R Feeney.

Corofin - T Healy; L Silke, K Fitzgerald (0-1), C McGrath; C Cunningham, P Kelly, A Burke; G Higgins, R Steede (0-1); G Sice (0-3f), Michael Farragher, D Wall (0-1); Martin Farragher (0-4, 2f) , M Lundy, I Burke (0-1). Subs: D Burke for G Higgins, C Silke for C McGrath, K Molloy for C Cunningham, J Leonard for M Lundy (BC).

Referee - E O'Grady.

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