All-Ireland Club SFC: Moran points the way for Mitchels

February 13, 2016

Castlebar Mitchels' Barry Moran with Stephen Kernan of Crossmaglen Rangers

Castlebar Mitchels 0-13
Crossmaglen 0-12

This year's All-Ireland Club SFC final will pit Castlebar Mitchels against Ballyboden St Enda's on St Patrick's Day.

The Mayo and Connacht champions scored a nail-biting one-point semi-final victory over Crossmaglen Rangers in Kingspan Breffni Park this evening.

With the entertaining contest very much in the melting pot, Barry Moran popped up for what proved to be the match-winning point two minutes from time.

Throw-in was delayed by 15 minutes due to extra-time being played in the first semi-final but when the action did get underway it was six-time champions Cross who made all the early running.

After 20 minutes of play, the Oisin McConville/John McEntee managed outfit led by 0-7 to 0-2 but Castlemar managed to keep in touch with points from Neil Douglas (two frees) and 'man-of-the-match' Paddy Durkan.

The Mayo men trailed by 0-5 to 0-8 at the break but their persistence was rewarded when they took over in pole position in the home straight.

Three unanswered points after the resumption from Durkan, Neil Lydon and Danny Kirby set the tone for the second-half while Crossmaglen lost Paul McKeown to a black card.

A converted Douglas free gave the Mayo men the lead for the first time (0-12 to 0-11) with eight minutes to go but Aaron Kernan (free) restored parity shortly after.

Extra-time looked a distinct possibility before Moran decided matters in the 58th minute.

Tempers flared during the four minutes of stoppage time but when the dust settled it was Castlebar's supporters who were in full voice.

The team in red and yellow will be hoping it will be a case of third time lucky when they take to the Croke Park field on March 17th.

They finished second best on their previous two All-Ireland final appearances in 1993 and 2013 so they won't be getting carried away with this victory.

Castlebar Mitchels - R Byrne; T Cunniffe, A Feeney, D Newcombe; P Durkan (0-3), E O'Reilly, R O'Malley; G McDonagh, B Moran (0-2); S Hopkins, N Lydon (0-1), S Keane; N Douglas (0-6f), R Feeney, D Kirby (0-1). Subs: F Durkan for S Hopkins, C Costello for N Lydon, J Durkan for S Keane, D Walsh for R Feeney, D Fenton for N Douglas (BC).

Crossmaglen - P Hearty; P Hughes, A Rushe, P McKeown; A Kernan (0-1f), M Aherne, J Morgan; J Hanratty, O O'Neill (0-2, 1f); M McNamee, S Kernan (0-1), T Kernan (0-2, 1f); J Clarke (0-5), K Carragher, C Cumiskey (0-1). Subs: J Murtagh for K Carragher, S Finnegan for P McKeown (BC), P Stuttard for M McNamee, R Kelly for J Murtagh, D McKenna for P Stuttard.

Referee - E Kinsella.

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