Wednesday 28 September 2016

All Ireland champions knocked out as Castlebar Mitchels secure Connacht title

Castlebar Mitchels 2-10 Corofin 0-11

Published 22/11/2015 | 15:44

Barry Moran, Castlebar Mitchels, celebrates scoring his side's first goal. AIB Connacht GAA Senior Club Football Championship Final, Corofin v Castlebar Mitchels. Tuam Stadium, Tuam, Co. Galway. Picture credit: Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE
Barry Moran, Castlebar Mitchels, celebrates scoring his side's first goal. AIB Connacht GAA Senior Club Football Championship Final, Corofin v Castlebar Mitchels. Tuam Stadium, Tuam, Co. Galway. Picture credit: Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE

Reigning champions Corofin relinquished their Connacht and All-Ireland club football titles to a Barry Moran inspired Castlebar Mitchels in Tuam.

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Moran dominated midfield but also chipped in with some of their most important scores, notably their ninth minute goal that laid the platform for a second Connacht title in three years.

On the three-quarters mark he provided the assist for the goal that effectively killed this game as a contest, his slipped hand pass to Neil Douglas deceiving the Corofin defence and providing the opening for a sublime finish from the Castlebar attacker.

Corofin were lauded for the expansive style of their football en route to their All-Ireland title earlier this year and there were signs of that throughout the first half as they chased down a four-point lead, 1-3 to 0-2, forged by Moran with a point in the 17th minute when Danny Kirby was again the provider as he had been for the earlier goal.

Neil Lydon, Castlebar Mitchels, in action against Padraic Kelly, Corofin. AIB Connacht GAA Senior Club Football Championship Final, Corofin v Castlebar Mitchels. Tuam Stadium, Tuam, Co. Galway. Picture credit: Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE
Neil Lydon, Castlebar Mitchels, in action against Padraic Kelly, Corofin. AIB Connacht GAA Senior Club Football Championship Final, Corofin v Castlebar Mitchels. Tuam Stadium, Tuam, Co. Galway. Picture credit: Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE

The quality of the football here, especially the tackling from both defences, was exceptionally high and wides were at a premium, just one from Moran in the first half.

The sides were level 1-5 to 0-8 at the break but Douglas landed 1-2 to just one from Corofin, through Dylan Wall, in the third quarter as they established a 2-7 to 0-9 lead.

A second yellow card for Michael Farragher reduced Corofin to 14 men and that was the final nail in the coffin for the champions.

Paddy Durkan, Eoghan O'Reilly provided a strong base at half-back for Castlebar who now meet the Ulster champions in the All-Ireland semi-final.

It was a disappointing way for Stephen Rochford to sign off as Corofin manager and he admitted they struggled with Moran's presence at midfield.

Daithi Burke only came on as a substitute in the second half after breaking his nose two weeks ago.

Ciarán McGrath, Corofin, passes to team-mate Greg Higgins, 20, under pressure from Paddy Durkan, Castlebar Mitchels. AIB Connacht GAA Senior Club Football Championship Final, Corofin v Castlebar Mitchels. Tuam Stadium, Tuam, Co. Galway. Picture credit: Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE
Ciarán McGrath, Corofin, passes to team-mate Greg Higgins, 20, under pressure from Paddy Durkan, Castlebar Mitchels. AIB Connacht GAA Senior Club Football Championship Final, Corofin v Castlebar Mitchels. Tuam Stadium, Tuam, Co. Galway. Picture credit: Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE

Rochford is due to meet with Mayo officials this week and, as the only declared candidate, could be in place by the end of the week.

Scorers - Castlebar Mitchels: N Douglas 1-3 (0-1f), B Moran 1-2, R Feeney, N Lydon, S Hopkins, E O'Reilly (f), S Keane all 0-1 each.

Corofin: Martin Farragher 0-4 (2fs), G Sice 0-3 (3fs), K Fitzgerald, R Steede, D Wall, I Burke all 0-1 each.

Castlebar Mitchels: R Byrne; T Cunnuiffe, A Feeney, D Newcombe; P Durcan, E O'Reilly, R O'Malley; G McDonagh, B Moran; S Hopkins, N Lydon, N Douglas;  C Costello, R Feeney, D Kirby. Subs: A Walsh for McDonagh (34), J Durkan for Costello (37), F Durkan for Hopkins (43), S Conlon for Newcombe (46), S Keane for Lydon BC (52), R Burke for R Feeney (60)

Corofin: T Healy; P Kelly, K Fitzgerald, A Burke; C Cunningham, C McGrath, L Silke; G Higgins, R Steede; G Sice, D Wall, Michael Farragher; Martin Farragher, M Lundy, I Burke. Subs: D Burke for Higgins (33), C Silke for Cunningham (47), K Molloy for McGrath (47), J Leonard for Lundy BC (54).

Referee: E O'Grady (Leitrim)

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