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Castleisland Desmonds miss out on All-Ireland final despite two late goals against Castlebar

Curtin and Twomey strike late but Mitchels own fourth quarter goal blitz sees them through

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Amy Curtin of Castleisland Desmonds in action against Orla Conlon of Castlebar Mitchels in the All-Ireland Club IFC semi-final at Páirc Josie Munnelly in Castlebar. Photo by Sportsfile

Amy Curtin of Castleisland Desmonds in action against Orla Conlon of Castlebar Mitchels in the All-Ireland Club IFC semi-final at Páirc Josie Munnelly in Castlebar. Photo by Sportsfile

Castleisland Desmonds players Paris McCarthy, left, and Kate O'Connor after the All-Ireland Club Intermediate Football Championship semi-final

Castleisland Desmonds players Paris McCarthy, left, and Kate O'Connor after the All-Ireland Club Intermediate Football Championship semi-final

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Amy Curtin of Castleisland Desmonds in action against Orla Conlon of Castlebar Mitchels in the All-Ireland Club IFC semi-final at Páirc Josie Munnelly in Castlebar. Photo by Sportsfile

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ALL-IRELAND CLUB INTERMEDIATE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINAL

Castlebar Mitchels (Mayo) 3-7

Castleisland Desmonds 2-7

Castleisland Desmonds came agonisingly close to reaching the All-Ireland IFC Final but the Kerry and Munster champions would surely agree it would have been a victory against the grain had they managed to overcome Castlebar Mitchels on their own patch this afternoon.

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With about 10 minutes left in this contest the Mayo representatives had pulled 10 points clear, and were pressing home their dominance and superiority over a Desmonds team that had come into this semi-final short a couple of key players.

An Amy Curtin goal in the 55th minute seemed little more than a consolation score, but when Julia Ann Twomey got the final touch on the ball to sneak a second Castleisland goal in the 60th minute it more than offered a chink of hope for the Desmonds women. A Paris McCarthy point followed to make it a three-point game with a few minutes of additional time to play.

All the drama – and the five goals – came in the final quarter, after an uneventful first half after which Castlebar led 0-5 to 0-3.

The home side had dominated possession and chances, but 11 wides threatened to undo all their fine approach work, as points from McCarthy (two) and Niamh Walsh very much kept Desmonds in the hunt at the interval.

When Walsh scored the first point after the break it was just a one-point game, and at the second water break the teams were tied on 0-6 apiece. The fat was very much in the fire at that stage, with Desmonds well in the game, even if Mitchels were creating more chances. They were missing more too.

The game broke into life in the fourth quarter when Mitchels struck for three goals and a point in a four-minute spell that rocked Desmonds to the core. In the 47th minute Laura Brody’s somewhat speculative shot caught out goalkeeper Fiona Griffin to dip under her crossbar for the game’s first goal, and within a minute Griffin was picking the ball out of the goal again, this time from Niamh Hughes’ shot.

Anna Tuohy’s point made it 2-7 to 0-6 and the outcome seemed a formality then for the Castlebar team, a belief that was reinforced when Danielle Caldwell’s 50th minute goal made it a 10-point game, 3-7 to 0-6.

Dan Kearney’s side are nothing if not gritty and brave, and Curtin’s goal underscored the resilience this Desmonds team has developed in adversity.

Twomey’s goal followed on the hour mark to shake things up a whole lot more, and McCarthy’s point ensured a frantic last couple of minutes as the visitors hunted a game-equalising third goal of their own.

Time ran out, alas, for the Kerry champions who put in a courageous display, but with Mitchels hitting 17 wides they were, marginally, the better team on the day, and Desmonds probably can have few complaints, even if they might have a couple of regrets.

CASTLEBAR MITCHELS: F McLoughlin, K Moore, A Brody, A Towey, T Flynn, O Conlon 0-1, D Caldwell 1-0, L McManamon, K Sullivan, S Conlon, E Lyons, G Flynn, N Hughes 1-3 (0-2f), L Brody 1-1, A Tuohy 0-2 (1f). Subs: A Hussey for S Conlon (30), M McDonald for Lyons (49).

CASTLEISLAND DESMONDS: F Griffin, L Cox, S Murphy, E Twomey, G Kearney, C Griffin, E Mangan, C Lynch, L Scanlon 0-1 (f), A Curtin 1-0, P McCarthy 0-4 (3f), H Herlihy, N Walsh 0-2 (1f), J A Twomey 1-0, R Cahill. Subs: K O’Connor for Cahill (27), L Joyce for Herlihy (50), E Doody for Walsh (53), M Curtin for Cox (53), H Bourke for J A Twomey (61).

Referee: J Devlin (Galway)


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