Connacht club SFC final: Castlebar dethrone Brigid's aet

November 24, 2013

Castlebar's Richie Feeney and Niall Grehan of St Brigid's.
©INPHO/Mike Shaughnessy.
Castlebar Mitchels (Mayo) 3-12
St. Brigid's (Roscommon) 2-12

(After extra-time)

St. Brigid's reign as provincial and All-Ireland kingpins is over after Castlebar Mitchels were crowned Connacht club champions following an extra-time thriller at Hyde Park.

The Mayo champions, who had trailed by five points at half-time in normal time and lost county star Barry Moran to a red card early in the second half, hit three unanswered points in the second period of extra-time to finally end Brigid's three-year hold on the provincial title.

The sides had finished level on 3-9 to 2-12 at the end of a pulsating 60 minutes-plus in which St. Brigid's Ian Kilbride also saw red for an injury-time challenge on Tom King which led to Neil Douglas slotting over a last-gasp equalising free.

Brigid's raced into an early 1-2 to 0-1 lead, with points from Cathal McHugh and Senan Kilbride being followed by the game's first goal from the latter. A Danny Kirby major got Castlebar back into it before Frankie Dolan and Padraig Kelly replied with points to give the holders a 1-6 to 1-1 half-time advantage.

Tom King was among the scorers as the revitalised Mayo men reeled off four points without reply at the start of the second half to leave the minimum between the sides. Despite having Moran sent off, the momentum remained with the team in red and gold as Neil Douglas' penalty propelled them into a 2-5 to 1-6 lead.

Richie Feeney raised another green flag moments later to extend the 14-men advantage to 3-6 to 1-7. Frank Dolan steadied Brigid's with a much-needed point before substitute Richie Blaine cracked home a 52nd minute goal to put them back in front again.

When Dolan followed up with an exquisite point from outside the 45-metre line to make it 2-11 to 3-6, it looked as though Brigid's would complete the four-in-a-row, but Castlebar refused to accept defeat and forced extra-time with two late points from Douglas.

Douglas had left the minimum in it before Ian Kilbride received a second yellow card for fouling King in the third minute of stoppage-time - just two minutes of stoppage-time had been signalled by the fourth official - and the Castlebar full forward held his nerve to slot over the equaliser from 35 metres.

St. Brigid's had Darragh Donnelly sent off on a second yellow card two minutes into extra-time and Castlebar - who were restored to 15 players - eventually made the extra man count as Cian Costello, James Durcan and Danny Kirby all found the target in the second period to bring yet another Connacht title back to Mayo.

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

St. Brigid's - S Curran; R Stack, D Donnelly, J Murray; N McInerney, G Cunniffe, N Grehan; K Mannion, G Ahern; I Kilbride, G Dolan, P Kelly (0-1); F Dolan (0-6, 3f), S Kilbride (1-3, 0-2f), Cathal McHugh (0-1). Subs: A Gleeson (0-1) for McHugh, R Blaine (1-0) for G Dolan, G Dolan for McInerney, D O'Connor for Kelly, P Kelly for Grehan, M O'Carroll for Karol Mannion, S Mannion for Curran, R Kelly.

Referee - Marty Duffy.

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