Big Boat
Westport GAA

FOOTBALL WEST MAYO JUNIOR ‘B’ CHAMPIONSHIP- McGreal’s magic does the trick

FOOTBALL WEST MAYO JUNIOR ‘B’ CHAMPIONSHIP

 

FINAL

Westport 1-12

Castlebar Mitchels 0-8

 

 

McGreal’s magic does the trick

 

MAIN MAN

MARK McCAFFREY

WESTPORT

RYAN Collins and Pat Conway go very very close, but McCaffrey gets the gong for a really solid midfield display, which included a spectacular point.

 

THE clocks going back afforded this writer an earlier than appreciated wake-up call on Sunday morning, and while watching an Alaskan wilderness survival documentary on the Discovery channel, I contemplated the trip to the West Mayo wilderness, as the near gale-force wind tried to remove the roof from my house.

Thankfully, the weather had abated a little by throw-in time, and Diarmuid McGreal’s wonder goal 24 minutes into the first half made the trip fully worthwhile on its own.

That magnificent solo effort aside, the game itself was a fairly entertaining affair. The 150 or so human attendees (along with one equine spectator) who braved the elements were treated to a high-intensity clash. Plenty of Junior Championship hits, plenty of goalmouth action and some fine individual scores on both sides.

John Gerard Stenson looked a class apart for the Mitchels when he got ball in hand. And in wing back Ryan Collins, the Mitchels have a wonderful footballer, who chipped in with two really well-taken points on the day. He was Castlebar’s best player and his athleticism, defending and physicality were really impressive throughout the entire match.

But the pick of the stand-out-guys wore blue last Sunday. Dessie Keane handled a bucket-load of ball. Kevin O’Malley, Seán Brogan and Pat Conway worked tirelessly and, especially in the second half, the midfield pairing of Cathal Moran and Mark McCaffrey were superb, with the latter really to the fore in the third quarter when the game was in the melting pot.

The early exchanges were tit for tat as both teams looked to settle, with Mitchels leading by four points to three at the start of the second quarter, with Stenson and Collins leading the way.

Then came McGreal’s moment of magic. He collected the midfield break and beat a platoon of Mitchels defenders on a mazy solo run before blasting the ball to the roof of the net. As good a goal as you’ll see anywhere.

The third quarter was really exciting with Westport, inspired by McCaffrey and Conway, outscoring their opponents by six points to two. The lively Seán Brogan had a brace in that period, as did Conway. McGreal added a point after another mazy run and McCaffrey posted an outrageous point from back near the church.

Mitchels emptied the bench but couldn’t claw back the ’Port lead. The West Mayo Junior B title is back near the seaside in 2014.

I wonder if the horse enjoyed the match too?

 

WESTPORT

A Dunne; J Groden, E Horan, N Tierney; N McManamon, B Fleming, S Gallagher (0-1); M McCaffrey (0-1), C Moran (0-1); D McGreal (1-1), K O’Malley, D Keane; S Brogan (0-3), M Harrison (0-1), P Conway (0-4, 2f).

Subs used: L Staunton for M Harrison (30 mins); M Harrison for D McGreal (55 mins).

 

CASTLEBAR MITCHELS

A Rocke; C Ludden, N Kearney, P Harte; R Collins (0-2), D Foy, J Costello; M McHugh, R Sweeney; B Redmond, JG Stenson (0-4, 1f), S Brophy; A O’Boyle (0-1), M Newcombe, E Heneghan (0-1).

Subs used: L Conlon for P Harte (10 mins, inj); C Harte for M Newcombe (30 mins); T Hoban for M McHugh (30 mins); J Dolan for J Costello (50 mins); V Walsh for A O’Boyle (55 mins).

 

Referee: M Walsh (Ballintubber)