Big Boat
Westport GAA

U14 Final

THE MAIN MAN
David Groden
Westport
A SUPERB display from the full-forward who scored 3-3 from play.

FOOTBALL WEST MAYO U-14 CHAMPIONSHIP

‘A’ Final
Westport 11-17
Castlebar 3-10

Westport young guns win shoot-out

Patrick Hennelly
Islandeady

IN a scoreline similar to a numbers game from iconic TV programme ‘Countdown’ both Westport and Castlebar Mitchels served up an incredible 14 goal fest at Islandeady on Thursday evening.
There were hat-tricks for both man of the match David Groden and Stephen Loftus for the winners, while Paul Lambert hit 1-6 on an evening when the scoreboard struggled to keep up.
Meanwhile, the outstanding Ruairi Nevin chipped in with 2-6 for the Mitchels whose final tally would have been good enough to win most finals — but not this one.
The Boys in Blue started the game at a whirlwind pace with points from the aforementioned Groden, Emmet Rowley and Pat Lambert.
Castlebar hit back on three minutes when some great ingenuity from Ruari Nevin resulted in Jack Fahy drilling home a smashing goal.
Mitchels followed up with points from Brian Walsh and Nevin (free) to lead by 1-2 to 0-3 after eight minutes.
At that stage a 31 point win for Westport would have been difficult to envisage.
Two quickfire goals from Oisín Moran and David Groden turned the game on its head, while Mark Moran and Pat Lambert added points to push Westport ahead by 2-7 to 1-2 on 13 minutes.
Castlebar did their utmost to launch a comeback, but their hopes were dashed when a speculative long-range free from Lambert ended up in the back of the Mitchels net.
Eoin Barrett did pull a point bac, but was sandwiched in between further goals from Westport’s deadly duo of Stephen Loftus and David Groden.
The winner’s pressure was relentless and they added a sixth goal on 18 minutes, when Emmet Rowley spotted the timely run of Loftus who finished with aplomb.
Castlebar’s Ruari Nevin battled for every ounce of possession and he fired over a free on 18 minutes in the hope that a heroic comeback could be ignited.
However, Westport were in devastating form and further green-flagged efforts from Oisin Moran and Loftus helped muster an unassailable 8-9 to 1-6 interval lead.
The second half was a damage limitation exercise for Castlebar, with a free from Nevin negating Gareth Jordan’s earlier effort.
Westport certainly had a penchant for goals and they added their ninth on 36 minutes, which was the result of great combination play involving Emmet Rowley and Groden, the latter’s thunderous drive rustling the back of the net.
To their credit, Castlebar regrouped and a brace of points from Nevin were the prelude to his goal on 44 minutes.
Nevin was one of the Mitchels better players on the evening and he added his second goal of the tie on 46 minutes, following a neat delivery from Brian Walsh and this reduced the deficit ever so slightly, 9-15 to 3-9.
However, a rampant Westport ended the game with gusto and they netted a tenth goal on 53 minutes. A raking delivery from Lambert set-up raiding wing-back Luke Tunney, who applied a smart finish fit to grace any stage.
During the dying embers of the game, Westport super sub Cian McAllister netted his side’s final goal of a memorable evening for the winners.

Westport
S Grimes; C Kennedy, P Carty, K McGuire; R Heraty, A Le Tourmey, L Tunney (1-0); P Lambert (1-6, 1-0f), R Brickenden; G Jordan, E Rowley (0-1), M Moran (0-7); S Loftus (3-0), D Groden (3-3), O Moran (2-0).
Subs used: Caolan O’Brien for Jordan; D McGovern for Heraty; K Grogan for McGuire; S O’Hanlon for O Moran; C McAllister (1-0) for Groden; K Geraghty for Loftus; M Horan for Kennedy; F Byrne for M Moran; A Mulroy for Lambert.

Referee: D Corcoran (Islandeady)