Connacht Senior Club Championship Quarter Final
Castlebar Mitchels v Mohill
2pm Saturday 4/11
MacHale Park, Castlebar
Castlebar Mitchels meet Mohill in the quarter final of the Connacht Club Senior Championship, with both teams looking to build on the momentum that has already been created by their respective County Championship wins. The winners will advance to the Connacht Semi Final against Sligo champions Tourlestrane the following week.
Mohill embark on the Connacht Championship having reclaimed the Leitrim Championship that they held in 2015 but lost in 2016. All in all, Mohill have won seven Leitrim County Championships, with their most recent coming in the fine 0-14 to 0-11 victory over Glencar/Manorhamilton in Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada back on the 8th of October. It was a superb performance by Mohill and one that will provide much encouragement for the future, particularly pleasing for manager Pauric Davis was the way that his charges remained composed despite trailing early on and being 2 points in arrears at the break. Best for Mohill on the day were sharpshooting Keith Beirne who landed seven points, captain Daniel Beck and Domhnaill Flynn. It was a very consistent championship campaign by Mohill, with the only blip coming in a 1-14 to 0-12 loss to Ballinamore-Seán Heslins in the fourth round. They put up some huge scores, scoring 1-20 in the first round against Achadh Mhaoláin aswell as 0-21 against Allen Gaels in the fifth round. On the way to the final they overcame Drumreilly in the quarter final and St Mary’s-Kiltoghert by a point in the semi, 1-11 to 1-10. Indeed, Mohill also have the distinction of winning the first ever Leitrim County Championship, all the way back in 1890. Despite this domestic success, Mohill have never actually played in a Connacht Club Final and they will be very keen to rectify that this season.
Standing in their way is the daunting prospect of Mayo champions Castlebar Mitchels, fresh from claiming their third County Championship in a row after overcoming the challenge of Ballintubber 0-15 to 0-13 in a very tight and tense game in MacHale Park. In doing so they became the first team since Garrymore in 1976 to achieve a three in a row in Mayo. Similarly to Mohill, Castlebar also went through their championship campaign with one defeat, falling to Ballina Stephenites 3-8 to 1-10 in the third round, although they were already qualified beforehand. They overcame Garrymore 2-14 to 0-12 after a replay in the semi-final and Knockmore 1-13 to 0-13 in the quarters in a repeat of last year’s final. Castlebar are the second most successful club in Mayo with 31 titles in their illustrious history, second only to Ballina Stephenites who lead the way on 36. It has been a very successful recent period for the club, having also won 2 Connacht Championships in 2013 and 2015 to add to their other two from 1969 and 1993. However, the club have twice fallen twice to Dublin team’s in the All Ireland Club Finals in the last five years in Ballyboden St Enda’s in 2015 and St Vincent’s in 2013, so this season they return extremely hungry and motivated to go one better and avenge those defeats.