Mayo SHC Final: Tooreen retain title
Mayo Senior Hurling Championship Final
TOOREEN 0-18 CASTLEBAR MITCHELS 1-13
By Colm Gannon at Elverys MacHale Park
Tooreen claimed their 30th Mayo senior title and third in a row after seeing off a sticky challenge form underdogs Castlebar Mitchels by just two points at the end of a tough encounter.
The defending champions went into the game as favourites, but Castlebar never gave in and if they had got their goal a few minutes earlier it could have been a very different outcome.
Tooreen went in leading 0-10 to 0-7 at the break thanks to five points from Shane Boland and three from inter-county dual player Fergal Boland.
The east Mayo men who were hunting their third title in a row, were the more fluid and quick thinking team, but Castlebar Mitchels who were in their first final since 1998 stuck manfully to their task in the opening half.
The game was nip and tuck in the early exchanges with Andrew Butler and Corey Scahill keeping the scoreboard ticking over for the county town men.
Castlebar had the only clear cut goal chance of the half when Liam Mullins cut in and flicked the ball to James Gallagher but his shot was well saved by Stephen Lenehan and put out for a 65 which was hammered over the bar by Schaill to leave his side trailing 0-5 to 0-4 after 17 minutes.
But Tooreen started to get control of the game after that with went 0-8 to 0-4 up over the next few minutes with Sean Kenny, Kenny Feeney and Shane Boland adding quick fire scores.
Mitchels rallied and outscore their opponents 0-3 to 0-2 over the closing ten minutes of the half but they still went in trailing by three at the break and facing an uphill task in the second half.
Torreen hit the ground running in the second period with Shane Boland and Sean Kenny both clipping over two points each in the opening six minutes to have the Blue Devils leading by double scores on 0-14 to 0-7 - before Castlebar got their opening score of the half through James Gallagher whose half goal chance deflected off a defenders back and over the bar.
Cathal Freemen got Tooreen’s 15th point of the day with a well taken effort, but they were warned shortly after that Castlebar were still in this game when Corey Scahill created a goal chance for himself that was well saved - he did point a free that came about from the next play to cut the gap back to half-a-dozen with 15 to go - but it was quickly cancelled out by a Sean Regan effort from play.
Scahill hit a monster of a free to bring it back to a six point game, but Tooreen were able to push the gap back to seven thanks to a 65’ from Sean Kenny - Castlebar really needed a goal to get right back into this game as it rounded the final furlong into the last 10 minutes.
Scahill landed another long range point and James Gallgher hit one from play to cut the gap to five points but time was running out for the challengers - they did manage to get a goal right at the end when Padraig O’Flynn rose highest to flick the ball to the back of the net, but it was too little to late for a brave Castlebar side.
Scorers for Tooreen: Shane Boland 0-7 (5fs), Sean Kenny 0-4 (1f, 165), Fergal Boland 0-3, Liam Lavin, Cathal Freeman, Kenny Feeney, and Sean Regan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Castlebar Mitchels: Corey Scahill 0-7 (5fs, 165), James Gallagher and Andrew Butler (1f) 0-3 each, Padraig O'Flynn 1-0.
TOOREEN: Stephen Lenehan; Gary Nolan, Michael Morley, John Cassidy; Conor Henry, Stephen Coyne, David Kenny; Daniel Huane, Conor English; Sean Kenny , Fergal Boland, Sean Regan; Shane Boland, Kenny Feeney, Eoin Delaney.
Subs: Cathal Freeman for Conor English, Liam Lavin for Eoin Delaney, David Harrison for Kenny Feeney, Ciaran Finn for Daniel Ruane
CASTLEBAR MITCHELS: Martin Parson; Seanie Mulroy, James Lowe, Joe Butler; Tony Sweeney, Padraig O’Flynn, Bernard Kennedy; Shane Nugent, Conor Murray; Andrew Butler, Corey Scahill, Kevin Keena; Darren McTigue, James Gallagher, Liam Mullins.
Subs: Alan Gavin for Kevin Keena, Art O’Suillebhain for Liam Mullins, Kieran Horan for Joe Butler
REFEREE: Michael Herr.