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Ballindine, Co. Mayo

December 3, 2023

U-21 v Castlebar match report

Castlebar Mitchels 2-14  Davitts 2-10

Davitts and Castlebar met in the semi-final of the county u-21 A championship in Ballindine on Sunday and it was Castlebar who prevailed, after a cracking match, winning by four points. The big crowd that attended were treated to a fine exhibition of football but the Mitchels won due to possessing a more economical attacking unit.

Castlebar shot the opening point in the first minute, a score that was cancelled out thirty seconds later by the excellent Niall Treacy. Niall Treacy put Davitts ahead in the 2nd minute and Dylan Gallagher fired over in the 5th minute to put the homeside two up. The Mitchels knew they were in for a test and they responded superbly with a well-worked goal in the 6th minute. Things settled down after that frantic start and in the next fifteen minutes both teams added two points to their tallies, Dylan Gallagher and Niall Treacy the Davitts marksmen. Davitts were spurning a number of good scoring chances and Castlebar made them pay. They goaled again in the 24th minute and added a point seconds later. A fourth Niall Treacy point in the 27th minute brought the first half scoring to a close with Castlebar ahead by 2-5 to 0-6 at the break.

Davitts needed a good start to the second half and they got it when awarded a 32nd minute penalty after an infringement in the small square. Midfielder Jack Melvin calmly sent the Mitchels keeper the wrong way to convert and close the gap to two points. Mitchels pointed within a minute but this was cancelled out almost immediately by Niall Treacy. Castebar pointed four times between the 39th and 48th minutes and looked like they would pull away. Davitts showed great fighting spirit though and driven on by Charlie Phillips, Thomas Ronayne and Fionnan Gallagher they pulled three back through Dylan Gallagher (2) and Fionnan Gallagher to narrow the deficit to three. In the 59th minute a searing run through the Mitchels defence by Niall Treacy was ended with him being pulled down crudely but the ref didn’t give the free-in (or black card) and Mitchels went upfield and pointed themselves. They added points in the 62nd and 64th minutes. Fenton Kelly blasted a 20 metre free-in to the Castlebar net a minute later but, in one last attack Castlebar pointed again, to win a great match by a four point margin.

Davitts had great performances from Charlie Phillips, Fionnan Gallagher, Thomas Ronayne, Brian Birmingham, Jack Melvin, Conor McDermott, Dylan Gallagher and Niall Treacy but all of the players showed a great workrate and fight. With thirteen of the starting fifteen young enough to compete at this level again next year, the future looks bright. Castlebar will play Claremorris in the county final next week.

Davitts: Dylan O Brien, Micheal Hett, Charlie Phillips, Sean Keadin, Fionnan Gallagher (0-1), Thomas Ronayne, Brian Birmingham, Fenton Kelly (1-0), Mark Birmingham, Brian Og McTigue, Fenton Kelly (1-0), Conor McDermott, Dylan Gallagher (0-4), Fionn McLoughlin, Niall Treacy (0-5). Subs used: Ciaran Treacy, Zack Keadin, Sean Feerick, Jack Trench, Joe Prendergast.

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