Diarmuid Connolly was the hero for St Vincent's as the Dublin star tore Castlebar Mitchels asunder and helped his side to a 4-12 to 2-11 win over the Mayo champions at Croke Park.

Connolly hit 2-05 for his side including a stunning second goal late on as the Dublin champions recovered from a poor second quarter to take a convincing victory.

A fine goal from wing-back Michael Concarr and a second from Ciaran Dorney meant the teams were level at 2-03 to 0-09 at the break, but despite a brace of goals from Danny Kirby after the restart, Connolly's wonder display helped Vincent's to the title.

St Vincent's grabbed the game's first point after just nine seconds as Shane Carthy split the posts straight from the throw-in.

But Mitchels' cause wasn't helped when wing-forward Richie Feeney was shown a black card by referee Eddie Kinsella after a late challenge on Vincent's corner-back Kevin Bonnie just five minute in.

The Dublin side took advantage of Castlebar's setback when Concarr struck the game's first goal after eight minutes having been played in by Connolly.

But Mitchels responded with six unanswered points in 12 minutes and during this spell, Ciaran Naughton denied Dorney and Ruairí Trainor with two great saves.

But five minutes before half-time, St Vincent's finally got their second goal, when Connolly picked out Dorney, who fisted the ball to the net.

The teams were level at half-time but St Vincent's stormed ahead with four points in quick succession inside the first eight minutes.

Neil Lydon grabbed his third point for Mitchels before the Mayo side notched their first goal after Neil Douglas hit the post and Danny Kirby was first to the rebound to put Mitchels a point ahead after 41 minutes.

But Connolly was not to be denied and he put Vincent's back in front with their third goal just two minutes later. Tiernan Diamond lobbed the ball into the square and Connolly was first to the bounce to fist the ball past Naughton.

Connolly scored two magnificent points before making it 4-09 to 1-11 with a cracking goal after 53 minutes. He split the posts with another point two minutes later to bring his personal tally to 2-05 for the day.
Kirby gave Mitchels hope with four minutes left with his second goal but it was too late for Pat Holmes' men who lost out in the final for the second time in their history having lost in 1994 to Nemo Rangers of Cork.

St Vincent's held on to secure the win and captain Ger Brennan accepted the Andy Merrigan Cup for the third time in their history.

Castlebar Mitchels: C Naughton; T Cunniffe, A Feeney, R O'Malley; D Newcombe, E O'Reilly, P Durcan (0-02); G McDonagh, D Kirby (2-00); N Lydon (0-03), A Walsh (0-01), R Feeney; N Douglas (0-01), B Moran (0-01), T King (0-02, 0-02f).

Subs: F Durcan (0-01) for R Feeney (5 mins BC), J Durcan for Douglas (50), D Joyce for O'Malley (55), K Filan for F Durcan (60).

St Vincents: M Savage; K Bonnie, J Curley, H Gill; B Egan, G Brennan, M Concarr (1-00); D Murphy, E Fennell; G Burke, D Connolly (2-05), S Carthy (0-03); R Trainor (0-01), C Dorney (1-00), T Quinn (0-02, 0-01f).

Subs: T Diamond for Burke (35 mins), C Diamond for Fennell (42), K Golden (0-01, 0-01f) for Trainor (51), A Baxter for Dorney (58), N Mullins for Carthy (60).

Referee: Eddie Kinsella (Laois).

Television highlights from 22:00 on RTÉ Two and RTE.ie (Ireland only).