Castlebar Mitchels 1-10 Tourlestrane 0-05
Neil Douglas scored 1-05 and was shown a black card for reigning champions Castlebar Mitchels who advanced to the Connacht senior club football semi-final with victory over Tourlestrane at Markievicz Park.
Castlebar will go on to face Corofin in the final four next weekend at MacHale Park, and will hope for a repeat of last year’s clash of the sides when they upset the Galway winners.
The Mayo champions were 1-06 to 0-01 in front at half-time and even though there were four black cards in the second-half they did enough to progress.
The winners were dominant in the first-half and backed by the brilliant play of full-forward Douglas, they didn’t miss the influence of Mayo senior Paddy Durcan. The county wing-back had a hamstring injury and did not start the game. Instead it was his twin-brother James Durcan, that scored their first point in the eighth minute.
That was after Mitchels goalkeeper and captain Rory Byrne saved brilliantly from Alan Dunne to keep his goal intact.
Further points from Douglas follow as Castlebar assumed control and Tourlestrane struggled having not played since their win over St Mary’s in the Sligo champions on 2 October.
Castlebar were emphatic in their 3-13 to 0-10 win over Knockmore in the Mayo final last Saturday and they hit the ground running backed by the wind here.
Douglas scored his goal in the 19th minute, when he latched onto a splendid delivery from Aidan Walsh to finish.
Douglas scored twice more before half-time, and Durcan doubled his tally, while Gary Gaughan got Tourlestrane’s only score in the final minute of added-time.
The hosts needed to start fast after the interval but the teams swapped wides before four black cards were shown in quick succession.
Cathal Henry, Douglas, Aidan Walsh and Liam Gaughan were all black-carded between the 38th and 54th minutes but crucially it was Castlebar who held their composure even with two of their players sent to the line.
Douglas made his tally 1-05 before he got black and David Stenson gave Castlebar a 1-08 to 0-02 lead in the 46th minute with a free.
Liam Gaughan scored a free for Tourlestrane, before Niall Egan and former Mayo football Peter Harte closed the gap further but Castlebar held on.
Cian Costello came on as a late substitute and he pointed, before the impressive Fergal Durkin rounded off the scoring and they advanced to the semi-final.
CASTLEBAR MITCHELS: R Byrne; D Newcombe, G McDonagh, S Irwin; R Collins, E O’Reilly, R O’Malley; A Walsh, B Moran; D Stenson (0-01, 0-01f), F Durkin (0-01), J Durcan (0-02); N Douglas (1-05, 0-03f), D Kirby, S Hopkins.
Subs used: C Kyne for Douglas (42, black card), N Lydon for Kirby (46), A O’Boyle for Walsh (51, black card), C Costello (0-01, 0-01f) for Durcan (54), R Burke for Collins (60), D Joyce for Stenson (60).
TOURLESTRANE: P McVeigh; C Neary, B Kennedy, J F Carr; G Gaughan (0-01), A McIntyre, J Leonard; S Henry, J Quinn; P Harte (0-01, 0-01f), C Henry, A Dunne; J Kelly, J Marren, B Egan (0-01, 0-1f).
Subs used: B Walsh for Leonard (16), L Gaughan (0-01, 0-01f) for Dunne (half-time), N Egan (0-01) for Henry (39, black card), S Dunne for Kelly (51), Kelly for L Gaughan (53, black card)
Referee: Eamonn O’Grady (Leitrim).