Second half blitz sees Castlebar Mitchels retain Mayo SFC

Goals from Patrick Durcan, Neil Douglas and Barry Moran end Knockmore challenge

Castlebar Mitchels 3-13 Knockmore 0-10

Three second half goals from Patrick Durcan, Neil Douglas and Barry Moran in a blistering spell sealed back-to-back titles for Mayo champions Castlebar Mitchels - the first double since 1970 - who had too much class for Knockmore in this Mayo final played under lights in MacHale Park, Castlebar, on Saturday night.

Just two points separated the sides at half-time and it was a fair reflection of how things panned out with Mitchels slow into their stride and trailing by two early points from Sean Ruttledge and a 40-yard beauty from the outside of the boot of Peter Naughton.

But when Castlebar got into their stride they hit five points without reply, Patrick Durcan nailing two from play, Neil Douglas also on target with two frees and a Garryowen from Aidan Walsh bouncing over the bar as Mitchels went 0-6 to 0-3, an excellent point from Kevin McLoughlin leaving just two between the sides at the break.

But there was only one team in this game in the second half and from once Patrick Durcan fired a rocket past the Knockmore goalkeeper, six minutes into the second half, the floodgates opened, Barry Moran, who had massive game at midfield, setting up Douglas for their second goal and Moran himself tapping in after Douglas had his initial shot saved by Knockmore goalkeeper, Aidan Kilcoyne.

Douglas finished the game with 1-6, punishing Knockmore with a string of frees but the difference between these two teams was quality as Castlebar, beaten All-Ireland finalists last year, look hungry again for more success as they march into a Connacht championship meeting with Tourlestrane this Saturday.

Castlebar Mitchels: R Byrne, S Irwin, G McDonagh D Newcombe, R O'Malley, E O'Reilly, P Durcan (1-3), A Walsh (0-2), B Moran (1-0), F Durkan C Costello, J Durcan, N Lydon, N Douglas (1-6,4f), S Hopkins. Subs: D Stenson (0-2, 1f) for J Durcan (45), R Burke for P Durcan (inj, 48), D Kirby for Lydon (52), J Gannon for Costello (54), C Kyne for Douglas (55), J Maughan for Newcombe (56).

Knockmore: A Kilcoyne, M Park, S McHale, D Walsh, J Rice, A Keane, N Hardy, T Clarke, K McLoughlin (0-1), D McHale, C Reape (0-1), K Ruttledge (0-2), S Ruttledge (0-1), K Langan, P Naughton (0-5, 4f). Subs: B Gibbons for Clarke (37), F O'Neill for Langan (50), J Brogan for Park (56),Alan Loftus for C Reape (58), C Canning for D Walsh (58).

Referee: J Glavey (Aghamore).