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Sports : Mitchels GAA Club : Mitchels Archive Last Updated: 2, Apr 2018 - 10:02

Mitchels Notes 16th June 2002
By Noel Byrne
17, Jun 2002 - 08:48

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Willie The Shoe

Willie played the game of his life but when the great referee blew the full time whistle for him, the shock and sorrow was palpable throughout the community. Even though in his own words he was playing in extra time, the finality of his passing was numbing.

With his great grĂ¡ for life, he brought a passion and intensity to everything he did or was involved in. The humanity of the man was always evident, as he put sport in the west on a new pedestal of entertainment, knowledge and indeed debate.

The Shoe was intensely interested in all aspects of Mitchels and regularly wanted updates on the club, its players, plans etc. Indeed he was not slow to voice opinions as to how best the Mitchels could regain their former eminence.

In the game of life, as in sport, Willie weathered the ups and downs but always bounced back with a new fortitude which encouraged so many who knew him directly or felt a part of him through his radio work

The Mitchels have lost a friend, a colleague and indeed a great character. The McNeely family has lost a son; a husband, a father, a brother. We all share the deep sorrow at his parting. However we are proud to have known and been associated with him. All our lives have been enriched by his accomplishments, even though the void of his loss will be irreparable.

On behalf of all The Mitchels, both past and present, we extend out deepest sympathy to Willie's family.

Ar dheis De a raibh a anam dilis.

Ballinrobe 1-6: Castlebar Mitchels 1-13

Taking up from where they left off in the abandoned game last April, the Mitchels overcame the stern challenge of Ballinrobe in a very important league game on Sunday morning last. It was a game the Mitchels had to win not only from the league position but also as importantly for the upcoming championship frame of mind. From the start the game was competitive with Ballinrobe taking the opening point after three mins but then Mitchels with a solid defence and good use of the ball came storming back with two points from Kevin Filan. In the 10th min Diarmuid Byrne found himself facing the Robe keeper Tiernan who brought off a very good save. After a particular good piece of interpassing, Kevin Malone was on target with a very good point. Ballinrobe came back with two quick points in the 15th min before Filan once again was on the mark. Playing probably their best football the Mitchels scored through Kevin Malone, Dwayne Flynn and Jamie Fitzmaurice. Two clear chances of goal were well saved by the Ballinrobe keeper before Mitchels realized it was better to take the points. Tony Walkin and Paul Jordan traded points before Ballinrobe scored a good goal after a quick free in the 29th min. Showing great character and commitment, the Mitchels came storming down the field and Dwayne Flynn was upended in the penalty area. Following a small rumpus Flynn himself scored from the penalty spot to leave the half time score at Mitchels 1-8 Ballinrobe 1-4. Although it took time to realize that they were losing breaking ball, in general the support play and willingness to work was commendable. Brian Hennelly, Dara Larkin and Tim Byrne showed they were prepared to move forward and support the forwards. Kevin Malone was getting a lot of possession and Diarmuid Byrne and Kevin Filan were always a danger. Jamie Fitzmaurice made some telling runs and was ably assisted by Paul Jordan and Dwayne Flynn.

Mitchels started the second half with Eamonn Shaughnessy moving to centre field, while Richie Feeny went back to half back. Two min into the half Diarmuid Byrne extended the lead with a pointed free and also replied with another in the 7th min. Ballinrobe had a clear-cut goal chance in the 7th but Ciaran Naughton made an excellent save. Kevin Malone scored two points in the 12th and 19th min after some excellent work by Filan on both occasions. Flynn had a great effort in the 20 min effort goal charged down before Ballinrobe scored from a close in free. Niall Lydon, Ian Walsh, David Gordon and Ronan Burke all made an appearance during the last five mins before Diarmuid Byrne scored the final point in the 30 min of the half. Paul Harte, Declan Shaw and Brian Malone took up in the second half in support the forwards. With Shane Fitzmaurice rampant at centre field, he probably covered every blade of grass on the pitch, the Mitchel were getting some very good ball. Time and again Shane was back in the full back line and then up supporting the forwards.

Playing with a focus and a commitment not seen for a while, the Mitchels played excellent football at times. With the Championship only a few weeks away, the determination is becoming evident. The work rate and the willingness to support the ball are becoming key factors in the build up.

Ciaran Naughton : Brian Hennelly : Dara Larkin: Paul Harte : Brian Malone: Declan Shaw: Tim Byrne : Shane Fitzmaurice : Richie Feeney : Dwayne Flynn (1-1): Kevin Filan (0-3): Jamie Fitzmaurice (0-1): Diarmuid Byrne (0-3) : Kevin Malone (0-4): Paul Jordan (0-1) Subs used :Eamonn Shaughnessy , Niall Lydon , Ian Walsh, David Gordon and Ronan Burke

U21 Championship

The U21s are scheduled to play Kiltane in the Co U21 A Championship on Wed next. The team have been busily training for the past number of weeks. The team will not be announced until Wed evening.

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