There were emotional scenes in Ballyheane on Good Friday when Castlebar Mitchels U-14 ladies won the West-Mayo Feile competition. The young ladies in red and yellow came out on top despite the fact that they had only fifteen players due to a number of their colleagues being away on holidays and it took a few frantic phone calls to gather a team, but when they took to the field they were in devastating form.
They faced Louisburgh in the semi-final and were on top throughout with Marie Keane and Rachel O'Malley driving forward from midfield and Shauna Conway and Avril Coyne tearing holes in the Louisburgh rearguard. The final score of 1-7 to 0-1 was a fair reflection on the match despite a gallant display from the Louisburgh girls.
The Mitchels were straight back into the fray in the final, only having a ten-minute break between matches and one wondered would the fact that there were no substitutes available have an impact as legs tired.
Local politician and leader of the opposition in Dail Eireann, Enda Kenny, threw in the ball at the beginning of a match that will live long in the memory. Breaffy had the aid of the breeze in the opening half and despite exerting huge pressure they were only 0-3 to 0-1 in front at the interval. The Castlebar girls knew that one massive effort would win the day and despite their tired legs they attacked from the throw-in.
O'Malley and Keane drove forward from the middle, Katie McManamon, Michelle Keane, Ciara Conway and Chloe Hilbert gave great assistance to their central colleagues, Coyne and Conway, as the red and yellows poured forward.
Castlebar were still a point behind entering the last four minutes when they were awarded a penalty and despite huge pressure Aisling Walsh blasted home the spot kick to the delight of her colleagues.
Another point soon after put Castlebar a goal up but Breaffy tore up the field in search of an equaliser.
Zara Conlon pulled off a great save to keep her side in front and with Anna Brezay, Mairead McLoughlin and Aisling Towey performing heroics in front of her and Joyce O'Grady and Alanna Hennigan winning ball after ball the Castlebar girls hung on for a wonderful victory that they will remember for a long time to come. Final score Castlebar Mitchels 1-3 Breaffy 0-3.
Castlebar: Zara Conlon; Alanna Hennigan, Mairead McLoughlin, Aisling Towey; Joyce O'Grady, Aisling Walsh, Chloe Hilbert; Rachel O'Malley, Marie Keane; Katie McManamon, Shauna Conway, Anna Brezay; Ciara Conway, Avril Coyne, Michelle Keane