Castlebar Mitchels 1-10
A GOAL in the fourth minute of additional time from super-sub Shane Scott catapulted Westport into the Mayo SFC Final for the first time since 1991 at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park in Castlebar on Sunday.
The pre-match favourites looked set for a shock exit when Castlebar Mitchels’ Ethan Gibbons converted a penalty two minutes earlier to put the underdogs two points in front.
But Westport managed to create one last goalscoring chance, and Scott fired the ball to the Mitchels net for a last-gasp winner.
In what was a dour affair played in front of a big crowd, Westport also led at half-time by 0-7 to 0-5 with Lee Keegan (2), Conal Dawson, Kevin Keane and Paul Lambert kicking the best of their scores.
Mitchels kept in touch with points from Ethan Gibbons (3, two frees), Seán Morahan and Ultan O’Reilly.
The second half was played along similar lines, with both teams largely cancelling each other out in a cagey and tactical affair.
By the 55th minute it looked like things were going to pan out along expected lines with Westport ahead by 0-11 to 0-8 after substitute Alan Kennedy fired over two scores in quick succession.
But Mitchels came roaring back into contention with a late burst and points from subs Conor Stenson and Mark Cunningham set up a nail-biting finish.
Things then took a dramatic twist in added-time when referee Declan Corcoran awarded a penalty for a foul on Castlebar substitute Mark Cunningham, and Ethan Gibbons stepped up to bury the penalty past Paddy O’Malley.
Westport were staring at a shock defeat at that stage but Shane Scott’s goal in the dying moments saw Martin Connelly’s men rescue victory from the jaws of defeat.
They will now meet Ballina Stephenites in the final in two weeks’ time.
P O’Malley; L Tunney, R Brickenden, N McManamon; L Shevlin, B McDermott, Paul Lambert (0-1); L Keegan (0-2), B O’Malley; C Dawson (0-2, 1f), F McDonagh, O McLaughlin; K Keane (0-1), M Moran, Pat Lambert (0-3, 2fs).
Subs used: A Kennedy (0-2, 1f) for Pat Lambert; S Scott (1-0) for McLaughlin.
R Byrne; S Morahan (0-2), J Tuohy, D Newcombe; M Fahy, G McDonagh, D McHugh; P Durcan (0-1), A O’Boyle; U O’Reilly (0-1), E Gibbons (1-4, 1-0pen, 3fs), B Tuohy; G Durcan, P Heneghan, E Murphy.
Subs used: M Cunningham (0-1) for Heneghan; C Stenson (0-1) for Newcombe; P Walsh for McDonagh.
Referee: K Connelly (Hollymount-Carramore).