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Watch: Incredible Footage Of Dramatic Conclusion To 2006 Mayo Final

Watch: Incredible Footage Of Dramatic Conclusion To 2006 Mayo Final
Eoin Harrington
By Eoin Harrington
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In a year in which the men's intercounty team reached the All-Ireland final, 2006 was also a vintage year for the Mayo men's senior football championship.

The dramatic conclusion to the 2006 Mayo final saw Crossmolina Deel Rovers deny Ballaghaderreen right at the death, and the footage of their last-gasp goal is extraordinary.

Ciaran McDonald saved Crossmolina in 2006 Mayo final

The 2006 Mayo final saw strong favourites Crossmolina face off with Ballaghaderreen. Crossmolina were six-times county champions at that point, and came into the game off the back of triumphs in 1995, '99, 2000, '02 and '05. Ballaghaderreen, on the other hand, came into the game looking for just their second ever county title.

It looked for the majority of that 2006 final that there would be a major upset, with Ballaghaderreen on the brink of a first ever Mayo county championship as the game ticked into the 65th minute.

Leading 1-11 to 1-8 in injury time, and with a man advantage after the sending off of Crossmolina man Henry McLoughlin, had Ballaghaderreen on the verge of victory, before a late free from Ciaran McDonald changed everything.


Mayo intercounty star McDonald fired in the free from 30+ yards and, with the help of a deflection, he sensationally found the net to level the game with virtually the last kick of the game.

Crossmolina went on to win the replay a week later, and Ballaghaderreen would have to wait until 2008 to claim their maiden title.


It's a thrilling moment - and one that Crossmolina still use to get one over on their rivals from time to time. In late 2021, Crossmolina tweeted a clip of McDonald's crucial goal with the caption "U FEELIN LUCKY TODAY? Lotto €16,650!!" promoting their club lotto, in a rather cheeky nod to their good fortune in 2006.

It was the best fortune that McDonald enjoyed in a showpiece game that year, as he and Mayo were denied at the final hurdle of the All-Ireland football championship by the perennially consistent Kerry team of the mid-2000s.

Kerry Mayo 2006 final

17 September 2006; Ciaran McDonald, Mayo, in action against Mike Frank Russell and Tommy Griffin, Kerry. Bank of Ireland All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final, Kerry v Mayo, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

We've rarely seen a conclusion to a club game as dramatic as that between Crossmolina and Ballaghaderreen in 2006, and we're thrilled that the footage shared by Crossmolina allows us to relive it.

SEE ALSO: Queen's Get One Over On Belfast Rivals Ulster University In Sigerson Cup First Round

10 January 2023; Luke Donnelly of Queen's University Belfast celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the Electric Ireland Higher Education GAA Sigerson Cup Round 1 match between between Queens University Belfast and Ulster University at The Dub in Queens University, Belfast. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile



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