Electric Ireland Connacht MFC: Roscommon advance in a goal-fest
Electric Ireland Connacht Minor Football Quarter-Final
ROSCOMMON 4-13 MAYO 2-12
Kevin Egan at Dr. Hyde Park
It's been an incredible 48 hour for Roscommon football supporters, particularly those living in the western end of the county around the Mayo border, as their county minor footballers completed an underage double over the county's western neighbours with a seven-point victory at Dr. Hyde Park this evening.
This win follows their U-20 victory in Castlebar on Tuesday, and sets up another big local derby against Galway in eight days’ time, with Tuam Stadium the venue for that fixture.
The crucial spell in the game was the last ten minutes of the first half, when four goals were scored, including three for the Rossies.
In a very competitive opening quarter where both sides burst out of the blocks, Ryan Conlon's penalty after 12 minutes had edged the Rossies in front, 1-3 to 0-5, and the Roscommon Gaels man was again involved in a move that saw Robert Heneghan float a high handpass across the goal and Shane McGinley leap highest to touch it over the line for their second goal.
A powerful run and finish from Colm Neary pushed the Rossies seven clear, and Neary, who was part of the 2020 minor panel that recently finished up their season with an All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Kerry, followed up a Bobby Nugent free with another point to make it 3-5 to 0-5.
Mayo got a crucial break when a foul on James Maheady as he shot for goal meant were awarded a penalty, and even though Roscommon goalkeeper Seán Kelly did brilliantly to parry Fiachra Cruise's initial effort, the bounce fell perfectly into Cruise's hands for an easy finish for the Bohola player.
Roscommon were undeterred, and on the next play McGinley returned the favour for Heneghan by making an incisive run in along the left-hand end line and feeding the ball across for Heneghan to palm in a goal.
4-6 to 1-8 at half time became 4-9 to 1-9 thanks to two excellent scores from DJ Hession and another Nugent free, but any Roscommon complacency was wiped away just before the water break when a lightning quick move from Mayo ended with substitute Ben McHale producing a stunning finish into the top corner to bring Mayo right back into the contest.
Shane Walsh settled the home side’s nerves with the next score of the game, but Mayo continued to chase goals, and were desperately unlucky to see Tom O’Flaherty’s effort crsh off the post and out to safety.
With that reprieve on their side, Roscommon were able to sit back and absorb the pressure, while retaining a breakaway threat that allowed Shane Walsh and James McGreal to fire over good insurance scores to seal their win.
Scorers for Roscommon: Bobby Nugent 0-4 (0-2f), Shane McGinley (0-1m), Colm Neary & Robert Heneghan (0-1f) 1-1 each, Ryan Conlon 1-0 (pen), DJ Hession 0-3, Shane Walsh 0-2, James McGreal 0-1.
Scorers for Mayo: Ronan Clarke 0-5f, Fiachra Cruise 1-1, Ben McHale 1-0, Conal Dawson & Pierce Deane (0-1f) 0-2 each, Cathal Corless & Anthony Browne 0-1 each.
Roscommon: Sean Kelly; Daniel Casey, Conor Harley, James Brady; James McGreal, Ethan O’Reilly, Eden Kerins; Shane Walsh, DJ Hession; Rory Hester, Bobby Nugent, Ryan Conlon; Colm Neary, Shane McGinley, Robert Heneghan.
Subs: Oisín O’Flaherty for Hester (half-time), Paddy Higgins for Kerins (43), Rory Carthy for Nugent (46), Anthony Durr for Harley (54), Adam McGreal for Conlon (60+1).
Mayo: Tiernan Burke; Lorcan Silke, Jack Walsh, Brendan Collins; Cathal Corless, Jack Ferguson, Conal Dawson; Sean Morahan, Diarmuid Duffy; Seán Neary, Fiachra Cruise, Tom O’Flaherty; James Maheady, Ronan Clarke, Pierce Deane.
Subs: Anthony Browne for Silke (25), Ben McHale for Neary (half-time), Conor Mulroy for Duffy (43), Adam Beirne for O’Flaherty (54), Sean Sweeney for Deane (57), Briain Breslin for Collins (58, temp).
Referee: Ronan Hynes (Sligo)