Electric Ireland Connacht MFC: Roscommon defeat Galway
Electric Ireland Connacht Minor Football Championship Semi-Final
ROSCOMMON 2-13 GALWAY 0-11
By Kevin Egan at the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence
The 2020 championships saw several shock results at senior level and there was another turn up for the books in the minor grade at the Connacht Centre of Excellence as Roscommon turned over a highly fancied Galway side with a spectacular display, far more dominant than their eight-point winning margin would suggest.
The last time Roscommon beat Galway in a knockout minor championship game, current senior star Ronan Daly scored a crucial goal in a tense 1-11 to 1-9 extra time win at Tuam Stadium. There was no such tension here as the Rossies controlled every sector of the field, moving 13 points clear by the 55th minute, when centre back Alan McManus received a second yellow card.
With an extra man, Galway fired over six of the last seven points, but by then their race was run as Roscommon’s place in the Connacht final in three weeks’ time against either Mayo or Sligo was confirmed.
Manager Emmet Durney had stars everywhere. Jamesie Greene of Éire Óg neutralised Galway’s star midfielder Conall Gallagher, Roscommon’s back line produced any number of incredible turnovers and up front the inside duo of Darren Gately and Eoin Colleran delivered some magnificent scores.
Colleran, who attends secondary school in Garbally College in Galway, played the target man role to great effect while Gately delivered a sublime finish for Roscommon’s opening goal inside the first five minutes, capitalising on a commanding block from McManus in the middle third that initiated the move.
Maidhc Mac Gearailt scored two exquisite scores off his left for Galway, but he was the only shining light for the Tribesmen as Roscommon moved 1-9 to 0-4 ahead at half time. In their one clean sight of goal, a late penalty that was awarded for a push on Daniel O’Flaherty, luck wasn’t on their side. David Prendergast lost his footing as he took the kick, sending the ball high and over the bar.
Galway needed a fast start to the second half but didn’t get it, as instead Colleran and Conor Hand added points, before Roscommon wrapped up the game with a second goal just before the water break. U-16 player Colm Neary put his body on the line to win a scrappy ball at midfield in between three Galway men, and that kicked off the attack that ended with Hand placing the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the small square.
Centre forward Ryan Conlon crowned a hard-working performance with a point to make it 2-12 to 0-5 before Galway’s late rally, featuring points from substitutes Jack Dowd and Rory Donnellan, as well as centre back Darragh O’Malley, brought the gap back down to single figures.
Scorers for Roscommon: Conor Hand 1-4, Eoin Colleran 0-6 (4fs, 2ms), Darren Gately 1-1, Ryan Conlon 0-1, Bobby Nugent 0-1.
Scorers for Galway: Maidhc Mac Gearailt 0-4, Cillian Ó Curraoín 0-2f (2fs) David Prendergast 0-1 (pen), Conall Gallagher 0-1, Rory Donnellan 0-1, Jack Dowd 0-1, Darragh O’Malley 0-1.
ROSCOMMON: David Farrell; Michael Sugrue, Caelim Keogh, Luke Walsh; Colm Neary, Alan McManus, Eoin Ward; Oisín Cregg, Jamesie Greene; Shane Walsh, Ryan Conlon, Conor Hand; Aaron Shannon, Eoin Colleran, Darren Gately.
Subs: Bobby Nugent for Greene (46), Daniel Meeley for S Walsh (52), Thomas Lennon for L Walsh (56), Dylan Coleman for Cregg (60+1), Darragh O’Beirne for Shannon (60+4).
GALWAY: James Egan; Jack Ramsey, Eanna Donoghue, Morgan Morrin; Matthew Mulvaney, Darragh O’Malley, Adam Tierney; Conall Gallagher, Darragh Burke; Ryan Kavanagh, Maidhc Mac Gearailt, Liam Ó Conghaíle; Daniel O’Flaherty, Cillian Ó Curraoín, David Prendergast.
Subs: Rory Donnellan for Burke (17), Aaron Kavanagh for Ramsay (26), Gary Higgins for R Kavanagh (36), Jack Dowd for Ó Conghaíle (42), Jake Slattery for Prendergast (50).
REFEREE: Michael McGirl (Leitrim).