EirGrid Connacht U20 Final: Galway overpower Roscommon
EirGrid Connacht U20 Football Final
GALWAY 4-13 ROSCOMMON 0-5
By Declan Rooney at Tuam Stadium
Galway and Kerry will do battle in the Eirgrid All-Ireland U-20 football semi-final after the Tribesmen ran out convincing winners against Roscommon in the Connacht final at Tuam Stadium.
Goals from Tomo Culhane and Cian Monahan in the first half were added to by Jonathan McGrath and Ryan Monahan strikes in the second half
The defending champions pulled away in the final quarter as Matthew Tierney and Cathal Sweeney kicked further points despite the shocking conditions.
With a vicious wind blowing straight down the pitch it seemed as if Roscommon’s win of the toss and decision to play with the wind was a significant moment, and when Ciaran Lawless pointed from outside the 45 in the opening minute it looked like we were set for one-way traffic, but they didn’t build on that early lead.
At the other end Galway’s tactics were perfect: they carried the ball well out of defence, kept their deliveries low to the ground, and they moved the ball quickly through the hands and the chances soon arrived.
Matthew Tierney levelled matters with a very tough free into the wind, and midway through the first half the key score of the game arrived. Cathal Sweeney’s long solo run launched the attack for Galway, while an exchange of passes involving Culhane and Alan Greene resulted in a cracking goal from Culhane.
Three minutes later they repeated the dose when Culhane battled hard to force a turnover. Again the pass was crisp from Ryan Monahan, before Culhane laid on the final pass for Cian Monahan’s goal and a 2-1 to 0-1 lead.
After neglecting the chance to shoot from distance for 20 minutes Roscommon began to play with conditions again. Paul McManus clipped over a lovely point from 50 metres, while Darragh Walsh and McManus found the target before the interval.
There was time for a Culhane free and a super score from Tony Gill as Galway led 2-3 to 0-4 at the break, and shortly after the restart Matthew Tierney stretched that lead with a 45.
Any doubts as to the winners were extinguished in the third minute of the half when Matthew Cooley’s shot hit the post, and quickest to the rebound, Ryan Monahan, hit the net with a low shot.
A fourth goal came Galway’s way in the 37th minute when McGrath’s shot from long range slipped under the crossbar.
There was no stopping Galway with that cushion and the impressive Ryan Monahan, sub Eoin Mannion and Cathal Sweeney added to the runaway victory in the closing stages.
Scorers for Galway: Ryan Monahan 1-2, Tomo Culhane 1-1 (1f), Cian Monahan 1-0, Jonathan McGrath 1-0, Matthew Tierney 0-4 (2f, 1’45), Cathal Sweeney 0-3, Tony Gill 0-1, Alan Greene 0-1, Eoin Mannion 0-1
Scorers for Roscommon: Paul McManus 0-2, Darragh Walsh 0-1, Ciaran Lawless 0-1, Thomas O’Rourke 0-1 (1f),
GALWAY: Conor Flaherty; Jonathan McGrath, Seán Fitzgerald, Jack Glynn; Cian Monahan, Tony Gill, Cathal Sweeney; Paul Kelly, James McLaughlin; Conor Raftery, Matthew Tierney, Ryan Monahan; Alan Greene, Tomo Culhane, Matthew Cooley. Subs: Eoin Mannion for Cooley (42), MacDara Geraghty for Raftery (49), Daniel Cox for Greene (51), Dara Whelan for McGrath (51), Brian Mannion for Culhane (56).
ROSCOMMON: Daniel Connolly; Pearse Frost, Colin Wlash, Dylan Gaughan; Cian Murray, Niall Higgins, Ruairi Fallon; Keith Doyle, Ciaran Lawless; Paul McGrath, Paul McManus, Paul Carey; Peter Gillooly, Andrew Lyons, Darragh Walsh. Subs: Adam McDermott for Gillooly (half-time), Robbie Dolan for Murray (36), Shane Cunnane for Doyle (37), Ciaran Sugrue for Carey (41), Thomas O’Rourke for McManus (53).
Referee: Declan Corcoran (Mayo).