by Brían Mangan
A mighty second half performance by the Roscommon minors saw them over turn an 8 point half time deficit to complete a brilliant comeback victory over Galway in Hyde Park in Round 1 of the Electric Ireland Minor Championship. The key moment came in the 47th minute when substitute Aaron Oyiki latched onto a dropping ball in the full forward line before lashing an unstoppable rocket into the top right hand corner of Donie Hallorans net to put the Rossies a point up, from where they never looked back.
There was a very exciting start to the match, with opposing number 7s Sean Trundle and Daniel McNulty both landing excellent ling range scores in the opening 2 minutes. Galway’s forwards were looking deadly dangerous, and 5 of them had scored in the first 10 minutes, with Daniel O’Flaherty and Ethan Fiorentini bombing on from deep and James McLoughlin dominating in the air. Nathan Grainger then dived on a loose ball in front of the Roscommon goal and his palmed effort squirmed past James Costello in the Roscommon goal in the thirteenth minute, putting Galway 1-6 to 0-2 ahead. However a lengthy hold up due to the unfortunate injury to Daire Cregg (we wish Daire a swift recovery) broke the momentum for Galway and Roscommon steadied the ship, eventually going in 1-11 to 0-6 down and looking in serious trouble.
The home team came out on fire in the second half and tore into Galway from the throw in. Led by Cathal Feely, Ben O’Carroll and the outstanding Adam McDermott, Roscommon stunned their guests with a gutsy display that saw them fling themselves at every loose ball and totally take over at midfield. McDermott kicked two beauties off his left foot to nudge his team in front after Oyikis cracker, and they held on for victory which was raucously celebrated by the large crowd in attendance at the Hyde. There was one late scare however as 12 Rossies on the line were able to keep James McLaughlins last minute 13 metre free out, the rebound volleyed over for a point. It now sets up an interesting round next week with Roscommon travelling to play Mayo in Ballina, who themselves had a comfortable win over Leitrim in Round 1, and Galway hosting Sligo in Tuam.
ROSCOMMON: J Costello, P Gavin, T Shine, C Lohan, C Glennon, O Cregg, S Trundle (0-2, 0-1f), R Fallon, J McDermott (0-1), C Feely (0-3), D Cregg (0-1), M Purcell (0-1), B O’Carroll, E Colleran (0-2), A McDermott (0-7, 0-2fs) SUBS M Naughton, A Oyiki (1-0), J Downey, E Corcoran
GALWAY: D Halloran, J McGrath, R King, L Tevnan, E Fiorentini, D Kennedy, D McNulty (0-1), J McLaughlin, D O’Flaherty, A Naughton (0-2, 0-1f), D Cox (0-2), D Brady (0-1), N Grainger (1-1), T Culhane (0-6, 0-3fs), W Seoige SUBS C Hernon, C Gallagher, N Cunningham, S Cunningham (0-1)