Roscommon advanced to the final of the U17 Connacht Championship after a 1-14 to 0-11 victory over Leitrim in an entertaining game played in roasting hot sunshine in Hyde Park on Sunday.
Roscommon started the brighter of the two teams, and led by 2 points to nil inside a minute before a point from Leitrim dangerman Jordan Reynolds reduced the deficit. The teams then traded points for the next 15 minutes with Shane Cunnane and Ciaran Sugrue on target for the Rossies and Oisín McLoughlin getting a beautiful score for Leitrim after a nice dummy created the space for himself. Roscommon then went up a gear, with centre forward Peter Gillooly standing out, one point in particular coming on the end of a powerful solo run through the heart of the defence. 0-8 to 0-4 was the score at half time as the crowd began to flood into the sun-drenched Hyde Park in anticipation of the senior game.
The second half was barely a minute old when sharp shooting corner forward Ciaran Sugrue rifled to the Leitrim net to leave a 7 point margin between the teams, and try as they might, the Leitrim men couldn’t quite close the gap much further than this. Best for Leitrim on the day were corner forwards Reynolds and McLoughlin aswell as corner back Conor O’Dwyer and midfielder Aaron Hoare. Gillooly continued to impress in the second half for Roscommon and kicked some class scores, along with Ciaran Sugrue who scored 1-3 from play and midfielder Shane Cunnane. The Roscommon half back line was the launch pad for many of their attacks with Higgins, Lennon and Martin all having strong games.
LEITRIM: 1. J Gallogly 2. C Cullen 3. C McHugh 4 C O’Dwyer 5. M Keegan 6. D Casey 7. D Maguire 8. A Hoare 9. D O’Connell 10. C Mallon 11. S Goldrick 12. M McGee (0-1) 13. J Reynolds (0-4,3fs) 14. M Diffley 15. O McLoughlin (0-4, 2fs) Subs A McCawley, D McGloin (0-1), F MCGovern, V Sweeney (0-1)
ROSCOMMON 1. M O’Donnell 2. D Horan 3. J Keane 4. P Frost 5. N Higgins 6. O Lennon 7. J Martin 8. T McManus 9. S Cunnane (0-3fs)10. P McManus (0-1) 11. P Gillooly (0-5, 1f) 12. C Lawless 13 C Sugrue (1-3) 14. A Lyons (0-1) 15. P Carey Subs J Larkin (0-1), D Murray, D Regan, R Donoghue