by Brían Mangan
A blistering Sligo second half comeback which saw them outscore Roscommon 2-7 to 1-3 set them up for a Connacht Minor Semi Final against Mayo this coming Wednesday night, after a cracker in Markievicz Park. A comprehensive Galway win over Leitrim in Tuam this evening means they will await the winners in the Final. Tonight’s game was exciting from the first minute, with Roscommon racing out of the traps and knifing through the Sligo defence at will throughout the first half. However once Sligo reorganised at the break and got to grips at midfield the momentum swung completely in their favour and two outstanding Gavin Duffy goals in the 15th and 24th minutes set them up for an outstanding victory.
After an absorbing first half, Roscommon went in with a 5 point lead having struck for 3 brilliant goals. The first was started in the half back line, Sean Trundle and Ruaidhrí Fallon exchanged passes storming up the field before slipping to Mark Purcell who fired home. Talismanic full forward Aaron Oyiki was stuck in the next two goals, sliding the second home himself in the 22nd minute after a clever quick free from the dangerous Adam McDermott created the space, and returning the favour for McDermott by unselfishly setting him up for the third. Sligo were dangerous when they went forward and the gap would have been smaller if they had been a bit more clinical with relatively easy shots in front of the sticks. Eoghan Smith and Gavin Duffy split 0-6 between them in the first half, with Canice Mulligan also catching the eye at wing back.
A brilliant tip over save from the excellent Jack Teape denied Roscommon their fourth goal in the first minute of the second half, extending the gap to 6. The speedy substitute Jack Devitt had a huge impact for Sligo and points from him and Lee Deignan brought the Yeats men back into it, before a brilliant run from Eoghan Smith set up Duffy for his first goal midway through the half, levelling the scores. A class point a minute later from the same man completed the turn around, and Sligo never looked back. Led by Oran McDonagh and Joseph Keaney around the middle, Sligo poured forward and Duffy’s second goal added to points from Smith and the point of the game from corner back Oisin Hynes to set them on the road to the win. A late goal from Roscommon corner back Patrick Gavin made for a nervy final minute, but Sligo held out for a famous win after a top-class game played in perfect conditions in beautiful Markievicz Park.
SLIGO: J Teape, K Feely, M Connolly-McGowan, O Hynes, C Mulligan (0-1), C McKeon, C Finn, J Keaney, J Lavin, O McDonagh, E Smith (0-5, 0-2fs), C Matthews, L Deignan (0-1), O Gorman (0-1), G Duffy (2-4) SUBS: J Davitt (0-2), S Muldowney, D Walsh, L Casserly
ROSCOMMON: C Feely, P Gavin (1-0), C Glennon, C Lohan, S Trundle, R Fallon, O Cregg, C Feely, J McDermott, E Colleran, B O’Carroll (0-1), M Purcell (1-1, 0-1 ‘45), A McDermott (1-3, 0-3fs), A Oyiki (1-0), R Garvin (0-1) SUBS L Walsh, E Corcoran (0-1) S Keenan, G Murray, M Naughton