Connacht Junior Championship Quarter Final
by Brían Mangan
A cracking Connacht Junior Semi Final in MacHale Park on Tuesday evening saw a last gasp Ciaran Boylan goal seal a 2-15 to 1-17 victory for Mayo over a fancied Roscommon outfit with many of their senior panellists on show.
Mayo had the better of the 1st half with the help of the breeze and some wayward Roscommon shooting, as they missed 4 good goal opportunities in the opening stages. Mayo sub Jason Forkan opened the scoring with a nice point from a narrow angle but Roscommon responded with a fisted Shane Dowd goal after a flowing forward line move. At the 15 minute mark Mayo led 1-3 to 1-2, with their goal coming from the outstanding Cormac Doohan, who kicked 1-2 in the first half. Mayo then took control of the game, with Seán Walsh and Pete Gallagher strong at midfield and skipper Brendan Carr landing four lovely frees out of four. The half time score saw Mayo full value for their 1-8 to 1-5 lead.
Roscommon came out and wrestled control of the contest in the second period and aided by Ciaran Lennon off the bench and some fine shooting by Finbar Cregg and Hubert Darcy they established a three point lead midway through the half, which they maintained until the final moments when Boylan struck. Mayo management must take huge credit for this victory as they employed a piece of rarely seen tactical innovation with “fly” goalkeeper Matthew Flanagan coming in for the last 3 minutes and playing a huge part in the winning goal, creating a vital overlap. Brendan Carr had a huge game for Mayo around the middle with his free taking from all angles as good as you would see anywhere, while Fergal Lennon and Ultan Harney had big games in defence for the Rossies. Mayo now advance to play Leitrim next Wednesday in the semi final of the competition. Galway and Sligo meet next Thursday in the other semi final.
Mayo: C McGlynn, E McGrath (0-1), J O’Dowd, E Doran, J Dowd, B Leonard, C Bourke, P Gallagher, S Walsh, J Kelly, C Bohan, B Carr (c) (0-7, 0-6fs), C Doohan (1-3), TJ Byrne (0-2), D Joyce SUBS: J Forkan (0-1) for Dowd, C Boylan (1-1) for Leonard, K Hopkins for Bohan, S Lally for for Joyce, D Lydon for Gallagher, M Flanagan for McGlynn
Roscommon: J Featherstone, T McKenna, P Domican, F Lennon, C Hussey (0-1), U Harney, R Daly, C Daly, P Kelly, S Dowd (1-0), R Timothy (c) (0-1), H Walsh, C Cregg (0-2), H Darcy (0-6,0-5fs), F Cregg (0-5,0-3fs) SUBS: C Lennon (0-2) for S Dowd, R Hughes for H Walsh, D Pettit for McKenna, A Lyons for Harney. A Dowd for C Cregg, L Cregg for R Daly