by Brían Mangan
Roscommon advanced to the Connacht U20 Final after a 3 point win over Sligo in Markievicz Park today after a lacklustre game that never really sparked to life. A very slow start cost the home side dearly as they never got into the match and allowed Roscommon far too much space to throw the ball around, with half forwards Paul McManus and man of the match Ruairi Fallon capitalising and having enjoying fine games for the visitors.
The Rossies started brightly with 2 sweetly struck Ciaran Lawless 45s in the opening minutes getting them on the board. They then received an absolute present in the 12th minute when goalkeeper Daniel Lyons kicked out straight into the grateful arms of Adam McDermott, who couldn’t believe his luck and rolled into the empty net to give his team a six point lead. Roscommon then rested in their laurels a small bit and didn’t push on despite their utter dominance, a fine Keith Doyle point from long range one of the only moments of inspiration as the rain intensified. Sligo only had an Alan Reilly point to show for their first half efforts before Red Óg Murphy converted a penalty on the stroke of half time to leave the score 1-6 to 1-1 and give the home supporters some belief.
Sligo came straight out of the blocks and Conor Murray scored with their first attack of the half after good work from Joe Keaney. The comeback never materialised however as Sligo were never able to properly narrow the gap and when Peter Gillolly landed his second free of the day in the 19th minute of the second half Roscommon led by 7, 1-10 to 1-3. Sligo rallied and kicked the next four to narrow the gap to three as the game entered extra time, but Roscommon were never in danger and were able to see the game out comfortably to win by 3 in the finish, 1-11 to 1-8.
Roscommon now await the winners of the postponed game between Leitrim and Galway in the Connacht Final.
SLIGO: D Lyons, J Lavin, E Lyons, K O’Hara, S Carroll, C Surlis, E Sweeney, G Gorman, R Óg Murphy (1-2 fs), S Deignan, E Smith, C Murray (0-2), B Cafferky, A Reilly (0-1), J Keaney SUBS: J Carroll, G Duffy (0-2, 0-1f), O McCann, N Murphy
ROSCOMMON: M O’Donnell, P Frost, C Walsh, D Gaughan, C Murray (0-1), N Higgins, P McGrath, K Doyle (0-1), C Lawless (0-2fs), R Fallon, P McManus, P Carey (0-2, 0-1f), A McDermott (1-1, 0-1f), D Walsh (0-1), P Gillooly (0-2fs) SUBS R Dolan, A Lyons (0-1f), J Martin, D Sumner, C Sugrue