Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor B Hurling Championship Quarter-Final
Ian Cooney at Athleague
Roscommon hurling hasn’t had much to cheer about this season but the county minor team indicated that there’s light at the end of tunnel with a thrilling victory against Donegal in perfect conditions at Athleague on Saturday afternoon.
It was a sweet win for Micheál Mulry’s charges who were beaten by the same opposition 12 months ago. But the hard work put in by the players and management since the start of the year paid off in spades when they edged a pulsating spectacle that represented a wonderful advertisement for underage hurling.
The home side relied on Daniel Glynn’s point in the second minute of injury time to force extra time. But the momentum from Glynn’s score was carried into the additional 20-minute period as Roscommon edged out a brave Donegal side that were reduced to 14 men when wing-back Justin McBride was shown a red card for a wild tackle on Noel Gately.
Incredibly, Glynn finished with 0-16 over the 80 minutes and Gately, who was the Roscommon minor football team’s most potent forward this season, ended the afternoon with a personal haul of 2-2.
Glynn set the tone for his lucrative catch with two points early on. Roscommon seemed to have more options in attack, while Donegal relied on full-forward Tom Clare and centre-back Jack Lochlainn for the bulk of their scores from frees.
Roscommon’s opening goal arrived in the fifth minute when John Brennan’s superb crossfield pass picked out Gately and he goaled with aplomb. The second goal arrived a minute before the break when a typical brain-storming run by the Athleague/Tremane forward yielded a second green flag to hand Roscommon a 2-8 to 0-9 interval advantage.
But the home side fell asleep in the third quarter. When Stephen Doherty goaled for the visitors after 47 minutes, Donegal hit the front. Roscommon responded but all looked lost when Cathal Doherty deflected Sam Doherty’s long delivery to the net with five minutes remaining.
But Roscommon refused to throw in the towel and a brace of Glynn frees was followed by the equaliser deep into injury time.
Roscommon sensed blood and Glynn (2), Raymond Farrell and Gately pointed in the first period of extra time. A couple of frees from Eddie Lynch reduced the arrears but Glynn finally sealed the deal with two late points.
ROSCOMMON: K. Kelly; M. Kellehan, M. Beirne, J. Gunning; B. Fallon, J. Martin, T. Clayton; G. Keenan, A. Finnerty; N. Gately (2-2), D. Keaveney (0-1), B. Lawlor; D. Glynn (0-16, seven frees), D. Ryan (0-1), J. Brennan (0-3). Subs used: S. Dunne (0-1) for Ryan (27 mins), D. Kelly for Lawlor (half-time), J. Walker for Keaveney (45 mins), R. Farrell (0-1) for Brennan (55 mins), D. Mullen for Finnerty (65 mins), B. Lawlor for Kelly (70 mins).
DONEGAL: D. Ireland; A. Stokes, C. Ramney, C. Griffin; Sam Doherty (0-1), J. Lochlainn (0-5, three frees, two ’65s), J. McBride; C. O’Grady, Stephen Doherty (1-1); E. Drumond (0-1), E. Lynch (0-3, two frees), O. Rooney (0-1); C. Doherty (1-1), T. Clare (0-7, all; frees), P. Nelson. Subs used: M. Carr (0-1) for Nelson (47 mins), S. Curran (0-1) for Lochlainn (65 mins), Stephen Doherty for C. Doherty (68 mins), D. McCarron for Clare (70 mins).
Wides: Roscommon – 16; Donegal – 8.
Yellow Cards: Roscommon – Martin (36 mins); Donegal – Rooney (53 mins).
Red Cards: Roscommon – none; Donegal – McBride (65 mins).
Referee: B. Sweeney (Cavan).
Player of the Match: Daniel Glynn (Roscommon). The Padraig Pearses player fired over the opening point from play inside a minute. It set the tone for a masterful display that yielded 0-16 overall.
Noel Gately took his two goals brilliantly and his pace terrorised the Donegal defence. Goalkeeper Kelvin Kelly, Tomás Clayton, Jason Martin, John Brennan and substitute Seán Dunne also did well for the winners.
Centre-back Jack Lochlainn was central to Donegal’s revival in the second half. Stephen Doherty, Oisín Rooney and Eddie Lynch also gave a good account of themselves.