Roscommon Herald columnist Canon Liam Devine took great delight in seeing two famous Roscommon victories being featured nationally recently…
Roscommon’s football followers got a welcome boost last weekend when highlights of the 2017 Connacht final victory over Galway were featured on the Sunday Game. For some reason, I didn’t get to that game and so it was great to watch it again on television.
Roscommon played some brilliant football that day and adapted very well to the wet conditions in Pearse Stadium. I will never forget the direct football and the brilliant pass from Diarmuid Murtagh that led to Cian Connolly’s goal. Brian Stack’s second-half goal was the result of a brilliant solo run and finish low into the Galway net. There was no way back for the Tribesmen after that goal.
The Roscommon forwards scored some great points, particularly the Murtagh brothers and Fintan Cregg. The point of the match, and probably the score of that year’s championship, was the point that Donie Smith scored with his left foot from out near the sideline. Even Pat Spillane acknowledged afterwards that it was a brilliant score.
Roscommon won by 2-15 to 0-12 against all the odds.
I watched the 2006 All-Ireland minor final replay again recently. It was broadcast on the GAA’s website. I had to watch it on my mobile phone but it was still very enjoyable.
Roscommon were clearly the better team and should have won by a lot more than four points in the end. Many good chances of scores were missed from very favourable positions.
The Roscommon backs were outstanding. Niall Carty had a brilliant game at right-half back. He received good assistance from Stephen Ormsby, Peter Domican, Paul Gleeson and David Flynn.
Donie Shine had a fine game at midfield and was ably assisted by the hard working David Keenan. David O’Gara was excellent at left corner-forward and his goal early in the second half was the turning point of the game. Conor Devaney, Fintan Cregg and substitute Alan O’Hara all played well and contributed handsomely to the 1-10 to 0-9 victory.
The fact that Roscommon didn’t concede a goal meant that the team had created a record. Roscommon are the only team in the history of the minor championship to go through the entire campaign without conceding even a single goal. That record cannot now be broken because the minor championship is now the U-17 championship.
Goalkeeper Mark Miley must take a bow in that he has made history.