Electric Ireland Connacht Minor Football Quarter-Final
ROSCOMMON 4-13 MAYO 2-12
Kevin Egan at Dr. Hyde Park
It’s been an incredible 48 hour for Roscommon football supporters, particularly those living around the Mayo border, as the county minor footballers completed a double over the county’s western neighbours with a seven-point victory at Dr. Hyde Park this evening.
The crucial spell in the game was the last ten minutes of the first half, when four goals were scored, including three for the Rossies. Ryan Conlon’s penalty after 12 minutes had edged the Rossies in front, 1-3 to 0-5, and the Roscommon Gaels man was again involved in a move that saw Robert Heneghan float a high handpass across the goal and Shane McGinley leap highest to touch it over the line.
A powerful run and finish from Colm Neary pushed the Rossies seven clear, and Neary followed up a Bobby Nugent free with another point to make it 3-5 to 0-5.
Mayo got a crucial break when they were awarded a penalty, and even though Seán Kelly did brilliantly to parry Fiachra Cruise’s initial effort, the bounce fell perfectly into Cruise’s hands for an easy finish for the Bohola player.
Roscommon were undeterred, and on the next play McGinley returned the favour for Heneghan by making an incisive run in along the left-hand end line and feeding the ball across for Heneghan to palm in a goal.
4-6 to 1-8 at half time became 4-9 to 1-9 thanks to some excellent scores from DJ Hession and another Nugent free, but any Roscommon complacency was wiped away just before the water break when a lightning quick move from Mayo ended with substitute Ben McHale producing a stunning finish into the top corner to rattle the Roscommon net.
A good score from Shane Walsh settled the home side’s nerves and while Mayo enjoyed the greater share of possession in the final quarter, they only created one further goal chance, with luck not on their side as Tom O’Flaherty was first denied by Kelly and then hammered his second effort into the post.
The win completes an incredible U-20 and minor double for Roscommon over Mayo, and sets up a semi-final clash with Galway at Tuam Stadium in eight days’ time.