Saturday, July 31, 2021

Electric Ireland Connacht Minor Football semi-final

ROSCOMMON 1-16        GALWAY             2-12                                    

Kevin Egan at Tuam Stadium

Roscommon’s remarkable underage year continues to enthrall and entertain the county, and tonight it was the turn of the minors to produce heroics and they delivered an incredible comeback at Tuam Stadium to set up a Connacht final tilt against Sligo next Friday night.

After making a bright start with early points from Ryan Conlon and Shane McGinley, Galway completely took control of affairs and quickly marched into an 11-point lead. Sean Bermingham and Eanna Monaghan registered goals and a series of points, wing backs Jack Folan and Cormac Greaney got into the act with some sublime points, and at midfield the towering duo of Daithi Kilcommins and Hugh Gavin were controlling possession.

Roscommon made a brief rally just before half-time to give themselves some hope, with Bobby Nugent scoring from a free and a mark either side of another Conlon point, and at 2-8 to 0-6 adrift at half time with a deceptively strong breeze set to favour them for the second half hour, there was still plenty of hope shared among the vocal Roscommon support in the ground.

Galway got the second half underway with an excellent free off the ground from Jack Nolan, but Roscommon quickly rediscovered their rhythm and struck the next five points on the spin up to the water break, continuing their dominance even after James McGreal was black-carded.

Their challenge really burst into life with the next score after the restart, a powerful drive from Robert Heneghan that rattled the roof of the Galway net. By now the Rossies had all the momentum and while Galway replied with two points, the tide turned when Luc O’Connor was black-carded for a tackle on Nugent, just as McGreal was due to come back on. Nugent pointed the free and Roscommon went on another surge, moving two ahead in stoppage time before Galway mounted one last attack.

It all boiled down to a 13 metre free that was blasted towards goal by Eanna Monaghan, but fizzed inches above the crossbar as opposed to below it, meaning that Roscommon and Sligo will meet in the Connacht minor final for the second year in a row next weekend.

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