Saturday, November 12, 2022

The St, Ronan’s junior football panel that have reached this year’s Connacht final.


A fairytale season for St. Ronan’s has at least one more chapter to be penned as the North Roscommon club booked their place in the Connacht Junior Club Football Championship final following a terrific 1-12 to 0-9 victory against Owenmore Gaels at Dr. Hyde Park.

The Sligo side hadn’t played in seven weeks, but it had been an equally difficult week for Ronan’s, having lost last weekend’s county final replay against Pádraig Pearses alongside mourning the death of club stalwart Paddy Conway.

But their superior fitness stood to them in the last five minutes as they kicked an unanswered 1-3 to book their place in a historic provincial decider.

Mark Walsh’s strong running from deep was a potent weapon for the visitors in the opening half, and Ronan’s would have been happy to be level, 0-5 apiece, at the break.

Stephen Sheeran and Declan Noone’s side could never shake off their opponents, and despite points from play from Thomas McManus, Gary O’Daly and Jason Glynn, the sides were still level, 0-9 apiece, after 55 minutes.

But Ronan’s showed the character that has won them many admirers this season, and a point from Liam Killoran was sandwiched between two frees from John Keavney.

Then, deep into injury time, Keavney set up Ronan Kelly for an emphatic finish — the forward’s third goal in as many games — to confirm St. Ronan’s place in the provincial club final.

From the brink of extinction a few years ago to a Connacht club decider in 2022 — it’s the stuff that dreams are made of.

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