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Roscommon are Connacht U21 champions after a thrilling final against Galway

It was a six-goal cracker at Tuam Stadium.

Roscommon's Conor Hussey in pursuit of Dylan Corbett of Galway.
Roscommon's Conor Hussey in pursuit of Dylan Corbett of Galway.
Image: Mike Shaughnessy/INPHO

Roscommon 3-14
Galway 3-11

John Fallon reports from Tuam Stadium

ROSCOMMON CAPTURED THEIR ninth Connacht U21 title and retained it for the first time after an enthralling final last night in Tuam. The holders came from five points down in the opening half to win their fourth title in six years.

The teams were given a standing ovation from the crowd of 4,796 as they trooped off after a breathtaking first-half which was full of running and great scores.

It was exhibition football from two very skilful sides, with Roscommon recovering from the concession of two goals in the opening quarter to lead by 1-10 to 2-6 at the interval.

Roscommon raced into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead after seven minutes before Galway captain Damien Comer fired home the opening goal with a blistering left-footed shot to the roof of the net.

Comer and Colin Brady followed up with points to lead by 1-3 to 0-5 before Enda Tierney delivered their second goal after another good passing movement.

Michael Day was on top in midfield for Galway but Ultan Harney reduced the margin with one of his three opening-half points.

Jack Earley also found the range and then a one-two between Enda Smith and Harney saw the ball fall kindly for Cathal Compton to shoot to the net for Roscommon eight minutes from the break.

That reduced the margin to a point but Diarmuid Murtagh levelled with another pointed-free and then Shane Killoran got his second point to edge the Rossies in front.

Eamon Brannigan hit back with his second point of the half for Galway, but Murtagh’s fourth free left the champions ahead by a point at the end of an enthralling first-half.

Galway started the second-half superbly with three points in as many minutes to regain the lead.  The pace of the game did not dip but it took Roscommon 10 minutes to score in the second-half, with Murtagh hitting another free.

The Roscommon team The Roscommon panel who were crowned Connacht U21 Football champions. Source: Mike Shaughnessy/INPHO

The champions hit the front four minutes later when Murtagh fired home after a long delivery from Harney to lead by 2-11 to 2-9.

And they struck another telling blow after 47 minutes, when Enda Smith soloed through from the left and sent the ball across for Paul Kenny to fist to the net.

Roscommon never looked back from there, although they were forced to endure a nervous finish after Eamon Brannigan blasted home a goal for Galway.

Scorers for Roscommon: Diarmuid Murtagh 1-7 (0-6f), Cathal Compton, Paul Kenny 1-0 each, Ultan Harney 0-3, Shane Killoran 0-2, Jack Earley, Kieran Kilcline 0-1 each.

Scorers for Galway: Eamon Brannigan 1-3, Damien Comer 1-2 (0-1f), Enda Tierney 1-1, Colin Brady 0-3, Kieran Molloy, Johnny Heaney 0-1 each.

Roscommon

1. Shane Mannion (St Brigid’s)

2. Niall McInerney (St Brigid’s)
6. Cathal Kenny (Oran)
4. Denis Barron (Éire Óg)

5. Conor Hussey (Michael Glavey’s)
3. Seán Mulloly (Strokestown)
7. Ronan Daly (Padraig Pearses)

8. Cathal Compton (Strokestown)
9. Tadhg O’Rourke (Tulsk Lord Edward’s)

11. Ultan Harney (Clann na nGael)
13. Diarmuid Murtagh (St.Faithleach’s)
14. Enda Smith (Boyle)

10. Shane Killoran (Elphin)
15. Paul Kenny (Oran)
12. Jack Earley (Oran)

Subs:

19. Evan McGrath (Boyle) for Hussey (22)
22. Kieran Kilcline (Roscommon Gaels) for Killoran (35)
24. Noel Gately (Creggs/St Ciaran’s) for Earley (41)
21. Kevin Finn (Strokestown) for Harney (50)
20. Thomas Corcoron (Strokestown) for O’Rourke (54)
23. Diarmuid McGann (Strokestown) for Kenny (59)

Galway

1. Tadhg O’Malley (Leitir Mor)

6. Adrian Nolan (Killererin)
3. Jack Wyndam (An Cheathru Rua)
4. Kieran Molloy (Corofin)

7. Liam Silke (Corofin)
9. Conor Cunningham (Corofin)
2. Eoghan Kerin (Annaghdown)

8. Michael Day (Headford)
5. Dylan Corbett (Headford)

12. Colin Brady (Corofin)
14. Damien Comer (Annaghdown)
11. Johnny Heaney (Killannin)

10. Enda Tierney (Oughterard)
13. Eamon Brannigan (St Michael’s)
15. Gary Kelly (Williamstown)

Subs:

21. Martin Farragher (Corofin) for Kelly (24)
20. Eoin Finnerty (Mountbellew-Moylough) for Corbett (50)
22. Paul Mannion (Kilconly) for Brady (58)
24. Joe Donnellan (Cortoon Shamrocks) for Brannigan (60)

Referee: Jerome Henry (Mayo).

This article was first published on 4 April at 19.58pm

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About the author:

John Fallon

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