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Friday 3 February 2023 Dublin: 12°C
Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO Roscommon's Keith Doyle celebrates at the final whistle.
# Rossies
Roscommon produce late rally to see off Down and book All-Ireland U20 place
They’ll play Offaly in the final next Sunday in Croke Park.

Roscommon 2-13

Down 1-10

Kevin Egan reports from Kingspan Breffni 

A 2021 EIGRID U-20 football championship that has delivered one remarkable story after another came up trumps again tonight at Kingspan Breffni Park, as Roscommon produced a memorable final quarter comeback to upset Down and set up a final clash with Offaly next Sunday in Croke Park.

In just over eight hours’ time, Irish eyes will collective turn to Tokyo to see if Kellie Harrington is able to deliver a famous gold medal, and to use a boxing analogy, this contest in Cavan was one where Down were ahead on the judge’s scorecards – if not necessarily on the scoreboard – for long stretches, but they were sucker punched by a late Roscommon surge.

Crucial to this was the emergency surgery carried out by the Roscommon sideline. Down controlled midfield, they had the stronger runners through the middle third, and it was only Roscommon’s greater efficiency that kept them in touch.

By the time the final quarter began, Roscommon had used four replacements, and each one improved things. Ruaidhrí Fallon was freed up to go to midfield where he made a big impact by the introduction of Sean Trundle, David Wynne added energy and speed to Roscommon’s link up play, while Charlie Carthy chipped in with a crucial score late in the game.

A string of points from Adam McDermott, Paddy Gavin, James Fitzpatrick and Charlie Carthy edged them in front, then there was late drama as Down, who lost captain Shealan Johnston to a red card, pushed all 14 players forward in search of an equalising goal, and lost possession.

Roscommon broke clear and when Adam McDermott took possession, he was at midfield but with no-one in between him and the Down goal. Once he was able to stay ahead of the Down tacklers, he was left with a simple tap in finish that confirmed the win.

It was a thrilling game, right from the start. Down settled that little bit quicker and almost got the dream start through an Andrew Gilmore goal chance, only to be denied by a superb save from Conor Carroll.

Points from Dany Magill and John McGovern followed to edge the Ulster champions into the lead, but Roscommon’s forwards looked sharp when they had possession too, and they proved it with ten minutes on the clock when a lovely dummy and run from James Fitzpatrick ended with the Oran player picking out the top corner of the net from 15 metres out, his fifth goal of this championship so far.

Roscommon held that lead up until just before half time when Johnston rattled one in for Down, but the Mourne county were always well in the game thanks to their domination of the midfield battle, where Close and Ordhán Murdock were imperious.

Ben O’Carroll opened the second half with a sublime score, but Down picked up where they left off with the next two points, and it could have been more had Danny Magill’s shot dipped an inch lower.

The drama was only beginning, as Down’s heartbreak and Roscommon’s fairytale ending was about to unfold.

Meanwhile, in the Ulster MFC semi-final Tyrone were 6-21 to 1-6 winners over Fermanagh.

Scorers for Roscommon: Daire Cregg 0-5 (0-1f), James Fitzpatrick & Adam McDermott 1-1 each, Ben O’Carroll (0-1f) & Patrick Gavin 0-2 each, Robbie Dolan & Charlie Carthy 0-1 each.

Scorers for Down: Shealan Johnston 1-0, Charlie Smyth (0-2f), Andrew Gilmore (0-1f), Rúairí O’Hare (0-1f), Danny Magill 0-2 each, John McGovern & Tom Smyth 0-1 each.

Roscommon: 

1 Conor Carroll Oranmore/Maree

2 Conor Lohan Pádraig Pearses, 3 Colin Walsh Oran, 4 Dylan Gaughan Tulsk

5 Patrick Gavin Clann na nGael, 7 Ruaidhrí Fallon St. Brigid’s, 6 Tomás Crean Creggs

9 Enda Crawley Éire Óg, 8 Keith Doyle St. Dominic’s

15 Darragh Heneghan Michael Glaveys, 11 James Fitzpatrick Oran, 12 Daire Cregg Boyle

14 Ben O’Carroll St. Brigid’s, 13 Adam McDermott Castlerea St. Kevin’s, 10 Robbie Dolan St. Brigid’s

SUBS: 

22 Charlie Carthy (Oran) for Heneghan, 19-21 mins, temporary

17 Sean Trundle (St. Brigid’s) for Crawley, 41 mins

22 Charlie Carthy (Oran) for Heneghan, 41 mins

19 Jack Lohan (St. Dominic’s) for Crean, 44 mins

21 David Wynne (Ballinameen) for Dolan, 45 mins

18 Jason Doory (Éire Óg) for Gaughan, 53 mins. 

Down: 

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1 Charlie Smyth Mayobridge

2 Tiernan Fettes Kilcoo, 17 Lorcan Toal Carryduff, 3 Ryan Magill Burren

5 Tom Smyth RGU Downpatrick, 4 Patrick McCarthy Burren, 7 Anthony Morgan Kilcoo

8 Odhrán Murdock Burren, 9 Tom Close Clonduff

15 Ruairí O’Hare Saval, 11 Shealan Johnston Kilcoo, 12 John McGovern Ballyholland

13 Andrew Gilmore St. John’s, 14 Eamon Brown Clonduff, 10 Danny Magill Burren

Subs: 

18 Peter McMullan (Loughinisland) for Fettes, 20 mins

22 Seán Óg McCusker (Kilcoo) for D Magill, 44 mins

21 Shea Croskery (Aughlisnafin) for Brown, 48 mins

24 Justin Clarke (Kilcoo) for McGovern, 54 mins

23 Jack Murtagh (Ballyholland) for O’Hare, 59 mins

Referee: David Murnane (Cork).   

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