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Roscommon crowned Connacht U20 champions after impressive win over Mayo

The Rossies were 2-11 to 1-7 winners at MacHale Park.

Roscommon manager Liam Tully celebrates winning with his team.
Roscommon manager Liam Tully celebrates winning with his team.
Image: Evan Logan/INPHO

Updated Jul 21st 2021, 10:45 PM

Roscommon 2-11

Mayo 1-7

By Kevin Egan at MacHale Park

ROSCOMMON WON THEIR first Connacht U20 football championship since the competition moved to that age grade in 2018 thanks to a devastating performance against Mayo at MacHale Park this evening — one which saw them outscore the hosts by 2-10 to 0-2 between the first-half water break and the 55th minute of the contest.

Second-half goals from James Fitzpatrick and Adam McDermott will go down as the crucial scores that made sure of the victory, but once Liam Tully’s young side found their scoring rhythm after a scoreless first quarter, they never looked like losing control of the game at either end of the field.

A combination of intensity and discipline in the tackle led to Mayo kicking nine first-half wides and losing a world of ball in close contact, though they still led by 0-3 to 0-0 after the first quarter, when Roscommon’s scoring radar was also completely misfiring.

A fine score from Fitzpatrick got the Rossies of the mark with the first attack after the restart, and that marked a complete transformation in the flow of the game. Roscommon went on to kick five points in a row, with Daire Cregg, Ben O’Carroll and Darragh Heneghan all on the mark, while at both ends there were goals ruled out for square ball, with Adam McDermott’s touch on Ben O’Carroll’s sideline kick much more of a close call than Jack Mahon’s for Mayo.

patrick-gavin Roscommon's Patrick Gavin on the ball. Source: Evan Logan/INPHO

0-5 to 0-4 at half time left the game finely poised, but the boys in primrose and blue carried on where they left off after the restart, posting the first score through Adam McDermott and continuing to build on a platform of defensive dominance. Mayo shot 12 wides over the course of the game, but even more than this, they spilled a lot of turnovers due to incredible tackling by the Roscommon defensive unit, led by Conor Lohan and Colin Walsh.

A narrow 0-6 to 0-5 lead was built on with two points from Daire Cregg, before Adam McDermott set Roscommon on course for victory by dispossessing a Mayo defender and slipping in the game’s first goal on 42 minutes. Mayo had the chance to respond in kind when Colin Walsh was deemed to have tripped Connell Dempsey under a high ball, leading to a black card for the Roscommon captain, but a superb save from Conor Carroll to tip Jack Mahon’s spot kick around the post preserved Roscommon’s lead.

James Fitzpatrick fired over the next score at the end of an excellent run, and Roscommon crowned a run of 2-4 without reply when McDermott again robbed a Mayo defender, this time setting up James Fitzpatrick for a second goal with ten minutes to play.

Mayo rallied in the final 10 minutes and found the net through another penalty, this time converted by Dempsey, but Roscommon’s defence never looked like coughing up a goal chance other than that and easily held out to set up an All-Ireland semi-final clash with the Ulster champions in just over two weeks’ time.

Scorers for Roscommon: James Fitzpatrick 1-3, Daire Cregg 0-5 (0-3f), Adam McDermott 1-1, Darragh Heneghan & Ben O’Carroll 0-1 each.

Scorers for Mayo: Connell Dempsey 1-2 (1-0 pen, 0-1f), Jack Carney 0-2, Jack Mahon (m), Owne McHale & Seán Holmes 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), 6. Tomás Crean (Creggs), 7. Cian Glennon (St. Faithleach’s)

8. Keith Doyle (St. Dominic’s), 9. Ronan Garvin (Ballinameen)

10. Robbie Dolan (St. Brigid’s), 12. Daire Cregg (Boyle), 15. Darragh Heneghan (Michael Glaveys)

13. Ben O’Carroll (St. Brigid’s), 14. Adam McDermott Castlerea (St. Kevin’s) 11. James Fitzpatrick (Oran)

Subs

19. Rúaidhrí Fallon (St. Brigid’s) for Garvin, half-time

18. Jason Doory (Éire Óg) for Heneghan, 38 mins

17. Jack Lohan (St. Dominic’s) for Glennon, 46 mins

22. David Wynne (Ballinameen) for Crean, 46 mins

21. Seán Trundle (St. Brigid’s) for McDermott, 58 mins

Mayo

1. Ronan Connolly (Ardnaree)

7. Aidan Cosgrove (Kiltimagh), 3. Ruairí Keane (Mayo Gaels), 2. Sean Holmes (Knockmore)

4. Donnacha McHugh (Castlebar Mitchels), 6. Ryan Baynes (Burrishoole), 5. Conor Flynn (Knockmore)

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8. Conor Dunleavy (Balla), 9. Jack Carney (Kilmeena)

14. Frank Irwin (Ballina Stephenites), 11. Conor Reid (Bohola Moy Davitts), 10. Ethan Henry (Mayo Gaels)

13. Ultan O’Reilly (Castlebar Mitchels), 15. Jack Mahon (Charlestown), 12. Connell Dempsey (Knockmore)

Subs

17. Paddy Heneghan (Castlebar Mitchels) for O’Reilly, half-time

18. Dylan Thornton (Ballina Stephenites) for Reid, 33 mins

20. Ewan Duffy (Ballinrobe) for McHugh, 40 mins

19. Owen McHale (Belmullet) for Cosgrove, 51 mins

24. Rory Morrin (Ballina Stephenites) for Mahon, 53 mins

Referee: Thomas Murphy (Galway).

- Article first published at 9.50pm, updated to appear on TheJournal.ie.

Screenshot 2020-11-24 at 9.04.07 AM

About the author:

Kevin Egan

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