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Friday 27 January 2023 Dublin: 5°C
Roscommon's Paul Carey.
# Rossies
Roscommon too strong for Sligo but have to wait on final opponents as Galway v Leitrim postponed
The Rossies advanced but today’s other semi-final fell foul of Storm Dennis.

ROSCOMMON 1-11

SLIGO 1-8

Kevin Egan reports from Markievicz Park

On one of the few playing surfaces that was in good condition across Ireland this afternoon, Roscommon produced 12 minutes of very impressive football at the start of their Connacht U-20 football championship semi-final clash with Sligo, which proved to be the main difference in an otherwise forgettable encounter at Markievicz Park.

Lining out with the bones of the team that reached the first ever All-Ireland U-17 football final three years ago, Roscommon were highly fancied coming into this tie and they justified that early on when they moved into a seven-point lead.

Ciarán Lawless struck two excellent ’45s to get them off the mark, and that was followed up by a goal for corner forward Adam McDermott, an easy finish after he pounced on a catastrophic kick out from Daniel Lyons.

McDermott earned another free that was tapped over the bar by Peter Gillooly and when Paul Carey followed up with a nice score on the run, all was going to plan for Liam Tully’s side.

They were playing with the aid of the breeze, but the effects of Storm Dennis were not as  crucial a factor compared to other fixtures played elsewhere.

Yet suddenly, inexplicably, the visiting side seemed to lose a some of their vim and vigour, and Sligo were able to creep back into the tie.

Red Óg Murphy had started the game close to goal but the man who returned from Australian Rules Football was too important to the Sligo cause to be left where he wouldn’t get much possession, and so he was pushed back out to midfield, where he was far more influential.

Alan Reilly got Sligo off the mark with a point in the 19th minute and while Roscommon added the next two, a mistake on the right side of their defence in first half injury time led to an overlap and a goal chance, which in turn resulted in a desperate tackle on Joe Keaney that conceded a penalty.

Murphy duly slotted home the spot kick, and the tie was suddenly far less of a foregone conclusion, with the Rossies 1-6 to 1-1 in front and the wind set to favour Sligo.

Conor Murray pointed for the home side with the first attack of the second half, but for the next twenty minutes Roscommon simply contained their opponents, moving six points clear and holding it at that.

The full back line of Pearse Frost, Colin Walsh and Dylan Gaughan (until his injury) kept things tight and it was only the closing stages that Sligo found another gear, inspired by two points in 50 seconds from Murray and Gavin Duffy.

Two frees from Murphy and a mark from Duffy reduced the gap to a goal after the first of six minutes of injury time, but that was to be as good as it got as Roscommon held the ball for the majority of the remaining overtime, ensuring that goalkeeper Michael O’Donnell didn’t have a save to make.

Scorers for Roscommon: Adam McDermott 1-1 (0-1f), Ciarán Lawless (‘45s), Paul Carey (0-1f); Peter Gillooly (0-2f) 0-2 each, Cian Murray, Keith Doyle, Darragh Walsh; Andrew Lyons (m) 0-1 each.

Scorers for Sligo: Red Óg Murphy 1-2 (1-0 pen, 0-2f), Conor Murray, Gavin Duffy (0-1m) 0-2 each, Eoghan Smith, Alan Reilly 0-1 each.

Roscommon

1. Michael O’Donnell 

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2. Pearse Frost 
3. Colin Walsh 
4. Dylan Gaughan 

5. Cian Murray 
6. Niall Higgins 
7. Paul McGrath 

8. Keith Doyle 
9. Ciaran Lawless

10. Rúairí Fallon
11. Paul McManus )
12. Paul Carey 

13. Adam McDermott
14. Darragh Walsh 
15. Peter Gillooly 

Substitutes:
18. Robbie Dolan  for Murray (HT)
22. Andrew Lyons for McDermott (39)
17. John Martin for Gaughan (43)
19. Dylan Sumner for Doyle (51)
21. Siarán Sugrue for Gillooly (59)

Sligo

1. Daniel Lyons 

4. Kevin O’Hara 
3. Ecan Lyons  
2. Jack Lavin 

5. Sean Carroll 
6. Cian Surlis 
7. Eoghan Sweeney 

15. Joe Keaney 
8. Gavin Gorman 

10. Shane Deignan 
11. Eoghan Smith 
12. Conor Murray 

13. Barry Cafferky 
9. Red Óg Murphy 
14. Alan Reilly 

Substitutes:
17. James Carroll for Cafferky (30)
18. Gavin Duffy for Reilly (43)
22. Oisín McCann for O’Hara (45)
21. Niall Murphy for Carroll (54)

Referee: Tadhg Murphy (Galway)

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