Daragh Small reports from Kiltoom
JODIE O’REILLY SCORED the crucial goal as Sligo reached their first EirGrid Connacht U21 football final since 2012 and ninth overall with victory over Roscommon in Kiltoom tonight.
Roscommon have won 19 provincial titles at this level, and were facing a Sligo side who are the only county in Connacht yet to win one at this level.
Sligo trailed 0-6 to 0-4 at half-time but fought back with man-of-the-match Darragh Cummins instrumental and O’Reilly sealing it.
Roscommon dominated the latter part of the first half and hit four points in a row. John Gannon gave them the lead in the third minute, but Paddy O’Connor hit back for Sligo.
These teams had met 19 times in the Connacht U21 football championship with Sligo only securing two wins in 1979 and 1995.
They swapped scores and were evenly matched in the first-quarter, until Hubert Darcy (two), Jamie Fahy and Cian McKeon all found their range for Roscommon.
O’Connor kicked his third free before half-time, but Sligo went in behind, only to take complete control in the second-half.
Cummins kicked four outstanding points as they raced into a 0-11 to 0-8 lead in the 43rd minute, and then four minutes later O’Reilly blasted to the net.
Darcy and McKeon kept Roscommon in touch but despite six minutes of added-time Sligo held on to win.
Scorers for Sligo: Jodie O’Reilly 1-1, Paddy O’Connor (0-4f), Darragh Cummins 0-4 each, Liam Gaughan, Stephen Connolly, Jason Perry, Sean Carrbine 0-1 each.
Scorers for Roscommon: Hubert Darcy 0-5 (0-5f), Conor McKeon 0-4 (0-3f), Shane Mannion (0-1f), John Gannon, Jamie Fahy, Brian Kelly 0-1 each.
1. Daniel Cafferkey (Bunninadden)
2. Eddie McGuinness (Tubbercurry)
3. Luke Nicholson (St Mary’s)
4. Michael Gordon (Easkey)
5. Gerard O’Kelly-Lynch (St Mary’s)
6. Paul McNamara (St John’s)
7. Sean Power (Drumcliffe/Rosses Point)
8. Darragh Cummins (Calry/St Joseph’s)
9. Paul Kilcoyne (St Mary’s)
10. Alan McLoughlin (St Molaise Gaels)
11. Liam Gaughan (Tourlestrane)
12. Stephen Connolly (Coolaney/Mullinabreena)
13. Kyle Cawley (St Mary’s)
14. Paddy O’Connor (St Farnan’s)
15. Jodie O’Reilly (Geevagh)
23. Sean Carrbine (Castleconnor) for Connolly (37)
21. Jason Perry (Tubbercurry) for McLoughlin (46)
17. Nathan Mullen (Coolaney/Mullinabreena) for McGuinness (55)
22. Finnian Cawley (St Farnan’s) for Kilcoyne (60)
20. Kevin Banks (Coolera Strandhill) for O’Reilly (65)
19. Michael Clarke (Eastern Harps) for Perry (67, black card)
1. Shane Mannion (St Brigid’s)
2. Jack Connaughton (Clann na nGael)
3. Keelan Beirne (Strokestown)
4. Mark Richardson (Padraig Pearses)
5. Sean Conroy (Western Gaels)
6. Aengus Lyons (Fuerty)
7. Lorcan Daly (Padraig Pearses)
8. Gearoid Keenan (Oran)
9. Hubert Darcy (Padraig Pearses)
10. Brian Stack (St Brigid’s)
11. John Gannon (Kilmore)
12. Conor Payne (Padraig Pearses)
13. Brian Kelly (Roscommon Gaels)
14. Cian McKeon (Boyle)
15. Jamie Fahy (Clann na nGael)
20. James Fetherston (Roscommon Gaels) for Keenan (37)
21. Cathal Callinan (Clann na nGael) for Fahy (38)
23. Aidan Brogan (St Croan’s) for Gannon (44)
22. Tom Butler (Padraig Pearses) for Payne (49)
19. David Connaughton (Clann na nGael) for Daly (52).
Referee: Jerome Henry (Mayo)
Source: The42 GAA/SoundCloud
The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!