Hodson Bay Hotel Roscommon SFC quarter-final:
Strokestown 2-11 Oran 0-11
Influential midfielder Cathal Compton had been shown a second yellow card by referee Paddy Neilan in the 12th minute of the second half, his dismissal coming at a point when the scores were level at 0-8 each. Given the nature of that setback, Strokestown appeared to be facing defeat.
However, Strokestown – remarkably – produced two goals in four minutes, to defy the odds. Ciarán Regan’s spectacular strike in the 54th minute is surely a candidate for goal of the championship, and it was followed by a well-taken goal by Diarmuid McGann in the 58th minute, that double ensuring Strokestown advanced and that Oran’s championship was over.
On a perfect day weather-wise, Strokestown opened brightly, their direct brand of football paying dividends. Shane McGinley, Paddy Brogan, Colin Compton and Kevin Finn were prominent as they moved 0-4 to 0-0 ahead by the 10th minute.
Oran eventually got a grip on proceedings, finding their shooting boots and reducing the gap to a single point. Shane Walsh, Charlie Carthy, Tom Fetherston and Declan Leonard were key in providing impetus.
Strokestown then pulled away to lead by 0-6 to 0-3 by the 25th minute. Next it was Oran’s turn for a spell of dominance, points from Shane Walsh (2), Cormac Regan and James Fitzpatrick putting Billy Donnellan’s side into a half-time lead, 0-7 to 0-6.
It was nip and tuck in the third quarter. Cathal Compton received that red (a second yellow card) for a late challenge in the 43rd minute, but his Strokestown colleagues responded magnificently.
By the 54th minute, the teams were level at 0-10 apiece. That’s when Ciarán Regan produced an inspirational and memorable goal. Regan exchanged passes with Timmy Gibbons before firing an unstoppable shot past Paul Brandon. It was a fantastic goal which gave Strokestown great momentum.
Four minutes after Regan’s strike Diarmuid McGann stole in behind the Oran cover before rounding Paul Brandon and putting the ball into an empty net. That second goal meant it was game, set and match to an impressive Strokestown team, who advance now to a semi-final with Roscommon Gaels. While Strokestown will go into that game as underdogs they will give themselves a great chance of making the final if they can play the kind of football they produced at times in this win over Oran.
Colm Neary, Paddy Brogan, Kevin Finn, Shane McGinley, Colin Compton and Diarmuid McGann were excellent for Strokestown, while for a disappointing Oran side, Thomas Fetherston, Colin Walsh, Charlie Carthy and Shane Walsh were most prominent.
Strokestown: Niall Curley; Timmy Gibbons, Sean Mullooly, David Neary; Ciarán Regan (1-0), Colm Neary, Keith Murphy; Paddy Brogan (0-1), Cathal Compton (0-2); Kevin Finn, David Butler, Diarmuid McGann (1-3, 1 free); Shane McGinley (0-3, 1 free), Colin Compton (0-1), Cathal Lavin. Subs used: Mikey Kavanagh (0-1) for Lavin (55), Cathal Brogan for Regan (57), Luke Kelly for Murphy (60).
Oran: Paul Brandon; Mark Gunning, Thomas Featherston, Jack Casey; Cormac Regan, Ciaran Walsh, Cathal Kenny; Declan Leonard, Colm Earley; Kieran Whyte (0-1), Darragh Walsh (0-2, 1 free,1 mark), Ciaran Lawless; Charlie Carthy (0-4, all frees), James Fitzpatrick (0-2), Shane Walsh (0-2). Subs used: Eoghan Grady for Earley (42), Mike Dwyer for Kenny (51), Paul Kenny for D Walsh (53), Michael Staunton for Fitzpatrick (58), Kevin Concannon for Regan (58).
Referee: Paddy Neilan.
Man of the Match
Shane McGinley (Strokestown)