All-Ireland dream spoiled by Orchard raiders

Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Premier Junior Semi-Final: Armagh 2-13 Roscommon 2-9

A late surge from old rivals Armagh proved too much for a gallant Roscommon team at Drumlane last Sunday afternoon as the dream of a second All-Ireland appearance in a row was dashed.  

  When Roscommon look back on this game they will realise that the sides were level with five minutes to go and the Orchard County only went ahead in the 57th minute. It was a heartbreaking loss for Roscommon who were looking good for a win until deep into the final quarter.

  Roscommon were the dominant team in the opening half with Kelley Hopkins accurate from the placed ball and points from Niamh Farrell, Rachel Fitzmaurice and Niamh Watson added to a well-taken goal from Niamh Farrell in the 10th minute.  

A minute later Collette McSorely goaled for Armagh, but Roscommon continued to dominate and Niamh Farrell scored a well-taken second goal in the 22nd minute. At half-time Roscommon were full value for their 2-8 to 1-6 lead.

  Armagh were a much better side on the restart although they shot some bad wides in the third quarter. The sides exchanged points to leave the gap at five, but when Ciara Donnelly got in for an Armagh goal in the 46th minute the result was in the balance and Armagh levelled the scores by the 54th minute.

  Points from Rachel Merry (free) and Ciara Donnelly edged Armagh ahead as the game approached the 60th minute and as Roscommon desperately tried to find a way through the massed Armagh defence, the Orchard girls broke away for two late points from Ciara Donnelly and Rachel Merry (free) in injury-time. Armagh had come late to seal a final appearance against Carlow in three weeks’ time.

  Best for a very unlucky Roscommon on the day were Niamh Farrell, Susan Spillane, Kelley Hopkins, Rachel Fitzmaurice and Annette McGeeney.

Roscommon: Caroline Connaughton; Aisling Fallon, Patricia Lennon, Aisling Byrne; Susan Spillane, Elaine Daly, Joanne Beattie; Kelley Hopkins ( 0-4, 2 frees, 2 ‘45’s), Rachel Fitzmaurice (0-1); Shauna Fallon (0-1), Deirdre Regan, Niamh Watson (0-1); Annette McGeeney, Niamh Farrell (2-2), Sinead O’Brien. Subs: Catriona Regan for Watson (54), Niamh Coyle for Fallon (56).