Darcy and Stack shoot down Faithful

Hastings Cup Shield Semi-Final: Roscommon 3-12 Offaly 1-12

Roscommon’s U-21 footballers won their first game of the Hastings Cup campaign at bitterly cold Ardagh (Co. Longford) last Saturday when they had six points to spare against Offaly in what was an entertaining game. Roscommon will now play Westmeath in the Shield final at a Co. Longford venue this Saturday morning.

  Two goals in four minutes from Hubert Darcy (penalty) and Brian Stack at the end of the third quarter were the scores that settled the contest and Roscommon deserved their six point win in the end.

  Roscommon led by 1-7 to 0-5 at half-time and with Aengus Lyons outstanding in a sweeping role and Hubert Darcy and Gearoid Keenan dominating at midfield Roscommon had plenty of possession. Roscommon’s goal came from Gearoid Keenan in the 6th minute after a great run from Darcy.

  Offaly were back in the game after Ciaran Farrell goaled in the 36th minute at the third attempt after the Roscommon defence had blocked his first two shots and in the 39th minute there was only a point in it 1-9 to 1-8. But Roscommon scored two goals in four minutes with Darcy on target with a penalty after sub James Fetherstone was fouled, and then Brian Stack crashed the ball home after Eoin McCormack’s shot had come back off the crossbar.

  Roscommon were in control after that and they saw out the win comfortably. In addition to the impressive Lyons, Darcy and Keenan, Brian Stack, Aidan Dowd John Gannon, and subs Shane Dowd James Fetherstone and Lorcan Daly did well.

  After the game the Roscommon team manager Adrian Dockery said he was well satisfied with his side’s first win in the Hastings Cup. “I was quite content with that display. We played well early on but we faded a little towards the end of the first half but on balance we showed good intensity and the work rate from the players was good,” he said.

  “We are still short a few players and we have a few returning from injury but we have a number of players that have come into the panel that are doing very well. We are building up the panel every week. We are delighted to have another game this coming weekend and another chance to look at our panel and to refine our style of play. Westmeath will be a good challenge for us but it’s all about the 22nd of March,” he concluded.

Roscommon: Regan Fahey; John Brennan, Michael Cox, Keelan Beirne; Sean Conroy (0-1), Aidan Dowd (0-1), Luke Kelly; Gearoid Keenan (1-0), Hubert Darcy (1-3, pen 2 frees); Eoin McCormack, Aidan Brogan (0-2), John Gannon (0-1); Aengus Lyons, Brian Stack (1-0), Cian McKeron (0-3, 2 frees). Subs: Ciaran Whyte for Gannon (h/t), James Fetherstone (0-1) for Keenan (h/t), Lorcan Daly for Kelly (h/t), Shane Dowd for Brogan (38), David Connaughton for Stack (54), Mark Richardson for Beirne (54), Jack Casey for Conroy (57), A Murray for McKeon (60).

Referee: T Gaffney (Longford)