Dunning’s delight as U-20s into final

Roscommon U-20 football manager Noel Dunning has been reflecting on last week’s stunning performance against Leitrim ahead of the Connacht final against Galway or Sligo on Saturday week.

Roscommon needed a draw against Leitrim to be certain of qualification for the play-offs. A ten-point win would have seen the team qualify for the final outright, but that was deemed an unlikely outcome. However, a superb attacking display yielded 3-16 on the night and the 13-point win guaranteed a place in the final.

“Ah look, you would have to be very pleased with a performance like that, especially away from home. But I felt that a good display was coming. We were curtailed over the previous weeks with the very bad weather and I think that it is no coincidence that the first night we had reasonable conditions and a good pitch we were able to cut loose and show what we are capable of”.

Dunning says it was never in anyone’s mind that Roscommon might exceed the ten-point margin that they needed to get into the final.

“I can honestly say that it was never mentioned once by anyone… players, management or anyone else. We were simply going to go to Ballinamore to get a result and see where that brought us to. We would have been very happy with a semi-final place and at no stage did we take Leitrim for granted. There was no complacency at all. We treated Leitrim with the respect that they deserved”.

Dunning says he is particularly happy with the fact that a number of his subs came on and played well. “We have done a lot of work on the strength of the panel since the start of the year. We have a number of lads on the panel who don’t even make our match-day 24 that we could bring in and have full confidence in. We have a very talented panel and they have all contributed in the various games to get us to where we are now”.

Looking ahead to the final, Noel Dunning says there is plenty to work on.

“We have plenty of work to do despite the good display against Leitrim. We will have a look at the (other) semi-final and see how that goes. We will prepare well and we are looking forward to the final whoever we are playing in it”.