Four Roads top of the table after victory in Athleague

Four Roads 2-15 Athleague 1-9   Four Roads are back in the Roscommon Senior Hurling Championship shake-up with a vengeance, after this comprehensive win over Athleague on Tuesday night in Athleague. This win puts Four Roads into the semi finals and they go joint top of the table along with their great rivals. It must be said that Athleague knew they were through before the game started, but they were well beaten on the night and the margin could have been even more because Four Roads also shot 15 wides in addition to their 2-15 total.             Four Roads were on top all through but their errant shooting kept Athleague in the game especially in the first half. It was 0-3 each after 20 minutes, before Four Roads finally found their range. Brendan Kelly rattled home their first goal in the 24th minute after a great pass from the excellent Johnny Moran and three Enda Rogerson frees helped them into a 1-7 to 0 -4 half time lead.             Athleague were marginally better on the restart, but Four Roads were always well in control. Brendan Mannion, Johnny Moran, Brendan Kelly and David Dolan were all in top form up front and they scored some lovely points. Mannion and Dolan both scored points within a minute to leave Four Roads 1-11 to 0-6 ahead by the 18th minute.             In the 18th minute Damien Lohan’s long delivery was dropped by Athleague goalkeeper Davy Connell and Kelly was on hand to sweep the ball to the Athleague net. It was damage limitation for Athleague after that but in fairness to them they kept going.             In the 22nd minute Joe Fallon pulled first time to the Four Roads net after Stephen Lohan had made a good save from Frankie Farrell, but two more Dolan points re-established Four Roads’ superiority and despite Stephen Lohan making a spectacular save from Mervyn Connaughton in injury time it was an easy win for Four Roads.             Without Tomas Lennon, Ray Mulry, Liam Gately and Michael Mulry, Four Roads seem to be coming to the boil just at the right time as they prepare to play Oran in Athleague on Sunday next. Who would bet against them now as the championship nears the final four teams?             Athleague will be back and will be much stronger the next day for sure and they will quickly want to put this defeat out of their minds. Four Roads: S. Lohan; C. Hynes, J. McDonnell, P. Mannion; N. Cunniffe, M. Kelly (0-1), J. Donnelly; E. Rogerson (0-6 frees), Padraig Kelly (0-1); John Moran, Damien Lohan, David Dolan (0-4); John Rogerson, B. Kelly (2-1), B. Mannion (0-2). Sub: Mark McLaughlin for Hynes. Athleague: D. Connell; P. Glennon, C. Moran, S. Moore; D. Delaney, N. Connolly, J. Glennon; M. Connaughton (0-3), A. Cunniffe (0-3); F. Farrell (0-2), JP Murray, S. McGeeney; T. Connaughton, J. Fallon (1-1), G. Fallon. Subs: EP Murray, A Quigley, T. Mulligan, G. Lane. Referee Peter Mullen.   Oran 2-8 Roscommon Gaels 0-9 Oran re-ignited their senior hurling championship season with this hard-earned victory over Roscommon Gaels in this tough and at times ugly tie at Athleague last Sunday.             The ten-week lay off for the Gaels clearly showed in the play and Oran were the sharper side all through. They scored two goals before half time, which gave them a crucial six-point advantage and although the Gaels narrowed the gap to only a point in the second half, Oran pulled away to win comfortably enough.             Brian Flynn scored two Oran goals in a five minute spell before half time in the 23rd and 28th minutes to leave it Oran 2-4 to the Gaels 0-4 at half time. The exchanges were tough and hard in the second half. At least one Roscommon Gaels player was lucky that he did not find himself sent off for a wild pull and it was only a matter of time before referee Brendan Flynn sent someone off and Gaels’ full back John Maloney saw red in the final minute for a pull on Francy Quine.             In between there was actually some hurling. Frees from Keith Gately and Cian O’Brien point cut the Oran deficit to one by the 53rd minute. However Oran pulled away again and with Gerry Fallon in superb form from frees they eased ahead to win deservedly, leaving a question mark about the Gaels and their desire for the rest of the championship following this shattering defeat. Oran: E. Featherstone; D. Kenny, S. Lawless, A. Hannon; D. Varley, C. Mahon, J. Crehan; P. Crehan (0-1), G. Fallon (0-5, 3 frees); J. Shally (0-1), K. McDermott (0-1), D. Beirne; S. McDermott, K. Carty, B. Flynn (2-0). Subs: Ml Dwyer. F Quine. Roscommon Gaels: J. Comiskey; D. Clogher, J. Maloney, J. Hynes; K. Doolan, E. Browne, F. Doyle; D. Waldron, S. Naughton (0-2); L. Casey, C. O’Brien (0-1), K. Gately (0-3 frees), P. Lennon (0-2, 1 free), H. Flanagan, G. Waldron (0-1). Referee: Brendan Flynn.   Padraig Pearse’s 5-21 St Dominic’s 1-11 With St Dominic’s already out of contention, this was target practice for Pearse’s as they ran riot and no one more so than Dara Mulvey who helped himself to an incredible five goals and four points as John Donohue’s men strolled to a 22 point victory. The half time score was Pearse’s 3-11 Dominic’s 0-5. Padraig Pearse’s: P. Dolan; D. Loughnane, A. Sweeny, S. Donoghue; M. Mulvey, A. Loughnane, C. Sweeney; R. Donoghue, J Galvin; Aidan Sweeney (0-1), M. Donoghue (0-1), Anthony Sweeney (0-2); P. Galvin (0-4), D. Mulvey (5-4), S. Sweeney (0-3). Subs C/ Kelly (0-3), T Seale (0-2), P. Downey, D. Sweeney, R. Donoghue. St. Dominic’s: D. Beirne; M. Beirne, D. Fallon, J. Craven; A. Naughton (0-1), P. Naughton, D. Dowling (0-1); A. Craven, L. Murray (0-8); P. Keogh (0-1), N. Moran, N. Byrne; A. Beades, C. Fallon, K. Hunt (1-0). Sub: M, Corrigan. Referee: Tony Flaherty.