Goals win the cup for Lilywhites


Fr Manning Cup (U-16) Final: Kildare 4-8 Roscommon 2-10

A late rally in the final 10 minutes was not enough as Roscommon lost their second major U-16 final of the year, going down by a four point margin to a lively Kildare side in this enjoyable Fr Manning Cup Final played at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park last Saturday.

  A talented Roscommon side played some good football throughout but there were a number of factors which contributed to this defeat. It is very seldom that any team can afford to concede four goals in a major game and hope to win, and that was the case in this match. Roscommon had plenty of possession of the ball, especially in the opening half, but their distribution was very poor and Kildare were able to hoover up most of Roscommon’s deliveries into attack.

  After just 7 minutes, Kildare struck for goal number one. Alex Beirne made a strong run and he released Liam Broderick and he finished expertly. It was a lead that Kildare were not to lose subsequently.

  Despite having plenty of the ball, Roscommon just had three Shane Cunnane frees to show for their efforts for the remainder of the half. In contrast, Kildare were far more clinical up front. Their second goal came in injury-time when Tom Browne was fouled in the big square and Paddy McDermott expertly placed the resultant penalty beyond Daniel Connolly. Half-time score: Kildare 2-4 Roscommon 0-4.

  Shane Cunnane (free) and Paddy McDermott exchanged points on the restart. Liam Ormsby converted a free and we then had 12 minutes without a score. Roscommon were improving and they got back into it in the final quarter with Jack Lohan, Darragh Murray, Shane Cunnane, sub Charlie Carthy and Fearghus Lennon playing well.

  In the 47th minute, Carthy’s long ball was fisted to the Kildare net by Darragh Murray and suddenly Roscommon were within two. But almost immediately Kildare went back downfield and scored their third goal. Alex Beirne’s effort for a point was well saved by Daniel Connolly and the ball came off the crossbar into the arms of Tom Browne who forced it over the line.

  Paddy McDermott tacked on a point for the Lilywhites before Fearghus Lennon scored Roscommon’s first point from play in over 50 minutes. Then in the 54th minute Kildare grabbed their fourth goal which finished the game as a contest. McDermott was on hand again to finish expertly after another Roscommon turnover out the field.

  In fairness to Roscommon they never gave up. With five minutes left Shane Cunnane fisted home Eoghan Derwin’s long ball and Jack Lohan scored a couple of points from play in injury-time, but Kildare finished with a point from sub Michael McGovern to secure a four point win.

  It was a disappointing way to end the year for Paul Staunton’s charges but there is plenty of talent in this Roscommon team and they can look forward to the 2018 U-17 Connacht championship with confidence.

  However, the team conceded seven goals in two major finals this year and that will give the management food for thought over the winter months.

Kildare: John Ball; Sean Hill, Conor McCrory, Jack Hamill; Nicky Jackman (0-1), Kevin Kelliher, Paddy McDermott (2-3, 1-0 pen); Drew Costello, Paddy Wall; Daniel Caulfield, Alex Beirne (0-2), Tom Browne (1-0); Jack Smith (0-1), Aaron Kennedy, Liam Broderick (1-0). Subs: Eoghan O’Hair, Muiris Curtin, Lee Baldwin, Michael McGovern (0-1).

Roscommon: Daniel Connolly; Cathal Brogan, Daniel Farrell, Keelan Gunning; Ciaran Quinn, Jonathan Hester, Niall Moran; Darragh Murray (1-0), Jack Lohan (0-2); Aaron McDermott, Shane Cunnane (1-5, 5 frees), Robbie Dolan; Liam Ormsby (0-2, 1 free), Fearghus Lennon (0-1), James Fitzpatrick. Subs: Charlie Carthy for Quinn (43), Eoghan Derwin for Lennon (53), Colin Walsh for Dolan (59).

Referee: Patrick Maguire (Longford)