Leitrim next as minors lose opener

Connacht Minor League Round 1 Mayo …………………………………………………………………… 1-8 Roscommon………………………………………………………….. 0-7 Having led by six points to one after 20 minutes and by six points to three at half-time Roscommon were defeated by four points by Mayo after a competitive opening round Connacht minor league game played at Charlestown last Saturday evening.   The elements played their part in the way the exchanges went over the course of the game but Roscommon did have their chances to win and  corner-forward Niall Kilroy will rue missing two goal chances. However it was a game that will bring this Roscommon team on a ton and they have another game to look forward to, this Saturday against Leitrim in Bornacoola (throw-in at 4.30 pm).    Roscommon played ever so well defensively in this game but they will be hoping for an improvement up front where they only scored one point from play and were very dependent on Niall Kilroy and free-taker Brian Murtagh for scores.   Early on, Roscommon looked the stronger team but Mayo improved towards the break and trailed by three at half-time.    Mayo were a better team in the second half and they edged back into the game. However Roscommon missed two good goal chances midway through from Niall Kilroy and two other Roscommon efforts struck the Mayo posts when a point could have been the result.   The crucial Mayo goal came with only three minutes left when Chris Walsh was on target from close range. Two further late points gave Mayo a four-point win.   It is useful to remember that both sides were short players due to college fixtures – however it will have been a good exercise for both managements to have a first look at their teams under competitive circumstances.  Roscommon team manager Gary Wynne told the Roscommon People this week that he was disappointed at the final outcome of the game. ‘I was disappointed afterwards that we didn’t win. We played well defensively and we have done a lot of work in that regard but we could have been better up front’ he said.   ‘We have worked hard and we will be working hard again this week. We need to score a bit more from play and we will be concentrating on that. However we were short a few players and we know that it is early in the year as yet. We have another chance to show what we can do this weekend and it will be a tough game against Leitrim on Saturday in Bornacoola’ he said.    The game against Leitrim will provide Roscommon with another chance to see what their best combination might be and with players from St. Aloysius and the victorious Athlone Community College likely to be available for selection, Gary Wynne and his selectors will have plenty of players to choose from for this latest Connacht minor league game. Roscommon: D O’Malley; P Brogan, N Collins, C Dolphin; E Bannon (0-1), M Keaveney, D Connellan; M Higgins, E Stritch; B Carty, B Murtagh (0-4), D Lennon; N Kilroy (0-1), T Hanly (0-1), M Sweeney. Sub: T Hughes for Lennon. Note: This weekend’s Connacht minor league game, Roscommon v Leitrim, will start at the earlier time of 4.30 pm in Bornacoola.