Kepak Roscommon SHC semi-final
Four Roads 1-16 Athleague 0-13
The final score in the first of Sunday’s Roscommon senior hurling semi-finals would seem to indicate a comfortable win for Four Roads, but nothing could be further from the truth as Athleague made the hot favourites fight all the way to the finish in what was a tense and nervy encounter that never reached any great heights in terms of quality play. An inspirational Mikey Lohan guided the way for Four Roads.
With 58 minutes on the clock the sides were level at 1-10 to 0-13, at which point Four Roads finally found their best form. As the winning post came into view Four Roads whipped over the final six points of the match to seal their place in the decider.
The home side (and defending champions) made life very uncomfortable for Four Roads from the first whistle. Athleague fought hard for every ball, denying the hot favourites time and space. Over the first ten minutes the sides shared six points, and it was clear from those early stages that this semi-final was going to be a battle.
In fact Athleague pulled 0-6 to 0-3 ahead by the 22nd minute, with Ben McGahon outstanding from the placed ball. Unperturbed, the Black and Amber were level at half-time, mainly thanks to Mikey Lohan, the midfielder having one of his best games to date for his club. Half-time score: Four Roads 0-7 Athleague 0-7.
Four Roads looked to have taken control of the match within five minutes of the restart, Cathal Dolan pointing a free prior to Brendan Mulry blasting home a goal following a long delivery from Micheal Kelly. However, with McGahon and Cian Murray prominent, Athleague fought back well.
Just when it looked like extra-time would be needed to separate the sides, Four Roads found an extra gear and points from Cathal Dolan (two frees), Brendan Mulry (who had a great second half), James Cunniffe and inspirational captain Micheal Kelly, saw them home by a flattering margin of six in the end.
For the winners, Mikey Lohan was outstanding while Micheal Kelly, Conor Mulry, Brendan Mulry (second half) and Cathal Dolan were also prominent. Ben McGahon, Cian Murray, Niall Connolly and Eoghan Coyle were the best performers for Athleague.
Four Roads: Noel Fallon; James Dillon, Cormac Coyle, Martin McLoughlin; Oisin Campbell, Micheal Kelly (0-1), Johnny Moran; Conor Coyle, Mikey Lohan (0-3); Adam Donnelly, Conor Mulry, James Cunniffe (0-3); Brendan Mulry (1-2), Cathal Dolan (0-7, 2 65s, 4 frees), Cormac Mulry. Subs: Donal Kelly for Campbell (39), Jimmy Hoey for C Mulry (53), Jamie Lawlor for Donnelly (55).
Athleague: David Connell; Alan Moore, Mark Ward, Darragh Mullen; Niall Connolly, Eoghan Coyle, Aengus Lyons; Darragh Heavey (0-1), Ben McGahon (0-9, 1 65, 1 s/l, 6 frees); Cormac Kelly, Cian Murray (0-3), Eoin Ward; Tomas Connaughton, Gary Fallon, Daniel Crehan. Subs: David Delaney for Moore (16), Tadhg Lyons for Connaughton (35), Stephen Kilcommins for Fallon (42), Naoise Coyle for Crehan (52).
Referee: Matthew Farrell.
Man of the Match
Mikey Lohan (Four Roads)