Minors ease into Connacht semi-final

Electric Ireland Connacht MFC
Roscommon 2-8 Sligo 0-8

This was a comfortable win for Roscommon as they copperfastened a place in the Connacht semi-finals with their third win of the campaign, this one achieved against Sligo in what was a lacklustre encounter played at a drizzly Dr Hyde Park last Friday night.

The slippy conditions didn’t help, but the opening quarter was a forgettable period of the match.

Both sides played ‘keep ball’ and after 16 minutes the only score recorded was a 6th minute point from the boot of Sligo corner-forward Cathal Gilligan.

Roscommon did settle down after that and, led by Colin Murray, Anthony Cox and the excellent Dara Curran, they got a grip on proceedings to forge ahead.

Points from Curran, Sean McDonnell and Stephen Tighe within four minutes established a lead that Roscommon never relinquished.

In the 21st minute, Curran’s clever pass over the top saw Dean Casey finish into the net from close-range and James Duignan’s men were on their way.

A pointed free from Casey and another excellent point from Tighe meant that Roscommon led at half-time by 1-5 to 0-3.

The result was put beyond any doubt three minutes into the second half when Curran once again was the provider for Sean McDonnell who finished well for another Roscommon goal. Further points from Colin Murray and Curran (free) saw the lead pushed out to nine points by the 37th minute.

The game petered out after that and Sligo tagged on a few consolation points, but now Roscommon can look forward to a semi-final in a couple of weeks’ time.

The opposition will be known after the final round of games this week. Roscommon have completed their programme with three wins out of four. Mayo are certain of a final place as they are unbeaten, while the other semi-final spot will go to the winner of the Galway and Sligo match.

This win means that Roscommon will have a home semi-final and a win in that match will guarantee entry into the All-Ireland quarter-finals.

Best for Roscommon on the night were Colin Murray, Keelan Kelly, Sean McDonnell, Stephen Tighe, sub Sam Hannon and Dara Curran, who had a superb game at centre half-forward.


Teams & scorers

Roscommon: Patrick Gaynor; Martin Connaughton, Keelan Kelly, Colin Murray (0-1); Eoin Collins, Darragh Devaney, Anthony Cox; Sean McDonnell (1-1), Cathal Enright; Joe McKeon, Dara Curran (0-2, 1 free), Alan Conroy; Conor Kennedy, Dean Casey (1-1, 0-1 free), Stephen Tighe (0-2). Subs: Sam Malec Hannon for Kennedy (35), Michael Brooks for Connaughton (37), Ciaran Mulry (0-1) for McDonnell (43), Ross Glynn for Curran (48), Gordon Casey for Collins (55).

Sligo: Gareth Cummins; Shane Murphy, Noel Phillips, Conor Murray; James Lavin, Alexander Little, Patrick Brady; Cian Nicholson (0-1), Conor McDonagh; Eoin Finnerty, Niall Duffy (0-5, 4 frees), Danny Woodrow; Cathal Gilligan (0-1), Marc Clifford, Adam Feeney.

Subs: Ben Cawley for Clifford and Dante Currid for Feeney (h/t), Tadhg Murphy (0-1) for Murray (50), Matthew Walsh for McDonagh (52), Conor Langan for Finnerty (55).

Referee: Mark McCloskey (Leitrim).


Man of the Match

Dara Curran (Roscommon)