Minors in low-key start to season

Connacht Minor League Mayo 1-8 Roscommon 0-4 The start to the new season for the All-Ireland champions was quite different to the end of the last season as on a bitterly cold day in Ballinlough last Saturday Mayo won this Connacht Minor League game with a good bit to spare. However  as one Roscommon fan said to me on the way out the gate: ‘Who remembers who won the Connacht Minor league? We didn’t win it last year — in fact I don’t think we even finished second.’ And he is right of course.   Fergal O’Donnell and his selectors will not be getting too perturbed after this loss and they will be building the momentum towards the start of the championship in early May.  When you see a game in which one of the best free-takers in the country at any level — Donie Shine – doesn’t take any free then there’s a sense of Roscommon not showing their hand in this poor quality game.   Mayo led by 0-4 to 0-2 at the break with Kevin Higgins and Donie Shine scoring from play for Roscommon. However Roscommon were well beaten in the second half and Keith Glynn capped a good Mayo performance by scoring a very well-taken goal in the 48th minute.   Roscommon’s only second half score came from two Paul Garvey frees. ROSCOMMON: D. O’Malley; C. Boylan, J. Sharkey, J McKeague; S. Walshe, K. Brady, N. Brogan; K. Higgins (0-1), K. Cox; N. Blighe, E. Tiernan, D. Shine (0-1); P. Garvey (0-2), K. Cummins, D. Lennon. Subs: P. O’Grady for Walshe, A. O’Hara for Lennon, P. Kelly for Blighe.