Minors in semi showdown with Mayo

Duignan: ‘We’re a match for anyone!’

Electric Ireland Connacht MFC (U-17) (Round 4) Roscommon 0-17 Sligo 0-8

Roscommon’s minor footballers have earned another crack at Mayo (on weekend of May 19th) thanks to last Friday’s excellent 0-17 to 0-8 win over Sligo at Markievicz Park, a victory made all the more impressive by the fact they played most of the second half a man down following Niall Heneghan’s red card.

Speaking at the full-time whistle last Friday night, manager James Duignan said his side’s performance showed they can mix it with the best Connacht has to offer.

“We knew that was coming. We can play at a high intensity. I’m just delighted for the players. The Mayo game didn’t go well for them. They bounced back against Galway and we bounced back further against Leitrim. They’re a good side, they work really hard, they are very honest. When we do things right, we’re a match for anyone,” he said.

The Roscommon manager said Niall Heneghan’s sending off would be appealed before looking ahead to another crunch match in the form of a semi-final against Mayo.

“It’s great to get the break. Playing four weeks in a row has been awful taxing on the players…really tough. But we’ll take the weekend off and regroup on Tuesday. Mayo are a serious side that gave us a good hammering first day out. We made a decision that night that we wanted one more chance at one of the big teams, and we have that now,” he concluded.

Roscommon were totally on top in the first half last Friday, and really opened up after the sides shared four points in the first ten minutes. Ryan Hanley, Eoghan Carthy, John McGuinness, Sean McDonnell and Niall Heneghan were outstanding as the visitors swept into a 0-11 to 0-4 half-time lead.

Heneghan saw red with Roscommon leading 0-13 to 0-6 in the second half, but Duignan’s charges continued to drive forward and kicked some superb points to seal the win with Sean McDonnell particularly prominent from the placed ball.

While Roscommon will appeal the sending off of Niall Heneghan, the team can now prepare for another clash with a Mayo side who defeated them very easily when the sides met in the opening round at Dr Hyde Park. But Roscommon are definitely improving and will travel to Castlebar on the weekend of May 19th with confidence after this excellent display.

Roscommon: Aaron Cox; Colin Murray, Nikita Berzins, Ryan Hanley; Conor Morris, Ruadhan Henry, Eoghan Carthy; David Higgins, Lee Taylor; Jamie Betts (0-1), John McGuinness (0-3), Sean McDonnell (0-6, 5 frees); John Curran (0-2), Niall Heneghan (0-2), Eoghan Murray (0-2). Subs: Ruairi Kilcline for Betts (43), Cathal McKeon (0-1) for Morris (47), Rory Coyle for Curran (54), Eoin Collins for Murray (56).

Sligo: James Cronin; Clyde Regan, Eamon Keane, Dara Moyston (0-2); Liam Higgins, Oran Harte, James Lavin; Conor Walsh (0-1), Eoin Tuffy; Eamon O’Mahony, Jim Molloy (0-1), Cian Gallagher; Cian Carty (0-2, 1 free), Michael Carroll (0-1, free), Aaron Lang (0-1). Subs: Conor McDonagh for Mollloy (35), Cillian Duggan for O’Mahony (40), Darragh Mastin for Higgins (41), Paul Flynn for Lang (48), Josh McHigh for Lavin (56).


Referee: John Glavey (Mayo)