The 2022 Kepak Roscommon SHC final will be contested by Padraig Pearses and Four Roads after those clubs just about lived up to their status as favourites in their respective semi-finals in Athleague on Sunday.
Hot favourites Pearses were made fight all the way by an Oran side who can count themselves unlucky not to have got at least a draw from what was a closely fought encounter. Oran were left to rue a late penalty miss by goalkeeper Jerry Fallon, Pearses surviving to emerge winners by 1-19 to 0-19. To Fallon’s credit, it was his monster free in the 6th minute that stopped the rot for his team after Pearses had sped into a 0-5 to 0-0 lead.
Earlier, Four Roads won the first semi-final by 1-16 to 0-13, but they didn’t have it easy against a battling Athleague.
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.
Athleague actually 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.
The scores were level at half-time (0-7 apiece) – and for much of the second half – but that late scoring spree by Four Roads sealed the win and set up a final showdown with Padraig Pearses.