It was a fantastic day for Roscommon clubs on Saturday last when the Town Hall Theatre in Ballinasloe hosted the Connacht GAA Scór na nÓg Final 2022. A packed theatre was treated to an evening of top class music, song, dance and drama.
First up for the county were the Kilglass Gaels team of Seán Hall, Coman Conroy, Rory Conroy, Seán Feeney and Daniel Fallon. They battled excellently against Bornacoola (Leitrim), Menlough/Skehana (Galway), and Castleconnor (Sligo) in the preliminary table quiz round, placing second and earning a place in the stage final, where they again finished second behind the Galway champions and secured their place in the All-Ireland Final.
Roscommon’s Rince Foirne champions from Castlerea St. Kevin’s turned in a flawless display of ‘The Three Tunes’. The team of Alannah Flanagan, Kaniesha Beirne, Caoimhe Doran, Katie Murphy, Caoimhe Ffrench, Aoibhín Ffrench, Áine Morgan and Anna Keane faced stiff competition from St. Thomas’ (Galway), St. Mary’s (Leitrim) and eventual winners Louisburgh (Mayo).
In a keenly contested Amhránaíocht Aonair event, Gemma Casey of St. Dominic’s carried the county’s hopes. She faced opposition from Rachel Mallon (Bornacoola, Leitrim), Peter Fox (Moy Davitts, Mayo) and Rachel Feeney (St. John’s, Sligo). To the absolute delight of Roscommon supporters, Gemma’s haunting rendition of ‘The Home I Left Behind’ wowed the judges and earned Roscommon its first Connacht title of the night.
The county’s winning ways continued into the recitation/storytelling discipline, where Kilmore’s Matthew Ffrench had the audience in stitches with his delivery of ‘The Birthday Trip to Tramore’. His performance landed a first ever Connacht Scór na nÓg title for the Kilmore club. He did so at the expense of Caroline Gavigan (Bornacoola, Leitrim) and Lucy McDermott (Davitts, Mayo).
Kilmore’s history-making night was not over yet, as their ballad group of Annie Homes, Grace Collins, Joe, Shea and Cathal McKeon, delighted the audience, supporters and most importantly the judges with their delivery of ‘John Williams’ and ‘The Mad Lady and Me’, garnering a first ever Connacht title in this section. Against them were Bornacoola (Leitrim) and St. John’s (Sligo).
In the novelty act competition, Elphin gave a very humorous and polished performance of ‘The Waiting Room’. The team of Hannah Gunn, Henry Gunn, Sarah Gunn, Grace Gunn, Leah Higgins, Annalise Murray, Moya Kelly and Annie Kelly gave the county great representation but were narrowly pipped by St. John’s of Sligo.
The Roscommon Gaels musicians of Cormac and Diarmuid Fleming, Laurance O’Connor, Shauna Hynes and William Godfrey turned in wonderful renditions of ‘An Gaoth Aneas’ and ‘The Humours of Glentart’. In arguably the event with the highest standard, the young Gaels team faced the tough challenge of Shamrock Gaels (Sligo), Dromahair (Leitrim), Moy Davitts (Mayo) and eventual champions Claregalway (Galway).
In the Rince Seit, the Elphin team of Hannah Gunn, Grace Gunn, Sarah Gunn, Maria Keane, Annalise Murray, Katie Flanagan, Annie Kelly and Jessie Cannell, rose the dust of the town hall stage. Despite a rousing performance, the title went to Annaduff from Leitrim.
A huge well done to all of the Roscommon competitors and mentors who represented the county with such pride and enthusiasm on Saturday.
Congratulations to St. Dominic’s and Kilmore, who now begin preparations for the GAA All-Ireland Scór na nÓg Final in the INEC of the Gleneagle Hotel Killarney, on Sunday, May 1st.