Roscommon march on in Manning Cup

Fr. Manning Cup  Roscommon 2-14 Leitrim          2-5 Roscommon’s U-16 footballers are into the semi-finals of the Fr. Manning Cup after this relatively comfortable nine-point against Leitrim at Dr. Hyde Park last night (Wednesday).    Reoscommon recovered after conceding two soft goals in the first 18 minutes to overhaul a spirited but limited Leitrim side.   Gary Wynne’s side played well in patches but  will have to improve on this performance if they are to harbour any hopes of winning the Manning Cup this year.   Niall Kilroy and Michael Sweeney gave Roscommon an early lead with two points but big Leitrim midfielder Morgan Quinn was to prove a thorn in Roscommon’s side all through and in the 8th minute he scored a fine point and two minutes later a 55 metre free from Quinn travelled all the way to the Roscommon net via a post to give Leitrim the lead, 1-1 to 0 2.   Points from Aaron Fehily and Kilroy levelled matters by the 16th minute but Leitrim struck for goal number two in the 18th minute when Shane Flanagan drilled home expertly from 14 metres. Roscommon held their nerve and with Fehily, Sweeney and Niall Kilroy getting plenty of possession Roscommon edged back into contention.    James O’Gara got the last touch to Roscommon’s first goal in the 25th minute after a long ball from Sonny McNulty and two minutes later Kilroy blasted home from close range after he was found all alone inside the Leitrim defence. Roscommon led by 2-6 to 2-2 at the break.   Leitrim began the second half well and Quinn was again on target with a super 30 metre point from play and when Ciaran Brick followed up with another point in the 9th minute the gap was down to four. However Roscommon responded well and points from Colin Compton and Scott Oates (free) re-established Roscommon’s superiority and they eased to the finishing line after that.   Best for Roscommon were Diarmud Connellan, Niall Daly, James O’Gara, Scott Oates, Niall Kilroy, Michael Sweeney and especially Aaron Fehily, who was the man of the match.    Roscommon will play in the semi-final of the Fr. Manning Cup next Wednesday night. The opposition and venue was not known at the time of going to press but the semi-finals are fixed for next Wednesday night and the final for the following Wednesday. Roscommon: Naas Connaughton; David Butler, Grant Deeney, Patrick Brogan; Niall Daly (0-1), Mark Keaveney, Diarmud Connellan; Sonny McNulty, James O’Gara (1-1); Scott Oates (0-1), Colin Compton (0-1), Bernard Carthy (0-2); Niall Kilroy (1-2), Aaron Fehily (0-3), Michael Sweeney (0-3). Subs used: Darren Clabby, Ronan Stack, Ciaran Harrington, Brian Cafferty. Leitrim: S. Sweeney; D. McVeigh, J. O’Brien, T. Cornyn; D. Holohan, S. McWeeney, S. Ryan; K. Davey, C. McWeeney; C. Brick (0-1), M. Quinn (1-2), G. Kelly; J. Murray, S. Flanagan (1-2), D. Fingleton. Subs used: M. Beirne, E. Sweeney, R. Creamer, B. Guckian. Referee: Michael O’Brien (Longford).