Rossies closer to play-off place

Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Premier Junior Championship: Roscommon 3-7 Carlow 1-9

Roscommon withstood a late rally from Carlow to get their challenge for a play-off place back on track after this entertaining clash played in perfect weather conditions at Pairc an Piarsiagh last Sunday.

  Leading by 12 points by the 41st minute, Roscommon only scored one point after that as Carlow came back into it, but the home side had done enough to hold out for a four-point win.

  Three very well-taken goals were the key to Roscommon’s win, which virtually guarantees them a place in the semi-finals with games against Limerick (next weekend) and Dublin to come.

  Playing with the aid of the breeze in the first half, Roscommon were 1-3 to 0-0 ahead after 20 minutes.

  Annette McGeeney was the goalscorer, blasting to the Carlow net after the visitors gave the ball away close to their own goal. Indeed the margin could have been even more as Kelley Hopkins’ penalty in the 14th minute was saved by the Carlow goalkeeper, Niamh Doyle. Points from Kelley Hopkins, Niamh Watson and Sinead O’Brien (2) saw Roscommon ahead by 1-4 to 0-2 at half-time.

  Roscommon had a dream start to the second half when Annette McGeeney drilled home a second goal inside a minute, and when Niamh Farrell completed an excellent team move with another goal, in the 39th minute, the game looked over as a contest.

  Kelley Hopkins converted a free and by the 41st minute it was Roscommon 3-6 Carlow 0-3. But Roscommon were only to score once more as Carlow staged a revival. They scored a very soft goal through Ciara Quirke in the 56th minute, but Roscommon had done enough to win.

  Best for Roscommon on the day were Aisling Fallon, Susan Spillane, Niamh Farrell, Annette McGeeney and Sinead O’Brien.

  Roscommon joint manager Noel Finn said that he is happy with the progress of his side to this point.

  “We are going along well and our training has been geared towards the play-offs and hopefully we can get there if we win this coming weekend against Limerick.

  “We missed a few chances today but we scored some quality goals and we have plenty to work on in training.

  “We have girls who were doing exams and back from injury as well so we only have a full panel now. But we are happy to have won and now it’s on to the next game against Limerick,” he concluded.

Roscommon: Caroline Connaughton; Aisling Fallon, Patricia Lennon, Aisling Byrne; Susan Spillane, Elaine Daly, Joanne Beattie; Rachel Fitzmaurice, Kelley Hopkins (0-3, 2 frees); Niamh Watson (0-1), Annette McGeeney (2-0), Nora Brennan; Niamh Coyle, Niamh Farrell (1-1), Sinead O’Brien (0-2). Subs: Leah Rowe for Coyle (39), Deirdre Regan for Watson (43).