Six great Roscommon GAA highlights of 2015

Roscommon v Kildare (NFL Div. 2, in Newbridge)

The final score, Roscommon 0-24 Kildare 2-12, says it all. This was a thrilling rollercoaster of a game as Roscommon came back from a losing position at least three times to beat Kildare, and in their own back yard too. Some of the Roscommon point-scoring that day was as good as the fans have seen in many years.

St. Croan’s v Sean O’Mahony’s (All-Ireland Club IFC in Breffni Park)

History was made in Cavan at the end of January as St. Croan’s beat the Leinster champions to qualify for their first All-Ireland club final in Croke Park.

  The Ballintubber men played some wonderful football in the first half and withstood a rally from the Louth men to qualify for the final.

  Alas, in the final in Croke Park they met an Ardfert side from Kerry who were just too strong.

 Nicky Rackard Cup Final (Roscommon v Armagh)

All looked lost for Roscommon hurlers as they faced into injury-time against Armagh a point down in the Nicky Rackard Cup final in Croke Park. Roscommon had battled well but it looked like another devastating defeat awaited Justin Campbell’s men.       

  However, Roscommon were awarded a free 20 metres out from the posts and slightly to the right of centre. Up stepped Roscommon’s inspirational captain Micheál Kelly and the rest, as they say, is history. It was a sensational winning goal and it was fitting that it was scored by Roscommon’s best player of the year.

Connacht U-21 Football Final (Roscommon v Galway)

This was by far the best game of football that this writer saw at any level in 2015. The standard of play, the quality of the scores, and the level of excitement at Tuam Stadium on a balmy Saturday evening will remain in the memory for a long time for anyone who was privileged to be there.

  Roscommon were down five points on two occasions, but the quality of their attack in which Diarmuid Murtagh (1-7), Ultan Harney (0-3), Enda Smith and Paul Kenny were outstanding saw Mark Dowd’s men through in the end. Final score: Roscommon 3-14 Galway 3-11.

 County SFC Semi-Finals: Roscommon Gaels v Padraig Pearses, Clann na nGael v St. Brigid’s

This double bill of semi-final action will not feature on any highlights reel for St. Brigid’s or Roscommon Gaels, but it was a day when the two hot favourites to advance to the county final were dumped out.

  Shane Curran’s Padraig Pearses showed a clean pair of heels to a fancied Roscommon Gaels in the opener while a young Clann na nGael team relieved St. Brigid’s of their title in a tight encounter. Clann na nGael were to go on to win their first senior title in almost 20 years, beating Pearses in the final.

 

Roscommon CBS v Good Counsel (All-Ireland Colleges ‘A’ Semi-Final)

Roscommon football fans were back in Newbridge to see the Roscommon CBS team coached by Willie Hegarty and Seamus Heneghan reach the All-Ireland Senior ‘A’ Final in sensational fashion.

  It was a tight and tense semi-final but the excellent defensive work from the Roscommon lads paid dividends and they won by 0-10 to 0-8. Roscommon CBS were beaten by Kerry side Scoil Chorca Dhuibne in the final but with just six minutes to go there was only a point between the teams. It was a magnificent achievement for the CBS to reach an ‘A’ final and do so well.