Special day for Roscommon and goalscorer John

    1972 Connacht SF Final Roscommon 5-8 (23) Mayo 3-10 (19)   1972 was a year when several brilliant young players like Harry Keegan, Pat Lindsay,    Mickey Freyne, Jimmy Mannion and Tom Hunt were introduced to the team.   The Connacht Championship campaign began in Dr. Hyde Park in front of a crowd of 17,000 people against Galway and despite Roscommon having led in that game by 3-8 to 0-7 twelve minutes into the second half, it all   ended in controversy and confusion as Galway clawed their way back to get a draw, 3-9 to 2-12. The referee (Michael Connaughton of Mayo) was man-handled and attacked after the game by furious Roscommon supporters as they felt he had robbed them of what would have been a famous victory.   I remember being on the Hyde Park pitch after that game as Roscommon supporters vented their fury at the referee. Thankfully he wasn’t seriously injured and Roscommon went on to win the replay on a wet day in Tuam, by 1-8 to 0-7.   So Roscommon had qualified to meet a star-studded Mayo team in the Connacht final in Castlebar. My father had passed away the summer previously but I was brought to the game with my two younger brothers by my uncle Tom who was home from the USA at that time.   The tar was bubbling on the road as the Wolsley 16/60 inched its way towards Castlebar for the big game. It was one of the hottest days that I ever remember and the traffic was ‘chronic’ as we got closer to the pitch.   We were all familiar with the brilliant Adrian O’Sullivan, Dermot Earley, John Kerrane and Gerry Mannion and of course Tom Hunt was from my own club Roscommon Gaels – but we wanted to see all the new lads in action against Mayo. Most of the experts didn’t give Roscommon a chance. Roscommon were playing against a Mayo team that included some of the greatest players ever to play for the Green and Red