12 YEARS AGO
Connacht SFC quarter-final: Galway 2-16 Roscommon 0-6
The final scoreline shows a margin of 16 points between these old rivals at Pearse Stadium last Sunday and while Galway were the deserved winners of the game, the Tribesmen scored 2-4 in the final ten minutes to pull away from a Roscommon team that fell apart after they had played reasonably well up to the 50th minute or so.
After the disastrous league campaign which ended in relegation after a number of heavy defeats and the loss of John Maughan as manager, this latest setback means that 2008 has been a year to forget so far for Roscommon’s senior footballers. Hopefully they can regroup in time for the qualifiers in eight and a half weeks’ time.
(From 23 May 2008)
10 YEARS AGO
Disappointment for juniors in Ballyforan contest
Connacht JFC semi-final: Galway 1-12 Roscommon 0-6
Roscommon’s bid for three Connacht JFC titles in a row came unstuck in no uncertain terms when they were well beaten by a strong and well drilled Galway side in this disappointing semi-final played in Ballyforan last Friday night.
The damage was done by Galway in the first half with the aid of the strong breeze, and by half-time they led Roscommon by 1-6 to 0-0. The pitch was in superb shape and the match was played in cool breezy conditions.
Roscommon improved somewhat in the second half but they could never make any serious inroads into the Galway lead, and the Tribesmen eased into the final by a margin of nine points.
(From 21 May 2010)
Rossies roar to title
2010 Connacht SFC Final: Roscommon 0-14 Sligo 0-13
A fantastic display of controlled, skilful and determined football saw Roscommon sweep to their 20th Connacht senior football title in this thrilling final played at McHale Park in Castlebar last Sunday in front of 22,172 spectators.
Fergal O’Donnell’s team made light of their underdogs tag and banished memories of a wretched league campaign to turn in a powerful display and defeat a Sligo side who arrived at McHale Park as the 4-1 on favourites to lift the Nestor Cup.
As someone who has followed Roscommon football all my life, I didn’t think that I would ever see anything to rival the excitement generated by the All-Ireland minor win in Ennis in 2006, but last Sunday came close.
The mighty Rossie from Gortaganny, the late Dermot Earley, would surely have approved as Roscommon emerged from the darkness and Division Four football to light up the championship with a display that was as good as we have seen from them in at least five years at senior level.
Huge credit must be given to manager Fergal O’Donnell. He stuck doggedly to his guns all year and remained fiercely loyal to his players, and how they rewarded that loyalty last Sunday. Even when Sligo came back to level the game with eight minutes left the Rossies showed resolve and determination to forge ahead and keep their noses in front at the final whistle.
The loyalty between Fergal and his players was very evident at the final whistle when the players ran to Fergal to embrace him. The celebrations that followed were some of the most intense that this writer has ever seen and it was a game and a victory that will live long in the memory.
Roscommon went to Castlebar with a game-plan and they carried it out to perfection. Not only that, but several Roscommon players chose this game to turn in the best displays of their careers for the Primrose and Blue.
This win was built on hard work, superb teamwork and the fantastic score-taking ability of Donie Shine. Roscommon dominated midfield, denied Sligo’s two most potent attackers, Mark Breheny and David Kelly any space, and Roscommon also kept the ball, brilliantly mixing the long and the short game in just the right measure.
It all added up to a great display and a thoroughly deserved win and now the team can await what lies ahead in the All-Ireland quarter-final in Croke Park at the end of this month.
(From 23 July 2010)
5 YEARS AGO
Joy for hurlers: Kelly’s audacious Orchard raid!
Nicky Rackard Cup Final: Roscommon 2-12 Armagh 1-14
The board said one minute of injury-time. That minute had just passed when Roscommon sub Johnny Coyne was fouled about 22 metres from the goal at the Davin Stand end of Croke Park. It was definitely the last chance saloon for Roscommon. They had battled back to get to within two points of Armagh but their brave effort, part of it with just 14 men, looked like it had fallen short.
There was however one last throw of the dice. Micheal Kelly has been one of Roscommon’s foremost hurling stars over the past decade. The Four Roads man has given everything to the cause. There have been far more bad days than good ones as Roscommon hurling slipped further and further down the inter-county pecking order.
The team captain and inspiration placed the ball on the Croke Park turf and stared at it intently. There were eight Armagh players between the ball and the goal. Micheal ran, lifted and struck. He struck oh so sweetly too, and the ball flew hard and high into the rigging. It was a sensational goal. On the puck-out, referee John O’Brien sounded the final whistle. Roscommon had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat and their star player and captain had done it too. Who says that dreams don’t come true?
(From 12 June 2015)
CBS are crowned Connacht champions
Connacht Colleges SF ‘A’ Championship Final: Roscommon CBS 0-8 Summerhill College, Sligo 0-7
A superb display of character, dogged determination, will to win, and discipline saw Roscommon CBS win their first Connacht SF ‘A’ title since 1998 after a fierce battle against pre-match favourites Summerhill College, Sligo at Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada in Carrick-on-Shannon last Saturday.
When these two sides met in the league final two months previously, Summerhill won by 11 points, so this was some achievement by the Roscommon school to make a 12-point difference up in that period. It may not have been pretty to watch but Roscommon CBS arrived in Carrick-on-Shannon with a game plan, they stuck to it to the letter of the law and it paid off in spades.
(From 20 March 2015)