U-20s left to rue disastrous first half 

Eirgrid Connacht U-20 Football Championship quarter-final

Sligo 0-15

Roscommon 1-8

Roscommon’s U-20 footballers’ championship campaign was a short one in 2023 as they were deservedly beaten by Sligo on Wednesday night at Dr Hyde Park.

When Noel Dunning and his players look back on this match they can point at the opening half in which they were totally outclassed. A good second-half comeback reduced the gap but unfortunately the damage had already been done.

Sligo totally dominated the exchanges for most of the first half. With Conor Sheridan and Canice Mulligan on top at midfield and Luke Marren outstanding in attack, the scores mounted up, and by the 25th minute they led by 0-10 to 0-1 with Roscommon’s only point coming from the boot of Jack Tumulty.

But in first-half injury-time, Eoin Colleran converted a free and Shane McGinley drove home a great goal after a good pass from Eoin Ward to haul Roscommon to within five points. At half-time, the score was Sligo 0-10 Roscommon 1-2, a margin which very much flattered the home side.

Roscommon were much better on the resumption and they took the fight to Sligo. Eoin Colleran kicked five points (one from play) as the home side set about reducing the margin. But Marren was always able to engineer a score for the Sligo men and they kept their noses in front throughout.

Sub Conor Hand drove over a mighty point for Roscommon to reduce the gap to the bare minimum by the 52nd minute but that was as good as it got for the hosts.

Sligo kicked on again and Marren scored two points (one free) and in injury-time, James Donlon should have wrapped it up with a goal but David Farrell deflected his shot over the crossbar for the insurance point.

So a very disappointing night for Roscommon in Dr Hyde Park while Sligo go on to face Mayo in the Connacht semi-final next Wednesday. Roscommon will surely rue that woeful first-half display as it left them too much to do in the second half.