Young hurlers set up semi-final date

All-Ireland U-21 Hurling ‘B’ Quarter-Final: Roscommon 4-11 Armagh 1-9

Roscommon’s U-21 hurlers recorded a very good victory in the All-Ireland quarter-final of the ‘B’ championship in Athleague on Sunday last. This match almost wasn’t played at all as the Armagh team didn’t arrive at the pitch until 2.09 pm for a 2 pm throw in. The referee ruled that Armagh had to be at the pitch by 2.10 pm and they arrived with one minute to spare.

  The game eventually began at 2.35 pm with Armagh getting a gift start with a goal from a sideline cut by the full-forward Dylan McKenna in the first minute. The conditions were wet and windy, and the elements favouring Armagh in the first half. After nine minutes of play, they led by 1-3 to 0-2.

Roscommon responded as Gearóid Keenan and Connor Mulry scored points for the home side. Then on ten minutes Mulry caught a side-line ball, took on his man and headed for goal pulling the Armagh full-back out of position. A sharp pass found the unmarked Jason Martin who hit an unstoppable stop into the Armagh net.

  Five minutes later Gearóid Keenan’s shot on goal was saved and Connor Mulry was on hand to smash the rebound into the Armagh net.

 For the next ten minutes Armagh scored four points without reply. Then Oisin Hession passed to Keenan who in turn passed to Jason Martin who again raised the green flag. Dylan Keaveney finished the Roscommon scoring in the first half with a well-taken point. Roscommon went in at half-time leading 3-3 to 1-7.

  The second half was a lively affair played in poor conditions. Armagh  refused to submit and brought the best out of the Roscommon lads who finally killed off the Armagh challenge on 55 minutes when man of the match Jason Martin hit in a long ball that found the net in a mix-up between the Armagh goalie and his backs.

  Roscommon finished easy winners on a score line of 4-11 to 1-9. This was a good game of hurling played in wind and rain. Roscommon now go on to play Mayo in the All-Ireland semi-final to be played on Saturday, 20th August in Castlebar. Roscommon will have to improve as Mayo have a strong team this year and have already defeated Roscommon. Mayo had a big win against Kildare last weekend who are always one of the strongest teams in this competition.

  Best for Roscommon were Jason Martin, who scored three goals, Conor Mulry, Tommy Doyle, Dylan Keaveney, Warren Boyle, James Fitzmaurice and Barry Mullen. Best for Armagh were Dylan McKenna, Joe O’Connor and Tiernan Nevin.

Roscommon: Kevin Kelly; Thomas Tracey, Barry Mullen, Kevin Crehan; Warren Boyle, James Fitzmaurice, Gearóid Egan; Tommy Doyle, Cathal Mahony; Eoin Cogavin, Dylan Keavney (0-6, 5 frees), Gearóid Keenan (0-2); Conor Mulry (1-3), Jason Martin (3-0), Oisin Hession. Subs: Eoghan Costello for Crehan, Brian Lawlor for Doyle, James Walker for Hession, John Brennan for Cogavin.