The Roscommon Under 21s survived a late fightback from Galway to win 1-16 to 2-10 and claim a spot in the EirGrid Connacht GAA Semi-Final away to Sligo on Saturday week.
Despite missing a number of players through injury and the recent departure of Selector Frankie Dolan due to other commitments Roscommon made the brighter start. The returning Diarmuid Murtagh scored the opening point of the game with a minute gone. Galway replied four minutes later but Murtagh put Roscommon in the driving seat again when he found the back of the net from a penalty in the 11th minute. Roscommon Gael’s Brian Kelly was taken down by Galway midfielder Michael Daly and Murtagh made no mistake from the spot.
Galway chipped away at the lead, drawing level in the 21st minute before a free from Murtagh gave the home side the lead again. Man of the Match Cathal Callinan got his first point of the game shortly after and his Clann na nGael team-mate Fergal Lennon made it 1-4 to 0-4 in the 24th minute. Captain Cathal Compton added another in the 29th minute before Galway were reduced to 14 men when Michael Daly received a second yellow card. Cathal Callinan was on target again in the 31st minute before Galway got their first point since the 21st minute. Jack Connaughton scored in the last minute of time added on to leave the half-time score Roscommon Under 21s 1-7 Galway 0-5.
Galway made a lightening start to the second half with Donnellan scoring almost immediately. Points from Diarmuid Murtagh and Cathal Callinan settled Roscommon’s nerves before Cormac Mc Walter responded for the Tribesmen. Hubert D’Arcy got his first point of the game in the 34th minute and Peter Cooke replied two minutes later; slotting over a ’45. Points from Kevin Farrell, Hubert D’Arcy and a Henry Walsh free pushed Roscommon into a six point lead after 48 minutes of play. Eamonn Brannigan kept Galway in touching distance with a point from play but points from Aengus Lyons and Fergal Lennon gave Roscommon a seven point cushion. Galway were reduced to 13 men during this time when Goalscorer Donnellan received a Black Card after Galway had used their quota of six subs.
With three minutes of normal time Roscommon supporters were on the edge of their seats when Galway’s Ruairi Greene hit the back of the net and another attack resulted in Cooke kicking over another ’45. Cathal Compton scored in the fist minute of time added on, to leave four points between the teams but a late free from Cooke left three points in it at the final whistle.
Full-Time score: Roscommon 1-16 Galway 2-10
Roscommon Team and scorers
1. Shane Mannion (St Brigids)
2. Jack Connnaughton (Clann na nGael) 0-1
3. Sean Mullolly (Strokestown)
4. Fergal Lennon (Clann na nGael) 0-2
5. Ronan Daly (Padraig Pearses)
6. Evan McGrath (Boyle)
7. Brian Stack (St Brigids)
8. Tadhg O’Rourke (Tulsk)
9. Cathal Compton (Strokestown) 0-2
10. Kevin Farrell (St Faithleachs) 0-1
11. Henry Walsh (Kilbride) 0-1F
12. Brian Kelly (Roscommon Gaels)
13. Diarmuid Murtagh (St Faithleachs) 1-2 (1-0P, 0-1F)
14. Hubert Darcy (Padraig Pearses) 0-2
15. Cathal Callinan (Clann na nGael) 0-4
17. Keelan Beirne (Strokestown) for McGrath (18 minutes)
24. Aonghus Lyons (Fuerty) for Kelly (46 minutes) 0-1
22. Ronan Raftery (Castlerea St Kevins) for Callinan (52 minutes)
20. Kevin Smyth (St Croans) for D’Arcy (55 minutes)