On a day when the temperatures were well down, when the wind was strong and relentless, when the showers alternated between rain, hail, sleet and really cold rain, 30 teams battled it out for the County titles in the 2016 SPAR FAI Roscommon Schools 5 a Side County Finals.
Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Shiven Rovers grounds in Killyan, Newbridge was the venue – an excellent one too, with pristine pitches and facilities that are second to none.
There were 12 teams in the Boys A Cup competition, all having qualified from their regional blitzes. 4 groups of 3 played off first of all for a place in the semi finals. Cootehall beat both Four Mile House and Tarmon to progress; Creggs saw off the challenges of both Brideswell and Granlahan; Curraghboy emerged victorious from a group which also had Ballymurray and Cloonfad; while Lisaniskey qualified at the expense of Ballinagare and Taughmaconnell. In the penultimate stage, Creggs beat Curraghboy, while Lisaniskey knocked out Cootehall, to join their neighbours in the final. Despite having lots of possession in the final, the Lisaniskey boys were well outgunned by Creggs, who won 6-3, making some amends for their heartbreak at the same stage last year when they were narrowly beaten. Well done Creggs, and congratulations to them and their manager, Mr Dowd.
In the Boys B competition, 4 teams participated, Cornafulla, Cloonakilla, St Patrick’s from Strokestown, and Roxboro. After the series of games, St Pat’s were the runners up to a very strong Cloonakilla side, who go forward to the Connaught finals under the tutelage of Senan Kilbride and Gerry Doyle.
Ten teams played off in 2 groups in the Girls A cup. In Group 1, the girls from Brideswell proved too strong for Tarmon, Ballintleva, Trien and Fourmile House, while in Group 2, Rahara continued their fine record in the competition by making the final by finishing above Lisaniskey, Ballymurray, Brusna and Strokestown. However, they once again suffered heartache in a final, with Brideswell winning 3-0. Mark Egan now brings his girls to Castlebar for the next stage of the competition.
In the Girls B Cup, Cornafulla won out after a very close competition involving, Loughglynn, Summerhill, Roxboro and themselves, but it was so tight, that any of the teams could have been crowned champions. Well done to Sean Glennon and his team.
These 4 teams will be joined in the Connaught finals by Scoil Muire, Roscommon, who are the Roscommon representatives in the new Girls C Cup.
Despite the terrible weather, the standard of football played was very good, which augurs well for the Roscommon Schools in the Connaught finals at the end of April. Hopefully, some of them will progress to the National finals in the Aviva Stadium.
The organising committee extend huge thanks to Shiven Rovers for hosting these finals, and also to SPAR for their generous sponsorship. Also, for all their time and effort, the referees and organisers deserve great thanks and praise.