The Roscommon U21 Footballers qualified for the Hastings Shield Final following a six point win over Offaly in Ardagh this afternoon.
Again Roscommon U21 Manager Adrian Dockery used the match as an opportunity to experiment with his starting line-up, changing a third of the starting team that lost to Longford. It proved to be a winning selection.
Offaly got the opening point of the game but Roscommon responded with 1-2 without reply – the goal coming from Gearoid Keenan. The sides traded points but Roscommon remained in control and led by 1-6 to 0-3 after 21 minutes. Cian McKeon, Aidan Brogan and Sean Conory with the Roscommon points. Hubert Darcy converted a free in between two Offaly points and at half-time the Scoreboard read Roscommon 1-7 Offaly 0-5.
Cian McKeon scored Roscommon’s opening point of the second half and moments later Offaly were awarded a penalty. Tulsk’s Regan Fahey made a fine save but taker reacted quickly and sent the rebound to the back of the net. Offaly then added two points in quick succession to cut Roscommon’s lead to a point with 39 minutes gone. Roscommon were then awarded a penalty, which was sent to the back of the net by Hubert Darcy. Three minutes later Brian Stack found the net after Eoin McCormack’s shot hit the crossbar. Shortly after Aidan Dowd added a point to make it Roscommon 3-9 Offaly 1-7. With 45 minutes played Roscommon looked to be in a comfortable position. Offaly had other ideas scored four points without reply and trailed by four points with seven minutes remaining. Points from Cian McKeon and James Fetherstone extended the lead to six in the 58th minute. Offaly got their last point of the day a minute later before Hubert Darcy rounded off Roscommon’s scoring in the second minute of injury time.
It finished Roscommon 3-12 Offaly 1-12. Roscommon will face Westmeath (again) in the Hastings Shield Final next Saturday.
Roscommon U21 Team:
Regan Fahey (Tulsk); John Brennan (St Ciarans/Fuerty), Michael Cox (St Faithleachs), Keelan Bernie (Strokestown); Luke Kelly (Strokestown), Aidan Dowd (0-1) (Western Gaels), Sean Conroy (0-1), (Western Gaels); Gearoid Keenan (1-0) (Oran), Hubert Darcy (1-2, Pen, 2F) (Padraig Pearses); Eoin McCormack (St Dominics), Aidan Brogan (0-2) (St Croans), John Gannon (0-1) (Kilmore); Aengus Lyons (St Ciarans/Fuerty), Brian Stack (1-0) (St Brigids), Cian McKeon (0-3, 1F) (Boyle).
Kieran White for Gannon, James Fetherstone (0-1) for Keenan, Lorcan Daly for Kelly (All HT); Shane Dowd for Brogan (38), Mark Richardson for Beirne (54), David Connaughton for Stack (56), Aidan Murray for McKeon (59).