Three Cup Finals over three days concluded the 2017 Roscommon and District Football League season. Vincent Brooks rounds-up the action.
First up, on Friday night, was the Division 2 Cup Final where Strokestown Untied completed the League and Cup double when they beat Cam Celtic by a single goal at the League Grounds in Lecarrow. The sides were fairly well matched in the first half with Cam Celtic creating the better chances. Strokestown were better in the second half and scored the only goal of the game with eight minutes left to play. Good work by Paddy O’Connor and Mark McEvoy on the right wing created an opening for Kevin Finn and he volleyed the ball to the Cam Celtic net. Cam Celtic came within inches of getting an equaliser when in the last two minutes when first a header by Darren King was just wide of the post and with seconds remaining Kevin Finn cleared the ball off the Strokestown goal line with the keeper beaten.
Castlerea Celtic retained the Roscommon and District Football League Challenge Cup when they beat neighbours Ballymoe F C 3 – 1 at the League grounds Lecarrow on Saturday evening. In the first minute of the game Castlerea Celtic lost their keeper Evan Curran with a shoulder injury following fall.
League Champions Ballymoe took advantage of a nervous Castlerea defence after thirty four minutes of play. A good cross by Keith Keenan was headed across goal by James Connaughton and Daniel Malone volleyed the ball high into the Castlerea net. However Castlerea Celtic were level within three minutes. A well struck free kick by Nathan Bligh was parried by the Ballymoe keeper and Jack Higgins was in like a flash to score from close range.
Castlerea Celtic were the better side in the second half and their cause was helped when the Ballymoe centre back John Connaughton was sent off for a second bookable offence. With fourteen minutes played in the second half the Castlerea Celtic Captain Ronan Curran won and converted a penalty for his side. In injury time the same player disposed a defender and set up man of the match Dominick Bligh to seal a Cup win for Castlerea Celtic. Final score Castlerea Celtic 3 Ballymoe FC 1.
Roscommon and District Football League Premier Division side Ballinasloe Town were in action against the Galway league Premier Division side West United in the Connacht Cup final which was played at the Eamon Deacy Park Galway
Geoffrey Power gave West United a 1 – 0 lead after 12 minutes of play when he converted a penalty kick. Ballinasloe Town slowly got on top and won three successive corner kicks. From the third Owen McCormack got ahead of his marker and headed an equaliser with twenty six minutes played. Ballinasloe Town took the lead after thirty eight minutes following a well worked Owen McCormack goal. They held the lead until the last minute of normal time when West United equalised following a scramble in the Ballinasloe goal mouth.
With just six minutes played in the first period of extra time Owen McCormack scored his third goal with a brilliant volley to restore Ballinasloe Towns lead. Despite intensive pressure in the closing stages Ballinasloe Town held out to win the Connacht Cup for the fourth time.