HomeFootballConnacht U20 final: Roscommon beat Galway in thrilling encounter

Connacht U20 final: Roscommon beat Galway in thrilling encounter


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Connacht U20 football final: Roscommon 3-13 Galway 0-17

Roscommon, who started this year’s Connacht U-20 football championship with three draws, will march into next Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final clash with Tyrone in sensational scoring form after second half goals from Niall O’Donnell, Shane McGinley and Ryan Dowling saw them over the line in a thrilling, high-quality encounter against Galway at Castlebar.

The Rossies had exploded out of the blocks with four points from their first five possessions, while at the other end of the field, Galway’s first five possessions all ended in turnovers.

However the Tribesmen settled into the contest, with Jack Mullen kicking two sublime points into the breeze to get them into the game, and by half-time, they looked well-set for victory with an 0-8 to 0-6 lead and the breeze set to favour them after half-time.

Instead Roscommon struck gold when McGinley set up O’Donnell to palm in the game’s first goal, while Ethan O’Reilly made an instant impact off the bench, setting up consecutive points for Rob Heneghan and McGinley.

Galway struck some fantastic scores in the second half, with Mullen, Fionn Mac Donnacha and Matthew Thompson all on the mark with excellent strikes, but they never found a way to retake the lead, and then fell behind again when Conor Ryan and Conor Harley combined to set up McGinley for another goal in the 46th minute.

Ryan Dowling kicked two points off the bench to briefly extend the lead out to six in a contest that was now gathering real momentum, with plenty of tough challenges and both sides attacking freely. Galway again fired three in a row to set up a tense finish, but their attacking emphasis cost them when Rob Heneghan won a turnover on the Roscommon 45-metre line and three quick passes later, McGinley was setting up Dowling for a match-clinching goal.

ROSCOMMON: S Allen; E Kerins, J Connolly, E Carthy; S Lambe (0-1), D Casey, J McGreal; C Harley, C Ryan; R Hester (0-1), D Hagney, R Heneghan (0-1); S McGinley (1-6, three frees, one mark), N O’Donnell (1-1), B Nugent (0-1, one mark).

Subs: E O’Reilly for McGreal (half-time), R Dowling (1-2) for Hagney (46 mins), O O’Flaherty for Harley (51), S Walsh for O’Donnell (57), R Carthy for Hester (60).

GALWAY: E McGrath; D Costello, B Noone, S Canavan; M Mannion (0-1), J Lonergan, J Folan; S McGlinchey (0-1), C Heneghan; C Mulhern, M Thompson (0-4, two frees), C Murphy; J Mullen (0-4), F Mac Donnacha (0-3, one mark), C Costello (0-3, one free).

Subs: P Godwin for Noone (28-29, temp), D Kilcommons for Heneghan (half-time), R Coen (0-1) for Folan (41), R Colleran for C Costello (temp, 46-47), L O’Connor for Mannion (49), R Colleran for Murphy (54), N Mannion for D Costello (60).

REFEREE: L Devenney (Mayo).

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