HomeFootballVibrant Tyrone roar past Roscommon and into U20 final

Vibrant Tyrone roar past Roscommon and into U20 final

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Tyrone marched emphatically into the Eirgrid All-Ireland U-20 final with a devastating attacking display in Kingspan Breffni on Saturday evening, where 11 players got on the scoresheet as they powered past Roscommon.

There was no shortage of energy and effort from the Connacht champions, and with the majority of the 1,521 attendance roaring them on, they looked like they might pull off an upset when goals from Conor Ryan and Bobby Nugent at the start of the second half brought them back to within a point, having trailed by seven at half-time.

However a couple of very scorable chances to surf the wave and get in front proved costly, and once Tyrone hit another rich vein of form, they never looked back.

Goalkeeper Conor McAneney got Tyrone out of their mini-funk with a couple of excellent long range kicks, and almost in the blink of an eye, they were out of sight. A clinical fast break saw Conor O’Neill carry the ball out of defence and once the ball was worked into Eoin McElholm, the Loughmacrory attacker executed a slick turn and a perfect low finish to leave Roscommon in a deep hole once again.

This time, the Rossies never looked like finding what they needed. Cormac Devlin fired a couple of points with substitutes Noah Grimes and Conor Owens also adding their names to the lengthy list of scorers, and the only black mark from their perspective was a stoppage time skirmish that saw substitute Ruairí McHugh, as well as Senan Lambe and Ryan Dowling from Roscommon, pick up a straight red card, ruling him out of next weekend’s All-Ireland final against Kerry.

Largely speaking, the first half followed a similar pattern, with Shane McGinley getting the game out to a sensational start with a stunning early goal, only for Tyrone to come roaring back with a sumptuous spell of football that saw them retake control of the game.

Eoin McElholm played as a withdrawn corner forward and was something of a playmaker, helping to set up scores for Ruairí McCullagh and Ronan Cassidy, while Tyrone got plenty of joy from pushing up and attacking the Roscommon kickout, with that also helping to bring wing backs Shea O’Hare and Ódhrán Brolly into the game.

A wonderful run from Joey Clarke set up Conor O’Neill for Tyrone’s first goal, and while Roscommon came back with the next two points, including an excellent effort from Rob Heneghan, another run of 1-03 to 0-01 before half-time, with O’Hare getting on the end of a wonderful team move for the goal.

Roscommon weren’t done for yet, even though they trailed by 2-09 to 1-05 at half-time, but the energy expended in undoing the damage was to prove costly in the end, as Tyrone surged home to crown an outstanding performance with a strong finish.

Tyrone: Conor McAneney (0-02, 0-01 free, 0-01 45); Conor Devlin, Ben Hughes, Joey Clarke; Shea O’Hare (1-01), Michael Rafferty, Ódhrán Brolly (0-01); Ronan Fox (0-01), Conor O’Neill (1-01); Cormac Devlin (0-02), Callum Daly, Gavin Potter; Ronan Cassidy (0-03, 0-01f), Ruairí McCullagh (0-03), Eoin McElholm (1-02).

Subs: Fiachra Nelis for Brolly (half-time), Ruairí McHugh for Devlin (41), Paddy McCann for Fox (52), Noah Grimes (0-01) for Cassidy (56), Conor Owens (0-01, free) for McCullagh (58).

Roscommon: Seán Allen; Eoghan Carthy, James Connolly, Dan Casey; Senan Lambe, Eden Kerins, James McGreal; Conor Harley, Conor Ryan (1-00); Rob Heneghan (0-01), Rory Hester, Dan Hagney (0-01); Shane McGinley (1-05, 0-03 frees), Niall O’Donnell, Bobby Nugent (1-01).

Subs: Ryan Dowling for Heneghan (30), Cillian Campbell for Carthy (half-time), Ethan O’Reilly for Hester (half-time), Ryan Conlon for Hagney (45), Oisín O’Flaherty for McGreal (54).

Referee: Jonathan Hayes (Limerick).

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