All-Ireland U20B Hurling Final: Derry edge out Roscommon

May 6th, 2023

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Derry 3-17 Roscommon 2-14

By Ian Cooney at Croke Park

Ruairí Ó’Mianain spearheaded Derry’s charge for All-Ireland U-20B hurling honours as they made it third time lucky to win the Richie McElligott Cup for the first time at Croke Park.

The Slaughtneil powerhouse hit 1-5 from play to snap Roscommon’s brave resistance and claim the honours, having lost the finals in 2018 and 2021.

Derry could afford to hit 22 wides during the contest and that inaccuracy in front of goal threatened to undermine their bid for honours when Roscommon’s best player, Paddy Fallon, edged his side in front, 1-13 to 1-12, after 41 minutes.

But, led by Ó’Mianain, Derry hit an unanswered 1-5 to power their way to victory.

Derry made the slicker start and were 1-3 to 0-1 ahead, thanks to Sedgáe Melaugh’s third minute goal.

But Roscommon soon settled with Seán Canning, nephew of Galway hurling legend Joe, opening their account in the sixth minute.

The Rossies were well and truly back in contention when Liam Coyle’s found the net for his side in the 12th minute.

From there until the end of the half, Mike Fallon’s side made better use of the possession that came their way and a rapid-fire double of scores from Fallon and Coyle handed the westerners a 1-9 to 1-8 interval advantage.

Derry wiped out that lead on the resumption with quick points from Keelan Doherty and Eamon Cassidy before Ó’Mianain took the game by the scruff of the neck.

The Slaughtneil player and Paddy Fallon traded score for score, with the Oran player’s 41st minute point leaving the Rossies in front.

But Derry applied the after-burners with a couple of points from Ó’Mianain followed by James Friel finding the target from a ’65 and a free. Jack Cassidy stretched his side’s advantage further before an effort from Keelan Doherty evaded Roscommon goalkeeper Jack Ryan and ended up in the net.

Ó’Mianain capped a terrific individual performance with a goal before Canning rattled the net for a consolation green flag for Roscommon.

But Derry were soon celebrating a historic first title at this grade as Roscommon suffered a second successive defeat in the final.

Scorers for Derry: Ruairí Ó’Mianain 1-5, James Friel 0-5 (3fs, 2 65s), Keelan Doherty 1-1, Ryan Henry 0-3, Segdáe Melaugh 1-0, Jack Cassidy 0-2, Eamon Cassidy 0-1.

Scorers for Roscommon: Paddy Fallon 0-9 (7fs), Séan Canning 1-1, Liam Coyle 1-1, Chulainn Dowd 0-2, Ryan Conlon 0-1.

Derry: Cathan McElhinney; John McAllister, Mark McEldowney, Aimon Duffin; Niall McGonagle, James Friel, Callum O’Kane; Ruairí Ó’Mianain, Eunan Boyle; Jack Cassidy, Segdáe Melaugh, Odhrán McEhinney; Ryan Henry, Eamon Cassidy, Keelan Doherty.

Subs: Conor Murtagh for McElhinney 37, Rónán McNamee for Melaugh 60, Conan Bradley for Henry 60.

Roscommon: Jack Ryan; Thomas Fleming, James Dillon, Tomás Tiernan; Tommy Morris, Mikey Lohan, Micheál Hussey; Keelan Ryan, Ryan Conlon; Cormac Mulry, Finn Killion, Chulainn Dowd; Liam Coyle, Patrick Fallon, Seán Canning.

Subs: Ben Kelly for Hussey 17, DJ Hession for Mulry h-t, Aidan Hoare for Ryan 58, Conor Kavanagh for Dowd 58, James Mannion for Tiernan 59.

Referee: Niall Malone (Clare).

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