Roscommon lose out to Mayo in minor decider.

May 28th, 2024

Electric Ireland Connacht Minor Football Final

Mayo 0-14 Roscommon 0-10

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By Ian Cooney at Dr. Hyde Park

Kobe McDonald and Oisín Deane helped Mayo claim the Tom Kilcoyne Cup for the third time in succession as they overcame a gutsy Roscommon side in perfect conditions at Dr. Hyde Park.

The home side had every chance of causing an upset for three-quarters of an enjoyable contest, but Mayo’s class eventually told as they made Roscommon pay for a number of unforced errors in the final 15 minutes.

Indeed Mayo could have won by more and a series of wides late on will be something to work on ahead of their All-Ireland quarter-final against Cork in two weeks’ time.

For Roscommon, they’ll point to a missed Dara Curran chance at the three-quarter stage and a black card for goalkeeper Patrick Gaynor as decisive turning points, but the energy expended to remain in the contest seemed to take its toll coming up the home straight.

There was little to choose between the teams during the opening side.

Both sides fared better on the opposition’s kickout as Roscommon tried to beat a relentless Mayo press that started high up the field.

Deane opened the scoring for the visitors after Evan Walsh snaffled a kickout from Roscommon goalkeeper, Patrick Gaynor.

But a great catch by Roscommon midfielder, Darragh Devaney, ignited a move that procured the equalising score for Dean Casey.

Walsh restored Mayo’s lead from an acute angle but a couple of frees from Dara Curran handed the Rossies a 0-3 to 0-2 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Mayo had to bide their time to work their openings and their patience was rewarded with points for Conor Moriarity and Kobe McDonald.

Alan Conroy brought the sides level once more before a McDonald free from 40 metres edged Mayo back in front.

But a crucial turnover won by the Rossies in the final meaningful action of the half saw the home team work the ball upfield, leading to Stephen Tighe landing an audacious equaliser with the outside of his boot to leave the sides deadlocked, 0-5 apiece, at the break.

By the 36th minute, it was 0-7 apiece as Curran and Cathal Enright exchanged scores with Deane and Walsh (free), and it was anybody’s game.

But Mayo’s strength began to tell as they started to punish Roscommon’s mounting error count.

McDonald landed a delightful free from 55 metres, and further scores followed from Deane and substitute Andrew Quinn.

But Roscommon came again and a Dean Casey point was followed by a great goal chance for Curran, which he blasted over the crossbar.

The game’s pivotal moment arrived with nine minutes remaining when Roscommon goalkeeper, Patrick Gaynor, was caught in possession and subsequently dragged down Mayo substitute, Joe Forry.

Wing-forward Alan Conroy took over as goalkeeper when Gaynor was shown a black card and McDonald pointed the resultant free.

From there, Mayo spurned a few more chances but they comfortably kept their opponents at arm’s length to successfully defend their title.

Scorers for Mayo: Kobe McDonald 0-6 (0-5f), Oisín Deane 0-3, Evan Walsh 0-2 (0-1f), Conor Moriarty 0-1, Andrew Quinn 0-1, Joe Forry 0-1.

Scorers for Roscommon: Dare Curran 0-4 (0-2f), Dean Casey 0-3 (0-1f), Cathal Enright 0-1, Alan Conroy 0-1, Stephen Tighe 0-1.

Mayo: Nathan Roddy; Conor Coghill, Tom Hession, Daithí Butler; David Hurley, Mark Noonan, Mark Sheeran; Josh Moyles, Owen Loughney; Harry McHale, Kobe McDonald, Dylan Flynn; Evan Walsh, Oisín Deane, Conor Moriarty. Subs: Andrew Quinn for Moriarty h-t, Joe Forry for McHale 43.

Roscommon: Patrick Gaynor; Liam Finneran, Gordon Casey, Colin Murray; Eoin Collins, Keelan Kelly, Declan Kennedy; Darragh Devaney, Cathal Enright; Joe McKeon, Dara Curran, Alan Conroy; Stephen Tighe, Shay McGuinness, Dean Casey. Subs: Seán McDonnell for McKeon 41, Martin Connaughton for Kennedy 48, Samuel Malec-Hannon for Tighe 57, Michael Brooks for G Casey 58, Jeffrey Oates for D Casey 59.

Referee: Christopher Ryan (Galway).

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