Connacht Intermediate Championship Final
Roscommon 2-9 Sligo 1-14
Roscommon’s Ballyfeeney Rock sponsored Intermediate team lost out narrowly to Sligo in the Connacht Intermediate Final at a windswept McHale Park, Castlebar on Sunday afternoon last.
Sligo were first on the scoresheet with a point in the second minute by wing-forward Aine Gormley. Laura Brudell levelled matters in the fifth minute. Sligo had a goal disallowed in the seventh minute. Referee Kevin Corcoran signalled for a free-out when Aine Gormley was penalised for being inside the square.
Two points in quick succession from Karen Maloney and Gormley had the Yeats County two clear by the ninth minute. Emer Casey got Roscommon’s second point in the eleventh minute after some patient build-up play against the strong wind. Roscommon were reduced to fourteen players in the twelfth minute as wing-forward Niamh Ward was harshly sin binned for 10 minutes. Sligo made the most of the extra player and went on to score 1-6 between the twelfth and twenty eighth minute, the goal coming in the 24th minute from corner-forward Roisin Colleary. Roscommon’s only response was a Natalie McHugh pointed free in the nineteenth minute.
Indeed Sligo could have been further in front if it were not for the heroics of Carol Manning who pushed a rasping shot from Sligo midfielder Bernice Byrne out for a 45. Manning, who got injured in the process, was replaced by sub keeper Maire Mullooly. Half-time score: Roscommon 0-3 Sligo 1-9.
Roscommon came out in the second half a rejuvenated team and took the game to Sligo. From the throw-in a long ball by Natalie McHugh found Emer Casey who pointed from close-range. From the resulting kick-out McHugh won the ball on the 45 metre line and her effort sailed between the posts.
Sligo responded one minute later with a point on the run from player of the match Bernice Byrne. Roscommon were awarded a sideline ball in the 33rd minute. McHugh again launched a long ball towards Casey in the forward-line and the Ballinameen player bisected the posts to reduce the deficit to seven points. McHugh had it back to six points by the 36th minute, taking full advantage of the strong wind with a pointed free from forty-five metres.
Maloney and Casey exchanged points in the 39th and 43rd minutes respectively. Roscommon reduced the gap to three on the three-quarter hour mark, Freyne flicking the ball to the top corner of the Sligo net.
As the Roscommon girls began to sense victory manager John Foley began to make positional changes. The switch of Sharon Ryan to midfield and Claire Raftery to centre-back paid dividends. Second-half substitute Nicola Tully had Roscommon back on level terms in the 49th minute. A line ball taken quickly by Laura Brudell found Tully in space and the Kilglass Gaels player slotted low past the advancing Cullen in the Sligo net.
Sligo super sub Emma Hansbury introduced earlier in the half became a thorn in Roscommon side in the final ten minutes, as she scored three points without reply to put Sligo three up with two minutes remaining. A foul on Natalie McHugh in the 58th minute saw the same player take a quick free to Laura Brudell who in turn found Emer Casey on the edge of the square but her booming shot rose just over the crossbar.
With two minutes remaining and two between the sides Roscommon could have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. A move involving Jenny Higgins McHugh and Tully found second-half substitute Niamh Cormican in front of goal but her effort spun off the top of her boot and was cleared by the Sligo defence just as the hooter sounded for full-time.
The Roscommon defence are well worthy of a mention. They were outstanding especially in the second half – Feena Beirne, Emma Compton, Sarah Brady, Aidín Ní Dhonnacha, Sharon Ryan, Karla Collins, Niamh O’Beirne.
Roscommon: Carol Manning, Feena Beirne, Niamh O’Beirne, Emma Compton, Aidín Ní Dhonnacha, Sharon Ryan, Sarah Brady, Claire Raftery Jenny Higgins, Amy McAleer, Natalie McHugh (3), Niamh Ward, Emer Casey (5), Martina Freyne (G), Laura Brudell (1), Maire Mullooly, Karla Collins, Joanne Cregg, Nicola Tully (G), Fiona Murren, Alice Kelly, Niamh Cormican, Genevieve McCormack, Sarah Joyce.
Connacht U-16 C’ship: Roscommon U-16 team got their year off to a good with a 1-7 to 0-6 point win over Leitrim in Ballinlough. Roscommon: Melissa Kiernan, Claire McCormack, Fiona Tully, Crystal Beirne, Karen O’Boyle, Joan Geoghegan, Tesss Murtagh, Rebecca Brennan, Sarah O’Rourke, Shauna Bannon, Triona Kelly, Nicole Nestor (1-2), Nicole Kearns, Aishling Hanley (1), Emily Comiskey, Ella White, Aoife Shields, Ciara Costello (1), Shauna Francis, Denise Bennett, Megan Kelly, Grainne Lohan, Rachel McGrath, Aishling McGuire, Teresa Lennon (2), Saoirse McManus, Olga Kenny, Shauna Connell, Rachel Fitzmaurice (1).
Roscommon lost out to a much stronger Galway team on Friday evening last in Ballinlough.
Issue dated: 13 JULY 2012
© Roscommon People