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Rossies too sharp for Sligo in Kiltoom

 

 

 

FBD League Round 2: Roscommon 3-19 Sligo 2-10

 

Roscommon proved too sharp in attack once more as they ran up another impressive total against Sligo in the FBD League in Kiltoom last night (Wednesday).

  The damage was done in the first half when Roscommon scored three goals, two from Cian McKeon and one from Diarmuid Murtagh.

  The home side were coasting for much of the second half but Kevin McStay and his selectors will be concerned with the concession of two goals in injury-time.

  Played on a fine evening, conditions suited attackers on both sides as hard tackles were few and far between. Adrian Marren converted a ’45 in the second minute for Sligo but two minutes later Roscommon struck their first goal when Cian McKeon was successful at his second attempt.

  Stephen Coen and Nathan Mullen kicked fine points for Sligo but Roscommon got a second goal two minutes later. Ciaráin Murtagh made a fine catch before finding Cian McKeon, who struck low to the net for his second goal of the game.

  By the 20th minute Sligo had narrowed the gap to three points: 2-5 to 0-8.

  Roscommon struck the last four scores of the half including a point from play from Diarmuid Murtagh and a free from Ciaráin Murtagh.

  Then on the 31st minute Sligo conceded a very soft goal, Eddie McGuinness’ hand pass was cut-out by Diarmuid Murtagh and he finished to an empty net. Ciaráin Murtagh added a point in the final minute of the half to leave the scores 2-5 to 0-8 at the break.

  Roscommon totally dominated the third quarter and they had outscored Sligo by 0-10 to 0-2 by the 65th minute, with subs Finbar Cregg and Donie Smith impressive.

  But late in the game Sligo full-forward Adrian Marren lobbed Aaron Brady for a goal and then on the call of full-time Kyle Cawley grabbed a second goal for Sligo to put a bit of respectability on the scoreline from their point of view.

  Best for Roscommon were Fergal Lennon, Conor Daly, Ciaráin Murtagh, Ciaran Lennon and subs Finbar Cregg and Donie Smith.

  Unbeaten Roscommon now face Mayo at Dr Hyde Park on Sunday.

Roscommon: Aaron Brady; Seán McDermott, John McManus, Niall McInerney; Conor Daly (0-2), Seán Mullooly, Fergal Lennon (0-2); Enda Smith, Fintan Cregg; Niall Daly, Ciaráin Murtagh (0-5, 1 free); Padraig Kelly (0-1); Diarmuid Murtagh (1-2, 1 free), Ciaran Lennon (0-1), Cian McKeon (2-1). Subs used: Hubert Darcy for Kelly (20 mins, b/c), Finbar Cregg (0-2) for N Daly (h/t), D Smith (0-3) for McKeon (h-t), D Murray for Mullooly (h/t), Tadgh McKenna for F Lennon (55 mins), P Domican for McInerney (55 mins).

Sligo: Aidan Devaney; Eoin McHugh, Peter Laffey, Eddie McGuinness; Keelan Cawley (0-1), Paul Kilcoyne, James Gillen; James Clarke (0-1), Darragh Cummins; Nathan Mullen (0-2), Finnian Cawley, Sean Carrabine; Stephen Coen (0-3, 1 free), Adrian Marren (1-2, 1 free, 1 ’45), Kyle Cawley (1-0). Subs used: M Gordon for Gillen(h/t), Gerard O’Kelly-Lynch for McHugh (h/t), Pat Hughes (0-1) for Coen (h/t), Cian Lally for Mullen (45 mins), Kevin Henry for Carrabine (60 mins), Paul McNamara for Keelan Cawley (63 mins).

Referee: Paul Lydon (Mayo)

 

 

New era as Comerford takes hurling reins

 

 

The new Roscommon senior hurling manager Ciaran Comerford has said that he “couldn’t be happier” with how preparations are going for the team ahead of what is going to be a very busy season. Hopes are high that Roscommon can progress in 2017 after a disastrous 2017 in league and championship.

  The Laois man says that the panel have been working hard and have been training away over the past month and a half and have played a number of challenge games in recent weeks.

  “Our training has been going well. We have done 20 sessions to date and we have played a number of challenge games. We played Armagh last Sunday in Armagh and won by 3-18 to 0-11 and we also played Tooreen - and we are playing Mayo next Sunday.

  “We have looked at between 35 and 40 players and we have settled on a panel of 28 or 29 coming up to the league. The lads we have are working very hard and they are a great honest bunch of lads and are a pleasure to work with I have to say,” he said.

  Ciaran says that fitness and a style of play is very important to develop at this time of the year.

  “We are concentrating on getting the players fit and developing systems of play and the response from the lads has been great. We have a minimum of 23 or 24 at training every evening,” he said.

  Roscommon have been training at AIT, Athlone GAA Club and in Ballyforan, and Ciaran says that they intend to get off to a winning start in the league on January 28th.  

  “We face Louth in our first game and it is a fairly intensive league campaign this year and we must get off to a good start. Our first aim will be to get out of that division and there is no reason why we cannot do that,” he said.

  Then looking further down the road the aim is to do well in the Christy Ring Cup.

  “Some of the stronger teams have moved up from the Christy Ring Cup to the new Tier 2 competition so we will have a great chance to do well in that competition but we will concentrate on the league first,” he said.

  Ciaran will be without some familiar names as he prepares for the upcoming season.  

  “Micheal Kelly is not with us and Cathal Kenny has not recovered from his injury yet but we expect him back. Johnny Coyne is gone to the USA for work and he is a huge loss too. But we have some very good young players on the panel and the likes of Daniel Glynn will be stepping up this year. There is plenty of young talent on the panel,” he said.

  “We have worked very hard in training but the only way of knowing how we are progressing is when we play competitive games. But I am confident that we can do well,” he concluded.

  Ciaran Comerford will be joined by former player Ronan O’Meara, Johnny Keane from Portumna who is the hurling coach, and Gary Murphy (who lives in Four Roads) who will look after strength and conditioning. A new era dawns for Roscommon hurling.

The Lead Story: Hat-trick hero Hanly sends Ireland through

 

I have to say, my love for the beautiful game has waned slightly over the past few months due to ridiculous transfer fees and pampered professionals. I was growing weary of dabbing and diving and listening to José and Antonio’s playground squabbles. All seemed hopelessly lost until a text message out of the blue last Sunday.

  It was short and to the point but it brought news of futsal heroics from the Netherlands involving 13-year-old Aisling Hanly from Kilteevan.

  This column recently highlighted Aisling’s inclusion in the Ireland Deaf Women’s Futsal team for the European Championship Qualifying event in Holland last weekend.

 Well, the young CP Ajax player played an instrumental role in guiding Ireland to the European Championships, which will take place in Finland in December as she grabbed a hat-trick against Italy in the final match.

  Speaking to the Roscommon People earlier this week, Aisling’s mother Liz was understandably thrilled.

  “We are very proud. Aisling is only 13 years of age and we couldn’t have written a better script for her.

  “I got an email on Monday from the FAI which said that Aisling was the youngest player to ever score at that tournament,” said Liz.

  It’s a remarkable achievement for the young Convent of Mercy student as most of her teammates are aged in their 20s. Aisling is a gifted young sportswoman, however, and represents Roscommon at football at U-14 level.

  “Our attitude is enjoy while it lasts. We thought she was a bit young for the trials (for Ireland) but they kept telling us to bring her along. It’s a huge commitment getting up and down to Dublin but it has been a life-changing experience,” said Liz.

  Aisling wasn’t resting on her laurels this week and was back in action last night at Gaelic football training. Ireland’s young hat-trick hero can look forward to a trip to Finland on December 3rd as Ireland’s Deaf Women’s Futsal team does battle with the best Europe has to offer.

Seamus Duke on sport -12th of January

 

Paddy was an incredible clubman

I wouldn’t have been a personal friend of Paddy Mulvey’s as he was from a different generation to me, but he was a man that I knew from my earliest days in Roscommon GAA, whether it was at underage matches and then later, at meetings and matches and anything else that was going on. He was an incredible clubman. Yes he loved his county and he was a great Roscommon man, but he was happiest when he was in Croghan or around the county with Shannon Gaels teams, underage or senior, or at a Scór event.

  He was the most passionate GAA man I ever met at a club game. During the summer when the day was fine, I always remember Paddy would hang his suit jacket on a fence post close to the side-line and he would parade up and down the line encouraging the players and ‘advising’ the referee. When the game was over it was over, and Paddy would always be gracious in defeat. It was always on to the next meeting, the next match, the next Scór event.

  If you wanted to know the meaning of the term “life-long GAA man” it was probably invented with Paddy Mulvey in mind. He was a clubman through and through. He was about as far away from the SKY TV deal and from the corporate GAA as one could get. He gave his life to the GAA and never got one thing in return, and he didn’t want anything either. Paddy Mulvey was a grassroots man and one of the greatest that the association has ever had.

  I am so glad that his efforts were recognised when he got a President’s Award a few years ago. It is people like Paddy Mulvey that has made the GAA the organisation it is today. The crowds at his removal and funeral showed just how much people respected and liked Paddy Mulvey. It was a pleasure to have known him. To his family I extend my deepest sympathy. They certainly don’t make them like Paddy Mulvey anymore. A dheis De go raibh a anam dilis.

I see fixtures trouble ahead

Already, with matches postponed because of bad weather last weekend, there is the possibility of chaos with fixtures and it is only the third week of the year. If just one more Sunday is lost because of bad weather then there will be a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth.

  The fixtures calendar is so tight that there is no room for error. Someone pointed out to me that there is now just one free Sunday between now and the last Sunday in March and that’s the day of the FBD League final!  

  Even Roscommon v Galway in the FBD League is fixed for the same day as Michael Glavey’s play in the All-Ireland club semi-final. I predicted fixture chaos this year. I hope it doesn’t come to pass but it is looking likely even at this early stage.

The darts made for great TV!

The dust is settling after another sensational World PDC Darts finals over the Christmas. The fairy-tale of a parting title for Phil Taylor did not materialise but it was fitting that as one superstar of the game was departing another, Rob Cross, was announcing his arrival. It was fantastic television and Barry Hearn and his organisation have done a massive job promoting it to the level it is at now.

  The semi-final match between Cross and the defending champion Michael van Gerwen was one of the best I have ever seen. On the night I was planning to go out but once I started watching I could not leave it. It was compelling entertainment that went to the very last leg.

  To think that Rob Cross got £400,000 for winning the world title shows how far the sport has come from the image of pot-bellied players swilling pints as they played for the title in smoke-filled rooms in the decades gone by.

Tougher FBD test ahead this weekend

At the time of going to press Roscommon will have played their second game in the FBD League and I certainly hope that they learn more than they learned from their first outing against Leitrim.

  I have many fond associations with Leitrim GAA, especially from my time spent in Shannonside Radio but I don’t think I have ever seen a poorer team than the one they fielded in Annaduff last week. If Leitrim do not improve they will struggle in the league, and even more serious they could be up against it when they face New York in the championship in May.

  With regard to Roscommon and whatever happens in Kiltoom on Wednesday night, there should be a great challenge for them in Dr Hyde Park on Sunday when Mayo come calling. 

  I know that results in the FBD League do not count for anything but supporters will remember how Mayo made a big comeback in the game in Kiltoom last year and we all saw what it meant to their players to win that game.

  Without trying to second guess Kevin McStay and the selectors I think we will have an idea what the team for the league will be when we see the team on Sunday.

Over the top reaction to Pool signing

The Premier League is already over but one of the biggest games of the season is on this coming weekend with the clash of Manchester City and Liverpool. City are a fantastic team and if they are at their best then Liverpool will not beat them. City are so far ahead of the rest it is embarrassing for the league itself. When was the title ever decided before Christmas?

  Liverpool were right to cash in on Philippe Coutinho, and in Virgil van Dijk they have bought a top quality defender. However, the wild and totally over the top reaction to his debut against Everton last weekend was ridiculous. Everton are a very poor side and Liverpool struggled to beat them. Yes, Van Dijk scored the winner, but let’s see how he fits in after 10 or 15 games against top class opposition. If Liverpool want to be serious about making progress then they must buy a top class goalkeeper and at least one more defender. Nevertheless Liverpool v City could well be worth a look.

Leinster ahead of the pack

The rugby inter-provincial series over the festive season has shown that Leinster are a good bit ahead of the rest of the Irish sides. Their performance against Ulster last Saturday was sensational.

  Jordan Larmour and Andrew Porter are really exciting new players and Larmour could well ensure that a legend like Rob Kearney will be sitting on the bench for the rest of the season and maybe the rest of his career. Joe Schmidt must also be rubbing his hands with glee at the arrival of Larmour and Porter with the Six Nations and preparations for the World Cup on the way.

  Connacht were well beaten against Munster but they were ever so unlucky against Leinster at the RDS last week. It was a mighty game of rugby and Connacht could have won it, and probably should have. But they are very inconsistent. I know that they are putting all their eggs into the European basket now and on their best day they are capable of winning the Challenge Cup. They must ensure a home draw now for the quarter-finals. They should do that this weekend.

 

Widespread sadness at passing of Paddy Mulvey

 

There was widespread sadness throughout the county and further afield at news last weekend of the death of one of the best-known and highly respected personalities in Roscommon GAA, Paddy Mulvey. Paddy passed away peacefully at the Abbey Haven Nursing Home in Boyle.

  Aged in his late 80s, Paddy Mulvey was part and parcel of the GAA in Roscommon for almost seven decades. As a player he won two senior titles for Elphin in 1950 and 1951.

  But it was with neighbouring club Shannon Gaels that Paddy made his mark and where he became a legend. He won a senior title with ‘The Gaels’ in 1964 but it was his work as an administrator and club and County Board official that he was best known.

  Paddy spent an incredible 63 years on the Shannon Gaels executive stepping down in 2011. He was Treasurer of the Northern Board before taking over as Secretary, a post he held for over 40 years. He also served as a Roscommon senior selector for three years and was Irish and Culture Officer on Roscommon County Board for many years as well.

  He had a special interest in Scór and served as an organiser for many decades at club, regional, and county level. He served at every level with his club and never missed a County Board meeting for over 40 years.

  In 2011 he was recognised by the GAA at national level with the award of The President’s Medal for services to the association. He was one of the first people in the country to receive such an award.

  The huge crowds who attended his removal and burial in Drumlion at the weekend was a measure of the esteem in which Paddy Mulvey was held not alone locally but throughout the county and throughout the country.

  Paddy was pre-deceased by his wife Jo and is survived by sons Fergal and Ronan and by daughters Ann-Marie, Fionnuala, Carmel and Edel, sons in law, daughters in law, grandchildren other family members and a huge circle of friends and club members. Guards of honour were held at the funeral by Shannon Gaels and Roscommon GAA. A dheis De go raibh a anam dilis.

 

Dooner's weekend predictions - January 12th

Ballinasloe Town and St. Peter’s shared the spoils last weekend as the Premier Division’s top four all remain in the title race. St. Peter’s remain unbeaten and have shown they can get big results on the road so would be this column’s slight favourites at this stage.

  This weekend, Ballinasloe will be looking to advance in the FAI Junior Cup when they take on St. Michael’s at home. A tough test for The Town but one they have the ability to pass.

Saturday, January 13th

TP Brennan Connacht Cup Round 3

Moore United v Ballygawley Celtic. 7.30 pm

The visitors are having a tough season. Moore get the nod here. Prediction: Moore United

The Herald Premier Division

Castlerea Celtic v Shiven Rovers. 7.45 pm

The hosts will be favourites but Rovers have beaten both Boyle Celtic and Ballymoe away from home this season. Prediction: Castlerea Celtic

Norio’s Takeaway Division One

Strokestown United v Ahascragh United. 7.45 pm

Boasting two of the best marksmen in the division in Darren Clabby (14 goals) and Derek Connellan (7), Strokestown will be confident of pushing on this year. Prediction: Strokestown United

Sunday, January 14th

FAI Junior Cup Round 6

Ballinasloe Town v St. Michael’s. 2 pm

Make no mistake; this is a huge test for the Connacht champions. A busload of supporters will accompany the Tipperary side on Sunday and The Town will have to be at their best to advance. We wish them the very best of luck. Prediction: Ballinasloe Town

TP Brennan Connacht Cup Round 3 (2 pm)

Dysart FC v Carbury FC

Carbury are enjoying an excellent season and will prove difficult to contain. The heart says Dysart but the head gives the nod to the visitors. Prediction: Carbury FC

Cloonfad United v Corrib Rangers

The visitors to advance. Prediction: Corrib Rangers

Boyle Celtic v Manor Rangers

Celtic should have enough. Prediction: Boyle Celtic

Moylough ’79 v Castlebar Celtic

The Mayo side are formidable. Prediction: Castlebar Celtic

St. Peter’s FC v Iorras Aontaithe

The Athlone side are in great form. Prediction: St. Peter’s FC

TP Brennan Connacht Shield Round 2 (2 pm)

Swinford v Cam Celtic

Cam Celtic cup specialists? Prediction: Cam Celtic

Kilkerrin United v Dynamo Blues

The hosts are having a good season but this will be tough. Prediction: Dynamo Blues

Hodson Bay Athletic v Knocknacarra FC

Hard to know what to expect here but the hosts to advance. Prediction: Hodson Bay Athletic

The Herald Premier Division

Ballaghaderreen FC v Skyvalley Rovers. 11 am

I reckon the hosts have improved recently. Prediction: Draw

Ballymoe FC v St. John’s Athletic. 2 pm

The champions will be favourites. Prediction: Ballymoe FC

Norio’s Takeaway Division One

CP Ajax v Lough Harps. 2 pm

I fancy the visitors here but only just. Prediction: Lough Harps

Killeen Sports Grounds Division Two

Roscommon United v Boyle Celtic B. 11 am

Boyle Celtic have only lost against the league leaders this season. Prediction: Boyle Celtic

Glen Celtic v Rahara Rovers. 2 pm

Glen have improved since the reverse fixture. Prediction: Draw

Skyvalley Rovers B v Shiven Rovers B. 2 pm

Visitors to edge it. Prediction: Shiven Rovers B

 

The Sporting Brief - January 12th

 

Handball

Curraghboy doubles!

Newport pair Ian McLoughlin and Ciaran Burke were triumphant in the Curraghboy New Year’s Doubles tournament which was held recently.

  The youthful duo overcame Lisacul’s Denis Creaton and Sean Jennings in one of the tournament’s best ever finals.

  The experienced Roscommon pair were beaten in a thrilling final on a score of 31-27, having beaten Ollie Cassidy and Trevor Hannon 31-16 in the semi-finals.

  The eventual winners, McLoughlin and Burke had overcome Galway pair, Seamus Conneely and Diarmuid Mulkerrins 31-14 at the same juncture.

  The Plate competition was won by former Roscommon player Neil McDermott and Mullingar man Darren Carter after their opponents, Clare men Fergal Coughlan and Tom Kirby were forced to pull out midway through the final due to injury. McDermott and Carter were leading 18-10 at the time.

  Meanwhile, Armagh supremo Charly Shanks won the 9th annual John Gaffney Memorial Handball Tournament which took place last weekend in Ballaghaderreen and St. Coman’s Handball Clubs.

  The current All-Ireland champion narrowly overcame the former three-time Gaffney Memorial champion, legendary Westmeath man, Robbie McCarthy in a thrilling final to claim the crown in front of a full house and the hundreds watching on Facebook Live.

  McCarthy dominated the first game, taking it 15-9. However, Shanks came back in the second game, taking it 15-10, and sending the match into a tie-breaker. In an epic tussle that could have gone either way, Shanks came out on top on a final score line of 11-8 to cement his position as Ireland’s number 1 player.

Golf

Quiet courses

Roscommon’s golf courses have been kept quiet due to recent poor weather but this Sunday the Midland Intermediate Alliance will host their first outing of the year in Mullingar Golf Club with tee times from 10 am to 12 pm. Call Paddy Coyne on 085-2485177 or Ciaran Malone on 086-8053203 for further details.

  In Athlone, Des McLaughlin won the Open just before Christmas wit 26 points while Gerry Rowlands claimed the Turkey Competition.

  Colm Cummins, meanwhile, landed the Christmas/New Year Open with 35 points and Liam Browne took the Weekend 15-hole stableford.

Darts

Harries happy!

I have to admit I called into Hannon’s Hotel last Sunday to check out (sorry) the Christmas Singles competition and was impressed with the standard on offer. It certainly went some way to satisfying a darts addiction I seem to have acquired over Christmas!

  Wayne Harries took the title following a close fought final against Mick Egan, the man who had hit the most 180s on the day.

  League action resumes this Friday with the following fixtures: The Forge v McDermott’s, Creaton’s v An Bothar Rua, The Hollywood Bar v The Holly Tree and Molly’s v Flanagan’s.

Basketball

Warriors winning

Western Warriors are in second place as the Lonleitros league reaches the midway point. Warriors have won six out of their seven games, beating Castlerea Cosmos, Boyle, Drumlish Draggons, Longford Falcons, Longford Torpedoes and Mohill whilst losing narrowly to league newcomers Mayo Mustangs.

  The Warriors have been training hard over the past weeks and took part in an invitational tournament in Maynooth last weekend, reaching the semi-final stage.

  The Warriors start 2018 with games against Falcons in Strokestown this Friday at 8 pm and Mustangs in Castlebar on next Tuesday (16th) at 8 pm.

 

Breaking Ball - January 12th

 

 

NUIG Challenge Match

Roscommon played NUIG in a challenge match last Saturday in Dangan. NUIG won by five points. Roscommon used all their available subs as they continue their build up to the forthcoming National Football League.

  The Roscommon team and subs were: Aaron Brady; Philip Neilan, John McManus, Aengus Lyons; Shane Dowd, Sean Mullooly, Fergal Lennon; Conor Daly, Ian Kilbride; Niall Daly, Fintan Cregg, Ronan Daly; Donie Smith, Ciaran Lennon, Cian McKeon. Subs: Colm Lavin, Finbar Cregg, Padraig Kelly, David Murray, Ciaráin Murtagh, Diarmuid Murtagh, Hubert Darcy, Tadhg McKenna, Ciaran Cafferkey.

Ladies set for New Year

The recent Roscommon Ladies AGM did not conclude all business and so an EGM is scheduled for 7.30 pm in Hannon’s Hotel on Monday, January 22nd.

  Rosemary Coyle, injury fund coordinator, will address the meeting and will answer any queries in relation to the fund on the night. Clubs are requested to send details of club committees to the Ladies Board Secretary immediately.

  Roscommon Ladies are in action against Mayo in the Connacht Winter League this Sunday (14th) at 2 at Michael Glavey’s.

Referees’ meeting this Friday

The Annual General Meeting for all existing referees takes place this Friday night (12th) at 8 pm in Hannon’s Hotel in Roscommon town.

  A full turn-out is expected as there are many important issues up for discussion. Clubs are also reminded that the new Referee Course is taking place at the end of January. Each Club must have at least one person to put forward for this course.   

 For further information, contact Haulie Beirne (Referee Administrator) on 086-8293845.

Neighbours to visit The Hyde

Despite the fact that it may only be an FBD League game there is sure to be plenty of interest in the clash of Roscommon and Mayo on Sunday next at Dr Hyde Park. Throw in at 2 pm.

  With the cancellation of the match between Mayo and Galway at MacHale Park last Sunday, that match has been re-fixed for this Friday evening at the same venue and it will mean that Mayo will be playing their third game in five days. Some of their main players will be back on the panel after the team holiday to Malaysia.

  Last year in Kiltoom, Mayo staged a late recovery to overcome Roscommon in the FBD League and clashes between the sides are always well contested. This one will certainly be no different.

 

Rossies blow Leitrim away in FBD opener!

 

 

Roscommon senior footballers opened their FBD League campaign with a hugely convincing win over a poor Leitrim side yesterday evening (Wednesday) in front of a sizeable Roscommon support at the Leitrim Centre of Excellence, Annaduff.

  Playing against a strong wind, the Connacht champions tore into their neighbours from the throw-in and were three points ahead after just eight minutes as Diarmuid Murtagh converted two frees before slotting over from play.

  Leitrim finally opened their account after nine minutes when Darren Carberry got them off the mark. But it was Roscommon who were the dominant force and a Finbar Cregg goal just past the midway point of the first half was no more than they deserved. Conor Devaney played a good ball in and Ciaráin Murtagh fed Cregg who finished to the net.

  Brendan Gallagher grabbed Leitrim’s second point after 23 minutes but Roscommon responded with three frees from talisman Diarmuid Murtagh to leave the scores 1-6 to 0-2.

  On the stroke of half-time, Murtagh struck again. A quick free from Donie Smith found Finbar Cregg and his pass allowed the St. Faithleach’s forward to fist home for Roscommon’s second goal. Half-time score: Roscommon 2-6 Leitrim 0-2.

  Roscommon continued their assault in the second half aided by the strong wind. Donie Smith was outstanding and he kicked four fantastic points from play as Leitrim struggled to live with McStay’s men.

  By the 26th minute of the second half, Roscommon led by 2-13 to 0-2 through points from Smith (0-3), Finbar Cregg (0-2) and Ciaráin Murtagh (0-1). A Brendan Gallagher penalty with seven minutes of normal time remaining was of little consolation to a Leitrim side which was well beaten long before the full-time whistle.

  Donie Smith and Keith Beirne swapped points before the end as Roscommon opened their FBD League campaign with a very convincing win.

  Elsewhere, Galway were 1-12 to 0-11 winners over Sligo.

Roscommon: C Lavin; P Domican, N McInerney, R Timothy; T McKenna, D Murray, C Devaney; T O’Rourke, I Kilbride, N Daly; R Daly; P Kelly; CMurtagh (0-1), D Murtagh (1-6, 5 frees), F Cregg (1-2). Subs used: D Smith (0-4) for Devaney (20 mins), S Dowd for Kelly, E Smith for Timothy, S Mullooly for Murray, H Walsh for C Murtagh, C Lennon (0-1) for O’Rourke.

Leitrim: D McKiernan; L Ryan, D Feehily, M McWeeney; J Rooney, E Ward, S Quinn; D Wryan, C Moreton; C Gaffney, B Gallagher (1-1, 1-0 penalty), J Heslin; A Flynn, N McGovern, D Carberry (0-1). Subs used: D Moran, J Mitchell, K Beirne (0-1), K Keegan.

Referee: John Gilmartin

Caulfield brings silverware to Lecarrow

 

 

 

Despite the fact that Johnny Caulfield has spent the last 31 years in Cork, he has never forgotten the 20 years he spent in Roscommon town and Lecarrow, and the man who managed Cork City to a historic league and cup double in 2017 was back in Lecarrow last Saturday night to celebrate his success with the locals.

  Only a stone’s throw from his parents’ home, Johnny brought the two magnificent trophies with him and chatted with the locals, posed for photos and relaxed as another huge season awaits for Ireland’s best-followed soccer club. Just twelve months previously I met Johnny in Knockcroghery. Already hugely successful, Cork City had finished second to Dundalk three years in a row in the Premier Division and his burning ambition was to finally land the Premier Division title for the club’s long suffering supporters.

  Not only did City win the title after a barnstorming start, but they also defeated their bitter rivals Dundalk in the FAI Cup Final in what was a truly memorable year. So what were his expectations for the club going into the 2017 season?

  “I knew we had a great chance of winning the league because after winning the cup in 2016 we went into the year with a lot of confidence. I also felt that Seanie (Maguire) would have a big season and he did, and our aim from the start of the year was to win the league. Obviously we stalled a bit after a great start and Maguire, O’Connor and Dunleavy going to England was a huge blow. But we had such a lead we got there in the end.    

  “The bonus was winning the cup and we had that bit of luck that you need. To get to the final and beat Dundalk without Seanie Maguire was special and I don’t think we really got the credit for that,” he said.

  While 2017 was really special, 2018 will be an even bigger test for the club who regularly attract 5,000 people for their home games at Turner’s Cross.

  “We have retained most of the lads we had at the end of the season and we have brought in a few new players. We signed a new striker just today actually from St. Johnstone - Graham Cummins. He’s a Cork man coming back to his home club so I am looking forward to working with him”.

  Johnny says that the attraction of playing Champions League football will be a big incentive this season.

  “I’m very happy that our team is hungry again for 2018. Obviously Dundalk will be there again and Shamrock Rovers too and maybe Sligo and Derry, but we are there at the top to be knocked down.

  “We are really looking forward to playing Champions League football during the summer. It’s great for the players and it’s great for the fans but our goal is to retain the league title again in 2018,” he said.

  Johnny says that he loves coming back to Roscommon as often as he can.

  “Even though I’m in Cork for 31 years Roscommon is my home. I spent my first 20 years here between the town and Lecarrow and I have a lot of friends still here that I look forward to seeing. I love coming back to see my parents and to meet all the people of the locality.

  “From the age of eight I was going to every game under the sun, Gaelic football, hurling, soccer, and anything else that was going. There are a lot of links with the local people here. At the cup final against Dundalk there were about 20 people from around here that went to the match, which was great.

  “My parents are in good health thank God and it is great to come up at this time of the year and meet the local lads and go for a few pints and a chat”.

  And that’s what he did. Johnny Caulfield is a lovely man, who deserves his success. A legend in Cork sport who learned the ropes in Roscommon - and has never forgotten that either.

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