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Roscommon & District League Challenge Cup Final

Ballinasloe Town 3 Castlerea Celtic 1

Enda Concannon, manager of all-conquering Ballinasloe Town, has described last Sunday’s Cup Final win by his side as one of their sweetest successes in recent years.

  Concannon, whose team collected a fourth successive Challenge Cup title after a 3-1 win over Castlerea, paid tribute to his players after they fought back after going behind three minutes into the second half.

  Concannon praised a Castlerea team who offered impressive resistance against the hot favourites.    “Castlerea were excellent out there today. They were very disciplined, so we had to be patient. However there was a very strong wind and we were happy at half-time that they hadn’t scored in the first half.”

  After that scoreless opening period, Castlerea raised prospects of a shock win by taking the lead on 48 minutes. However a stunning equaliser from Shane Duffy settled the favourites and they went on to win yet another trophy.

  It’s a fourth Cup win in a row and also represented the completion of another league and cup double by a team that continues to dominate the Roscommon & District League.

  Squally showers and a strong, bitterly cold wind ensured that it was not a day for fancy football and the first half was a drab affair with few chances, the best of which fell to Castlerea, who were playing with the strong wind at their backs.

  Ballinasloe were restricted to a couple of half-chances but they knew that with the aid of the elements they would get opportunities in the second half. However, with the score at 0-0, the second half opened with Castlerea scoring a super goal on 48 minutes. Enda Foster crossed from the left and Pater Farrell headed home superbly from eight yards.

  Was there a shock on the cards? Castlerea played well for about 10 minutes after that but Ballinasloe never panicked and they slowly worked their way back into the game. After they’d missed a couple of chances the Ballinasloe equaliser came in the 53rd minute – and what a goal it was.

  There didn’t seem much danger when Shane Duffy ran on to a loose clearance from the Celtic defence but he let fly from 30 yards and his left-footed strike flew into the top corner for a spectacular goal. It was all Ballinasloe after that, although Castlerea did have one goal chance in the 62nd minute when Ronan Curran’s header was saved by Aidan Fallon.

  Then in the 75th minute Ballinasloe went ahead. David Grehan shot from 25 years and Liam O’Connell saved well, but he could only parry the ball into the path of Martin Flannery who swept home from eight yards.

  David Grehan and Aiden Dooney both had chances for Ballinasloe after that and then, with a minute to go, the champions struck again. It was route-one stuff as Aidan Fallon kicked long and Martin Flannery was quickest to react and he shot low and hard to seal another famous win for ‘The Town.’ Can anyone stop the five-in-a-row?

  Certainly Ballinasloe manager Enda Concannon appears to retain the hunger for more success. “It’s been a great season again but I actually found it the hardest season of all because we had a lot of injuries and suspensions. We showed today that we have a very good squad and this was one of our best wins in recent years. “We are thrilled to win this trophy once again. We have a great bunch of lads who are determined to keep on winning.”

  Ominous words for the rest of the league!

Ballinasloe Town: Aidan Fallon, Gary Egan, Kenneth Kenny, Peter Keighery, Des Hope, David Nee, Shane Duffy, Darragh Concannon, David Grehan (Michael Greaney 77), Aidan Dooney, Malcom Flannery, (Mike Lynch, 91). Castlerea Celtic: Liam O’Connell, Derek Kennedy, Giles McDonagh, James Joyce, Declan Creaton, Ronan Curran, Stephen Ryan (Aaron Keane 77), Eoghan O’Connell, Nathan Bligh, Peter Farrell (Cathal Dineen, 77), Enda Foster (Oisin Ward 65). Referee: Bobby Stokes.

Heneghan heroics

Hodson Bay Hotel Roscommon SFC

Castlerea St Kevin’s 0-12 Strokestown 1-8


Castlerea staged one of the comebacks of the year to snatch victory by a solitary point in this low-key encounter played in awful weather conditions in Strokestown on Saturday evening.

  After 16 minutes of play Strokestown led this match by 1-6 to 0-1 and a landslide victory for the home side looked on the cards – but incredibly Strokestown only scored twice in the final 44 minutes of play as Castlerea awoke from their slumber to notch what was a remarkable victory.

  Strokestown were on fire in the opening quarter. Aided by a Keelan Beirne goal in the 4th minute, they blitzed Castlerea, with Thomas Corcoran, Colin Compton and Kevin Finn all absolutely flying. They led by 1-6 to 0-1 after just 16 minutes.

  Responding to the blitz, Castlerea moved Enda Kenny to midfield, and he and Fintan Kelly took over after that. At half-time Strokestown led by 1-6 to 0-4 with Ger Heneghan, Fintan Kelly and Enda Kenny all scoring good points before the break for Castlerea.

  A revitalised Castlerea continued to dominate in the second period and by the 49th minute they had drawn level at 0-10 to 1-7. Thomas Corcoran pointed a Strokestown free in the 54th minute but veteran Ger Heneghan was once again the Castlerea hero as he kicked two magnificent long-range frees from 50 and 55 metres in the final three minutes to give his side a remarkable win.

Castlerea St Kevin’s: John Duggan; Dermot Lyons, Neil Collins, Niall Collins; David Quinn, Cathal Dineen, Eddie Creaton; Ronan Raftery (0-1), Fintan Kelly (0-1); Niall Connaughton, Seamus Heneghan, Declan Creaton; Enda Kenny (0-1), David Scahill (0-1), Ger Heneghan (0-6, 3 frees 1 ’45). Subs: Chris Dineen (0-2) for Quinn (19), Patrick Gunning for Cathal Dineen (52), Strokestown: John McHugh; David Neary, Ruairi Molloy, Paddy Brogan; Daniel Rogers, Sean Mullooly, John Rogers (0-1); David Butler, Seamus Collins; Keelan Beirne (1-0), Kevin Finn (0-2), Thomas Corcoran (0-2, 1 free); Colin Compton, John Cullinane, Diarmuid McGann (0-2, 1 free). Subs: Conor Silke for Beirne (39), David Parker for Mullooly (black card, 56). Referee: Kevin Naughton. Man of the Match: Enda Kenny (Castlerea St Kevin’s)

‘The Bullet’ for darts exhibition in Elphin

Elphin will welcome one of the rising stars in PDF Darts when Stephen ‘The Bullet’ Bunting performs in an exhibition on Saturday 13th of June in An Bothar Rua.

  Bunting, a former BDO world champion, will take on a number of local darts players in an exhibition-typed event. He has also been known to produce a trick shot or two on stage.

  The event will follow the 3rd Annual Elphin Open which begins at 1 pm in An Bothar Rua, Elphin. There will be a €2000 guaranteed prize fund with an entry fee of €20.

  The top eight placed players will receive prize-money and trophies. Food will be served on the day. There will be a raffle with all proceeds will going to Elphin S.O.S. (Support to Overcome Suicide).

  For more details contact Gerard on 083-4613378. All are welcome to what will surely be a great day of darts and entertainment!

Its world class from Damien and Rikki!

Shane Reynolds 

World titles don’t arrive in Roscommon all that often but recently in front of a packed house at the purpose-built City West Handball Complex local handballers Damien Martin and Rikki O’Gara from St. Coman’s Handball Club won gold in the Men’s A Doubles World Championship.

  Damien and Rikki, who have been part of the St. Coman’s club from an early age, landed the title when they overcame Karl Browne and Jerome Willoughby in a nail-biting tie-breaker (11-5) for a 21-12, 8-21, 11-15 win. 

  The momentous achievement represents the pinnacle of both players’ careers and put them

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Gormley leaves lethal Mark Aidans stunned by Bunninadden comeback

AIB Connacht Club IFC semi-final

Bunninadden (Sligo) 3-11 St. Aidan’s (Roscommon) 3-10

Seamus Duke 

An incredible final-quarter final revival saw the Sligo champions Bunninadden come from 12 points down to snatch a sensational victory in injury-time in this thrilling intermediate football semi-final played in Kiltoom last Sunday.

  In all the years of going to and covering games, I don’t think I have ever seen anything quite like this. With 45 minutes played St Aidans were leading by 2-10 to 0-4 and were coasting to victory and set for a place in the Connacht final. Their opponents were down and


McStay concerned over injury list

Seamus Duke 

St Brigids manager Kevin McStay spoke to the Roscommon People this week.

  “I have been happy with our preparations since our semi-final win but our injury situation is a worry. Frankie Dolan looks like he will be ok but he has not trained since the semi-final and that’s a worry. Shane Curran is also a doubt and we are worried about the extent of his leg injury. 

  “Darren Dolan is very doubtful and Garvan Dolan is also a doubt. On the plus side Cathal McHugh is making good progress and may be ready to play a


Moving on with happy memories!

Two weeks ago the World Handball Championships concluded with a number of spectacular finals at juvenile and adult grades. There were several fantastic highlights from these major championships, not least the extraordinary standard of juvenile boys and girls handball.  

  Roscommon is no exception to this and the county was reasonably represented across all juvenile grades in both 40x20 and 1-wall codes. 

  It would be fair to say, however, that initiatives being promoted by the County Board, including training of coaches, juvenile blitzs and school demonstrations will need to be capitalised upon by the further facilitation of the


Huge task for us Hughes

Gerry Hughes is the Salthill/Knocknacarra manager. 

  “We were delighted to win the county final but we played a league game since and we were beaten in that so that brought us back down to earth. We also have a couple of niggly injuries and Gary Cox and Ruaidhri McTiernan are receiving treatment this week and hopefully they will be able to line out. 

  “We didn’t pass any heed on the Connacht Championship at all until the last week or two. We were very focussed on winning the county title because we hadn’t won it for a few years.



AIB Connacht Club JFC semi-final

Oran (Roscommon) 1-12 Cloonacool (Sligo) 0-05

Seamus Duke 

Roscommon champions Oran produced an excellent display to sweep past Sligo opponents Cloonacool and into the Connacht club junior football final at Kiltoom last Sunday. Short man of the match Thomas Fetherston from the county final win because of a virus, the Oran men coped very well and they had victory in their grasp a long time before the final whistle.

  In fact Oran outscored their opponents by 1-6 to 0-1 in the second half, which was a measure of their dominance. Oran were very impressive


Brigids bid for three-in-a-row

AIB Connacht Club SFC Semi-Final: 

Salthill/Knocknacarra (Galway) v St Brigids (Roscommon) on Sunday at Pearse Stadium at 2.30 pm

Seamus Duke 

This is a very eagerly awaited Connacht semi-final as St Brigids’ quest for a third provincial title in a row continues at the home of the Galway champions on Sunday. An interesting twist to the clash will be that former St Faithleachs and Roscommon captain Gary Cox will be lining out for the Galway men against Brigids on Sunday. Gary was on the St Faithleachs side which lost to Brigids in the county finals in 2006 and 2007.


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