Roscommon u21s through to all-Ireland decider
Roscommon’s highly rated u21 team have booked their place in this year’s All-Ireland decider thanks to a well deserved 2-7 to 2-2 win over a fancied Cavan outfit in Pearse Park Longford last Saturday.
Having already seen off the challenges of Armagh, Derry, and Tyrone the Breffni men were warm favourites to advance to the decider. Nigel Dinneen’s men had other ideas however and duly tore up the script in impressive fashion.
Cavan had wind advantage in the opening half and led 1-1 to 0-1 after eight minutes. Padraig Pearses wing back Conor Daly then levelled matters with a well-taken goal. Roscommon began to take control of proceedings and entered the break leading 1-3 to 1-1.
Niall Kilroy and Donal Smyth stretched the lead after the break before Chris Conroy pointed for the blues. This was their first score in 26 minutes and they have to wait another 23 minutes for their next score as the Roscommon defensive unit snuffed out any danger.
Roscommon were four points to the good and the finishing line was in sight when Cavan’s Kevin Tierney bagged his second goal to cut the deficit to the minimum. Despite a few nervous moments Roscommon sealed matters through a Colin Compton goal and a final pointed free by Smith.
In similar fashion to the performance in the Connacht decider against Mayo, this was a great all-round team effort. The defensive unit was outstanding with Cathal Duignan, Ronan Stack and Conor Daly very much to the fore.
The midfield partnership of Shine and Daly held the upper hand all day while up front Donal Smith again underlined his class with some well-taken scores.
Dublin await in the decider and having blown away all opposition so far it is not surprising the Metropolitans are the hottest of favourites to lift the title. They have been clocking up big scores in each of their games so far but it is doubtful they have come up against a defensive unit as mean as Roscommon’s. If Dineen can get his forward unit to become a bit more potent they might just upset the odds once more. The decider is fixed for Tullamore on Sunday May 6.