Skyvalley Rovers readily prepared to celebrate milestone club anniversary

With the news that the clubs in the Roscommon and District League are in favour of completing the season, supporters will have something to cheer about soon.

For two of the established clubs in the Premier Division it will set them up nicely for next year when they celebrate a half century in existence. Both Ballinasloe Town and Skyvalley Rovers have enjoyed many successful years in the Roscommon League and would hope to collect more silverware in 2021.

Skyvalley Rovers football club is at the very heart of the community in Taughmaconnell and embraces community spirit since its establishment in 1971. It has been a very eventful and exciting 49 years with lots of cups won and a fine ground bought and developed into what it is today.

The club now own an area of some five acres in the centre of the close knit parish containing two pitches, training and astro turf facilities plus a clubhouse with four dressing rooms. Setting the standard, Skyvalley were the first club in the league to own their own ground. Fielding teams in several age groups, the first team were founder members of the League and have never been out of the top flight since.

Informal games at the start of the 1970s led to the organising of a number of friendly fixtures early in 1971. Soon after, the Roscommon League held its inaugural meeting with club member Sean Kelly elected as vice-chairman. Skyvalley kicked off their season away to Mosaics of Roscommon and won by the odd goal in seven. Johnny Cooney with two, Joe Burke and Kevin Macken were the scorers. Using Keogh’s field as a pitch, Rovers played their first home game against Lanesboro with Cooney again on target in a one all draw. It was a satisfactory first season which saw the team finish in sixth place with nineteen points from the eighteen games played. Roscommon Town were the league winners.

Further progress was made during the 1970s and Skyvalley were crowned league champions for the first time after the completion of the 1976/77 season. The League Cup became the second piece of silverware to be collected the following season as Rovers became established.

The year 1984 was a momentous one for the club as they officially opened their new grounds at Onagh Park in August. The first team came close to winning the league that season but had to settle for second place. The 1985/86 campaign proved much more successful as the league title was lifted for a second time. The title was retained the following season with a third win in four years coming in 1988/89.

As the decade drew to a close, Rovers won the Roscommon Cup for a second time. It was the start of a great run in the competition which was to see the cup come to Taughmaconnell on five further occasions up to the millennium. The league trophy was also lifted on several occasions as the team set the pace during a golden spell for the club.

Recent years have brought some success but the golden years for the previous all conquering Rovers team have faded somewhat. Jousts for league honours were swapped for battles against relegation as the old guard were replaced. This season saw the team reach the milestone of their fiftieth year playing top flight football.

The campaign kicked off with a local derby against Moore United with Callum O’Brien salvaging a point for Rovers from the penalty spot. A first win followed against Moylough but there was little luck for the rest of the league campaign as the bright start faded.

In February, St. Peters came from behind to edge out Rovers by the odd goal in seven in the Connacht Cup. Knockout competitions still look like the best route to honours in 2020 as Rovers signed off in March by advancing in the challenge cup after beating Dysart.


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