Roscommon and Galway served up an epic u-21 Connacht final last Saturday evening in Tuam Stadium
It started and finished in a welter of excitement before Roscommon rightly advanced to the All-Ireland semi-final by 3-14 to 3-11.
It was the visitors’ first time putting two u-21 titles back to back, and their fourth title at this grade in six years, and they proved last weekend what a talented and hardworking side they are.
Alan Flynn's Galway battled right to the death and Eamonn Brannigan scored a sensational late goal to give the home side some hope, but in the final analysis it is fair to say the better side won.
Galway supporters in the crowd had been given hope in the first half when both Damien Comer and Enda Tierney hit two fine goals, and Michael Day was in terrific form at midfield.
However the defending champions soon settled to their task, and a slight lapse of concentration in the Galway rearguard allowed Cathal Compton to goal which helped to ease them into a 1-10 to 2-6 half-time lead.
When Diarmuid Murtagh proved his class with a wonderful catch and stunning finish going into the last quarter, it gave the Roscommon team real momentum.
County senior star Enda Smith then ripped in from the left and set up Paul Kenny for another goal and it looked the end of the road for Galway. And despite Brannigan's late goal, it was.
The game ended with the massive Roscommon support in a crowd of well over 5000 cheering their team to a famous and deserved victory.
Good luck to them in the All Ireland series.
Scorers for Galway: E Brannigan 1-3, D Comer 1-2 (0-1f ), E Tierney 1-1, C Brady 0-3, K Molloy & J Heaney 0-1 each.
Scorers for Roscommon: D Murtagh 1-7 (0-6f ), U Harney 0-3, C Compton & P Kenny 1-0 each, S Killoran 0-2, J Earley & K Kilcline 0-1 each.
Galway: T O’Malley; A Nolan, J Wyndam, E Kerin; L Silke, C Cunningham, K Molloy; D Corbett, M Day; C Brady, J Heaney, E Tierney; E Brannigan, D Comer (Cpt ), G Kelly. Subs: M Farragher for Kelly (23 ), E Finnerty for Corbett (49 ), Paul Mannion for Brady (57 ), J Donnellan for Brannigan (60 ).
Roscommon: S Mannion; N McInerney, S Mullooly, D Barron; C Hussey, C Kenny, R Daly; C Compton, T O’Rourke; S Killoran, U Harney, J Earley; D Murtagh, P Kenny, E Smith. Subs: E McGrath for Hussey (21 ), K Kilcline for Killoran (35 ), N Gately for Earley (40 ), Thomas Corcoran for O’Rourke (24 ), D McGann for P Kenny (59 ).