Cadbury's Connacht U-21 Championship
Mayo were knocked out of the Cadbury’s Connacht U-21 Championship by Roscommon for the second successive year at McHale Park, Castlebar on Saturday.
In a stop-start game with plenty of mistakes, a point by Darren Coen left Ray Dempsey’s side 9-8 ahead with six minutes remaining, but Roscommon scored three super efforts to set up a semi-final meeting with Leitrim.
The visitors had made the early running, and led 3-1 after 15 minutes thanks to two Shane Regan frees and a Darren McDermott effort. Cillian O’Connor opened Mayo’s account with an 11th minute free, but they then lost full-back Kevin Keane to a knee injury, which prompted a number of positional switches.
Aidan O’Shea (operating around the middle of the field) made it 3-2 after a good run,, but the Rossies hit three points in four minutes – from Scott Oates, McDermott and Paddy Brogan – to put distance between the sides. Mayo closed the gap before the break with a fisted point from O’Connor, and another O’Shea score from the resultant kickout. It was 0-6 to 0-4 in Roscommon’s favour at the break.
Darren Coen, introduced as a half-time substitute, cut the gap within 20 seconds of the restart, and an O’Connor free levelled matters. Two Regan frees put Roscommon 8-6 in front, but Mayo were still in the hunt. O’Connor converted another free and sub James Cafferty landed the equaliser. A goal for either side might have won it, but both Shane Nally and Michael Forde saw their efforts blocked. But the green and red did go ahead thanks to another score from Coen.
But it was Jimmy Gacquin’s Roscommon who closed the deal – and they did it in some style. Cathal Shine fired over a terrific angled point, and then centre back Niall Daly put the away side back in front with a super effort from the right. Scott Oates got the final score of the day in injury time as Mayo’s interest in the competition ended at the first hurdle.
N Connaughton; N Byrne, C Duignan, C Cafferkey; E Bannon, N Daly (0-1), P Brogan (0-01); E Stritch, A Feehily; B Murtagh, S Oates (0-2, 1f), S Regan (0-4, 4f); C Compton, C Shine (0-1), D McDermott (0-2).
Subs used: M Higgins for Byrne (45 mins); N Collins for Feehily (52 mins); D Clabby for Murtagh (52 mins); N Kilroy for Compton (54 mins).
R Hennelly; S McHale, K Keane, K Rogers; C Crowe, D Kirby, E Reilly; S Nally, D Geraghty; M Forde, C Freeman, A Farrell; C Dempsey, A O’Shea (0-2), C O’Connor (0-4, 3f).
Subs used: A Walsh for Keane (17 mins, inj); D Coen (0-2) for Farrell (h-t); J Cafferty (0-1) for Geraghty (36 mins); F Durkan for Geraghty (56 mins).
Referee: E O’Grady (Leitrim)