Juniors canter to Connacht crown

On the day that the Connacht senior football championship got going properly, the junior equivalent finished up this afternoon with the provincial decider on the undercard at Hyde Park. While this one didn’t turn out to be as lopsided as the senior clash between Galway and a hugely disappointing Roscommon proved to be, it was still one that was won decisively, with John Kelly’s charges claiming the county’s first Connacht junior title since 2007 by dint of a handsome eight-point victory.

With fifteen minutes played, however, such an outcome didn’t appear to be on the cards as the Tribesmen led by four points, with our lads at that stage having failing to register a single score. It wasn’t that they were being outplayed either as they had numerous chances to get off the mark but poor shooting repeatedly let them down. Indeed, wayward shooting was a feature of our performance all day today, as we ended up with a whopping sixteen wides to our (mis)credit.

We had six wides chalked up before Alan Egan opened our account with a point but then we got right back into the contest with a goal from Colin Dempsey. Then, after Galway had nudged a point ahead again, two scores in a row – from Aidan McTigue and Enda McManamon (a free) – pushed us ahead at the break.

Galway also started the second half better, with three unanswered points soon after the break putting them back in the driving seat. That was as good as it got for the junior Tribesmen, however, as we then hit them with a barrage of scores to claim the spoils in decisive fashion.

Points from Alan Egan and Enda McManamon pulled us level and while Galway did manage to claim one at the other end to go back in front for one final time, Aidan McTigue squared it up again with his second of the day from play. The Davitts man followed this up almost straight away afterwards with a fine goal and then his clubmate Ronan McNamara banged over a free to send us four clear with a bit over ten minutes left on the clock.

From there, the lads coasted to victory, with points from play by Simon Cloherty, Alan Egan and Michael Walsh and two more frees from Ronan McNamara as we closed out an impressive 2-12 to 0-10 victory. Ronan McNamara was named Man of the Match and it was also he who accepted the Paddy Brett Cup.

According to @MayoGAA – who provided great score updates throughout the afternoon and from where I also got the photos which accompany this report – next on the agenda for the victorious juniors will be a trip to Blighty to face the winners of the London (or should that be the UK, I wonder?) junior championship.

Mayo: Paul Mannion; Liam O’Malley, Niall McCormack, Barry Leonard; Shane McDermott, Ollie Feeney, Michael Walsh (0-1); ┬áRonan McNamara (0-3, frees), Padraic McManamon; Alan Egan (0-3), Enda McManamon (0-2), Simon Cloherty (0-1); Michael Moran, Colin Dempsey (1-0), Aidan McTigue (1-2). Subs: Joe Kelly for Moran, Peter Collins for Enda McManamon, Sean Kelly for McTigue.

21 thoughts on “Juniors canter to Connacht crown

  1. thanks for the report willie joe

    it was the only thing i could find about the match today ,

  2. Well done to Juniors . I see the county board getting full value from old jerseys. Would be nice to treat all county footballers the same .

  3. Congrats to all the Islandeady lads on the panel, nice to see so many given that we are a small club. One of them is a young Player called Niall McCormack who is a direct relation of Peter Solan! so good stock there.

    This will be probably be the last year there is a Connacht Junior championship.

    On another note Eamon Sweeney had a nasty auld dig at Mayo today in a Rugby article about Leinster. Dont know why he went mentioning us at all for, but the Sligo man showed he can be a nasty prick when he wants.

  4. Mayo lad – Colm Gannon in the Mayo Advertiser also has a match report on today’s junior final – here.

    I hadn’t seen that piece by Eamonn Sweeney, Isleandeadygaga, until you mentioned it (if anyone else wants to see it, it’s here). It’s a cheap shot alright but a tongue-in-cheek one so I wouldn’t be too put out by it. In fairness to Eamonn Sweeney, he gives us a good write-up in his championship preview in today’s Sunday Indo – here.

  5. Islandeadygaga…the man from the source of the finest spring in Peter Solon …dont take to heart what Eamon Sweeney wrote about Mayo there. In a way he gives a good and witty example, its a backhanded compliment really, we make finals ,as Micky Harte says they must be doing something right in Mayo if they make those finals…others dont.

    Eamon Sweeney is a fairly fearless writer and not afraid to scramble a few eggs. I would regard him like Keith Duggan a friend of Mayo football and its people.

  6. Did not arrive in time to see the Mayo juniors. Made a 260 mile round trip to see the Rossies and to say they were shite is an understatement. To analyse this defeat is difficult, here are a few opinions – team selection was wrong, two big corner forwards with little or no mobility and an untried small lad at full forward, O Gara not started at centre forward. Bridgets players who looked unmotivated and tired. Zoned defending, what the fu”k is that about. Unfit team, who could not bend down to pick up the ball. Its interesting that Donie Shine in a piece on the Des Cahills Sunday game talked about Frankie Dolan as his hero growing up, me thinks Francie Grehan, Mike Ryan, Shane Curran, Frankie, Stephen Lohan, Nigel Dineen paid a very heavy price for silly antics back around the time of the infamous Derry hotel incident, we seem to be still paying the price for a lack of on field direction when the shit is hitting the fan. The manager Netwon seems to be a bit of a turkey, the sensible option may have been to go for one of the the numerous coaches who have coached Roscommon underage teams ala Alan Mullholland. Galway in fairness did play well and Conroy looks top quality.

  7. It was a bit of a shocker alright from the Rossies, James, they were never really in it at all. Was Finneran’s injury early on a big influence, I wonder? They got cleaned out at midfield all day but all over the field they were second best and as you’ve said the entire team looked unfit. I really fancied them to give Galway a right good rattle (so much so that I tipped them to win in my mini-league prediction) so that shows what a good tipster I am (though I did get the Longford result right). Hard to know where the Rossies go from here – I think you may be right about Newton and it’s such a pity for them that Fergie O’Donnell didn’t stay at the helm a while longer.

  8. Roscommon, as big and as slow as ever. Height and strength seems to be the main criteria to get on a Roscommon team.
    Shocking peformance. What’s going on there ?

  9. Finneran getting injured did not make any difference, he did not get near the ball for the first 10 mins. We were plain shite, second to every ball, fumbling and stumbling. Agree with the comment about “height and strenght”. Was talking to someone closely connected to the team at the U-21 game and sadly he predicted this, players don’t believe in he Netwon system – here we go again. And to think I was dissapointed at losing a Connacht final by 2 points to Mayo about 9 months ago.

  10. ros were dis jointed uninterested even during the parade their body language was one of not that bothered i dont think finnerans injury made much off a diff totally unfit team looks like all is not well in the ros camp

  11. What’s all the fuss about Roscommon. You could not beat them often enough and by enough. I hate them with a passion having lived 5 miserable years amongst a crowd of begrudging low life’s

  12. I think they found out that playing in the lower divisions doesnt prepare a team for the pace and intensity of championship football against the likes of Galway.

  13. You’re an incredible guy John, that comment I’d expect from a jilted 16 year old and not a seemingly respected member of an excellent gaa blog, who is moving on in years. You get begruding arseholes in every county, rise above it.

    Good luck for the championship, don’t like losing to Mayo, but supporters and team never give up and always come back for more. Fair play, would not begrudge you guys an All Ireland, maybe you should live beside me John?

  14. Sometimes blunt honesty doesnt go down well with GAA supporters. I was delighted Galway beat Ross well yesterday, i cant really explain why i feel like that but that is the truth.

  15. John – I just have to pull you up over that comment, which is of a kind that obviously has no place here. I can only apologise, James, for it – your views and input on the site are always welcome here and are even more so given your willingness to come on this morning to post your views after what was clearly a disappointing day for your county yesterday.

  16. Good man WJ, no need to apologise for the infractions of another poster. I must say after yesterdays result I feel somewhat inadequate to be posting on this site at all. However I am a proud Rossie and realise that posting only on victories is of the type more akin to the sunshine supporter, you have to take the rough with the smooth.

  17. It’s always good to get some insight from someone from outside the county but I know the easier option this morning would have been to keep the head down and say nothing. It’s all the more commendable that you didn’t.

  18. I got quite a laugh out of johns comment !

    think i will tip over to ruislip next week and see who our opponent will be. I heard from a fella who knows a fella ( and lets face it that is the most secure source of all…) in the leitrim team that they are very worried about this one… and if london have improved from last year then i dont blame them!

  19. Apologies to James Joyce and you WJ. None of my spleen aimed at you. I can assure you I have good reasons for my outburst but realise a sporting site was not the spot. Had either of you endured what my family and I endured , you might understand better. Anyway wrong site, wrong target, and apolgies to James Joyce and WJ. Have suspended myself

  20. Lets assume for the moment that Mayo beat the winner of Leitrin and London ( a dodgy assumption I know!) and that Galway overcome Sligo (which they failed to do in the past) then a Mayo Galway Connacht Final in Salthill will be a very interesting affair. I would not gamble a whole lot on a Mayo win after watching Galway yesterday. They have improved a huge amount or else Roscommon are very weak altogether.
    They looked to me like the real Galway of former years – good skills, great confidence and a bit of flair as well. If they get Meehan and Joyce back to full tilt they will could very hard to deal with on their own patch.

  21. Thanks for that, John. No need to suspend yourself – I think you’ve built up more than enough goodwill here to offset that!

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