Rossies clinch Connacht U21 crown

We’re down in Mayo for the holiday weekend – with the countryside still cloaked in those dun coloured hues you’d expect to see in January – where, for a change, there’s little in the way of football to talk about.  Some weeks back, I was thinking about how nice and handy it was that the Connacht U21 final was fixed for this weekend and so how easy it would be for me to get to it seeing as I’d already have arrived in the county the day beforehand for the Easter hols.  But that was before we’d come a cropper to the Rossies in the semi-final on Paddy’s Day and so instead of heading off to the U21 Connacht final this evening, I ended up with the wife and chisellers at Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang in Castlebar.

The film was entertaining enough and so too, from what I can gauge, was the U21 Connacht decider down at Markievicz Park, where Roscommon finally saw off Sligo on a scoreline of 1-6 to 0-4 (report from Hogan Stand here).   The Rossies were obviously favourites to win but the home side – bidding for their first ever provincial title at this level – fairly put it up to them and it took a goal late on from sub Alan O’Hara (who’d been very harshly sent off in the semi-final against our lads) to clinch the provincial crown for the Sheepstealers.

It’s the Rossies’ first Connacht U21 title since 1999 and they’ll now face the winners of tomorrow’s Leinster final, between Dublin and Westmeath, in the All-Ireland semi-final in a few weeks time.  With Tipp having come through from Munster and Ulster now a straight shootout between Donegal and Cavan, the Rossies shouldn’t fear anyone that’s left in this contest.  At the start of this year, I was of the firm belief that an All-Ireland title was a realistic target for our U21s and there’s certainly no reason now why it shouldn’t be for the lads that knocked those particular hopes squarely on the head.

12 thoughts on “Rossies clinch Connacht U21 crown

  1. When Paidi O Se was a top class defender winning his 8 or so All-Irelands it is said he only conceded one point from play to his direct opponent in those finals. He is now showing us why he was such a tenacious and determined defender. Todays Sunday Independent is another chapter of his courtship of the Mayo job. In it he equated this present Mayo team as being the equal of the 1950/51 team. For good measure he threw a few names from that era in as well. Subtly he is heaping the pressure on O Mahony and indeed on all of Mayo. Paidi sees Kerry in decline and sees us as the inheritors. Now Kerry men are cute but Mayo men are not stupid either. This Mayo team has one thing only in common with the men of 1948-51 and that the colour of the jerseys. For Paidi to suggest that they are heirs in waiting to Kerry is a joke. We are more respectable than we have been for a while but can anybody out there suggest six starting defenders that will actually perform as a unit for 5/6 successive championship matches. Who would dare pick six forwards guranteed to remain consistant for the equivelent stretch? I think Paidi has boxed O Mahoney in. He has done this by overpraising Mayo and setting us up as genuine All-Ireland hopefuls. If it goes bottom up people will think of Paidis words from early Janurary and early Spring. O Sé’s days as Kerry boss are gone, not too many left with any credentials worth trying…Mayo might do nicely for Paidi. I for one am enjoying the game of cat and mouse.

  2. Ashamed as I am, posting under my nom de plume, nevertheless I’ll take Paidi to task over the fact that a few weeks ago he told us Kerry would overcome their turbulence to be there at the business end. Last year, he backed them after losing the replayed Munster final, wrote them off before the Dublin game, and was back on the bandwagon well in time for the Meath semi-final. He went to some trouble to assure us before writing them off that he was not playing games. Net result? You can’t trust anything he writes in the paper. Whatever about his playing days, his record as manager is only fair to middlin’ and Mayo should have learned from the Jacko days that parachuting Kerry legends in, is not as straightforward as it seems. Also WJ I was at the U21 final and had lost the will to live shortly before Ros goaled. Sligo scored shortly after half time, and the flags were’nt used again for 20 minutes. Nanny MacPhee was definitely the better option.

  3. WJ – I read O Rourke’s comments and he has a point where some ignorant individuals make insulting postings about players who do their best for their counties.
    His article assumes all sites are the same. Thankfully, this site is not one of those which demean players. I suspect such sites wont last the test of time as genuine football followers will avoid them.

    He also states that these websites are the realm of the young. As I am considerably older than the bould Colm I thank him for the compliment! It makes me feel good to be regarded as young. Maybe he should wake up to the reality of modern technology. Or maybe he has and now realises that not just Colm is entitled to have an opinion – other are entitled also and in truth their opinions are often more interesting and enlightening than his own rough-spun-meath musings – for which he is very well paid lest it escape anyones attention!
    Keep her lit WJ – keep her lit!

  4. Innocentbystander, I agree with you completely regarding Páidí O’Sé. Didn’t he say just before the final in 2006, that Mayo would win? His predictions and opinions seem to fluctuate a lot of the time.

    Diehard, I agree with you also. GAA players try their best, train in the worst of weather, give up a whole lot of their time, and yet, they have to deal with these ‘experts’ who think they know it all. I was on a GAA forum, but I have decided to leave it due to the vast number of people on it who wouldn’t know a football if it hit their heads, yet they try and give their opinion on GAA matters. I’m young, and I recognise that. O’Rourke has a point. Thank God that there is a well-balanced, excellent site like this!

    As for the U-21’s, by my calculations, I think only 4 of the Roscommon team who played Sligo were part of the successful Minor team in 2006. I could be wrong, though. Roscommon had a lot of possession, but found it very difficult to convert that to points, wasting a lot of chances. It’s their first Connaught title since 1999, so fair play to them and the best of luck to them in the rest of the U-21 Championship!

  5. I think Colm O’Rourkes research for that article was based on that drivel over on the Hogan Stand message board…Sorry WJ you may delete if you wish…

  6. Paudie o`shea is full of shite.In the first part of his article he says that if the all ireland was played now Mayo would win…then a few short paragraphs later he expects Cork to win the League!Well isn`t the league now or will it be different in three weeks time?Paudie is a wind up and he`s not that good at it either… at least they don`t let him on the telly!

  7. Any chance that Club Mayo might float the idea of hiring a bus to go to Cork from Dublin on Sunday?

    I have at least 3 (possibly 5) takers

  8. Could be an idea alright, DocG, though I guess Noel will already have his hands full transporting the Dublin-based players to the game! I’m thinking of driving down and back on Sunday, if that’s of any interest to you. I couldn’t take 5 but three wouldn’t be a problem.

  9. Paidi is not a friend of Mayo. At heart Paidi is 2 things, first and foremost a Kerryman (and a v. proud one at that). Secondly he is a Fianna Failer.
    I think his comments are aimed at Johno for 2 reasons (a) outside cork he see us as a serious threat to Kerry and (b) he can use this to get at Johno and knock him back personally and Mayo as a result.
    his comments on managing Mayo are laughable. i think becasue he sees us as a threat and he is saying these things to put us up there (to be shot down by others) or by ourselves with the pressure of being up there in the first place.
    Another way to look at it. He could have put himself up for the Cork job …. why not ? ans is because he would be ostracised totally in his own county.
    Ergo another good county to throw eggs at is Mayo as he can hit Johno with the double edged sword of pressure and back his own Fianna Fail credesntials.

  10. As a player Paudie can line up with the greats.
    As a manager he cannot..

    And as the man who brought Sam back to Mayo..

    They dont make caps big enough for that feather lads!!

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