Sligo capture Connacht Minor crown

Photo: @SligoGAA

The full-time whistle was blown a short while ago at Dr Hyde Park in the Connacht MFC final. This confirmed a sensational outcome to this year’s provincial Championship at U17 level, as Sligo beat favourites Roscommon by 0-19 to 1-11. It’s the Magpies’ first Connacht Minor football title since 1968 and only their third one ever.

With Roscommon having beaten ourselves and Galway on the way to this evening’s final they could have been forgiven for believing that they’d the heavy lifting already done in this year’s Connacht Championship. If that was their understandable mindset coming into the game, they were quickly disabused of any such notions as the outsiders from the Yeats County took the battle to them right from the start.

Sligo raced into an early five-point lead but when Roscommon opened their account with a goal from Shane McGinley that brought them right back into it. Two points followed for the home team to level the tie after ten minutes.

Man of the Match Luke Marren edged Sligo back in front but a brace of Roscommon points sent them into the water break leading by the minimum. The wild, wet weather wasn’t making it easy for either team but a point from a ’45 from Kyle Davey followed by a Luke Marren free enabled Sligo to grab the lead once again.

Two more Luke Marren frees widened the Yeats County’s lead to three but the gap was back into just a single point at half-time. At that stage, Luke Marren had seven points on the board, six of them from placed balls.

Points early in the second half from Brian Duffy and Jack McGovern restored Sligo’s three-point advantage. By now, surely, hopes were rising in their ranks that the title was there to be grabbed.

The gap was just two points at the second water break. On the resumption, though, Roscommon cut the margin back to one but when James Donlon pointed with six minutes of normal time left, the underdogs were three in front once again.

With the tension rising, Sligo hit for home. A further point gave them a crucial bit of elbow-room, the home side now needing at least two scores to draw level. They got one – a point – but that was their final score of the night.

When they lost a player to a red card as the match was going into injury time it was clear that the evening, and the title, belonged to Sligo. Two late, late points added a final flourish for the Yeatsmen as they won by 0-19 to 1-11.

For counties that collect provincial titles all the time, it’s easy to forget those who only win the odd one. You can be sure, though, that tonight’s Connacht Minor title success won’t be forgotten by Sligo for many a long year and deservedly so.

Congrats to them on their great provincial title win this evening and the best of luck to them as they now shoot for All-Ireland glory at Minor level.

44 thoughts on “Sligo capture Connacht Minor crown

  1. As a Mayo man living in sligo it is a wonderful achievement and boost for sligo.
    I am involved In a club at underage and there is huge work being put in in all clubs and a lot of talent there as well.
    The big problem is keeping them going through, hopefully this gives the boost it should to get them competitive again at senior soon.

  2. Brillant, cheers me up no end after the disappointment of getting no. ticket for Dublin

  3. First minor title since 1968 and only their third ever.
    Fine footballers in that Sligo side.
    Offaly in the u20 final. Roscommon going well. Sligo going well underage. There are footballers in these counties to build senior sides.
    They need competitions they can target.
    They need extra funding support from central funds.

  4. Delighted for Sligo They don’t win much so it must be really special for them and best of luck going forward.

  5. I’ve always had a love and respect for Sligo people and their teams. They’re so often unseen and yet this win tonight shows something of their heart, determination and spirit, to say nothing of their natural talent and abilities. I’m delighted to see them winning and hope there’ll be more days like this at under 20 and senior grade. Fair play Sligo.

  6. I would have a lot of relations from south Sligo so delighted for them. The likes of Curry and Tourlestrane are as football mad as anywhere in Mayo.

  7. Great to see Sligo winning tonite, hopefully the Gaa and Connacht Council start pumping more money into the grassroots of Sligo and Leitrim and other Division 3 and 4 teams, if we are to keep going with current structure we have to help the weakest not the top dogs like Dublin, Huge work has gone into coaching St Attractas and Summerhill college and the recent construction of the Centre of Excellence and it is starting to reap rewards.

  8. Well done Sligo ….passionate display and super footballers, Well done , Davey , Flynn , Donlon and Marren and many more .

  9. Delighted for Sligo. Congratulations to them. They always have some talented footballers and I hope they can keep it going.
    All Mayo will be behind them now for their next outing and I wish them the best of luck.
    Fair play to them.

  10. Delighted for my adopted county, as PBarrett mentioned there has been a lot of work ongoing underage, and these lads have been successful at younger age groups. This win has been coming so just rewards for all the efforts in recent years. Sligo has a strong soccer culture and rugby is making big strides as well so this will be a boost to gaa in the county. I just hope that there is not too much expectation on them too soon.

  11. Great result Sligo. Hope ye go all the way which you certainly can as having seen Roscommon I know how good they are. Imagine Sligo minors, Roscommon u20s and Mayo seniors bringing all 3 cups Westward!

  12. Well done Sligo, a great achievement. Very unlucky last year I felt. Hopefully GAA people and young players in the county will take great encouragement from this win. Not to forget the Rossie,’s who had a fine team this season also.

  13. Well done Sligo, they also have the best centre of excellence in the province. Leitrim also have a new facility on the N4. Galways is around 20 years old and I’m not sure if Roscommon and Mayo even have one, or Dublin for that matter!

  14. Mayo were at best the 4th best minor team in Connaught this year – never mind Ireland.
    Looks like a very good Sligo team who have mastered the basic skills of football very well. Well done to them.

  15. Congratulations to Sligo. A great achievement. Best of luck going forward. It would be great if we could see Sligo competitive again at senior level.

  16. Delighted for Sligo. Well done to them. You’d worry about our underage teams at present and what the future holds.

    Our performances and results in recent years are unacceptable.

  17. Heartiest congratulations to Sligo minors.
    The job now for their mentors will be to keep their feet on the ground until they come into the senior category. With an extra year now between minor and Senior this is critically important. We have seen minors ourselves who thought they had reached the top on winning minor whereas it is only a step along the way. They will be feted as heroes by hangers on who have little regard for their future. Not only must Sligo mentors keep their feet on the ground they need to make sure that they ease the way for these young lads through their LC and Third Level education. Many of them may need to put football on the back burner for a few years while they look to their education and future. I hope Sligo Co Board can facilitate them. It is the least that they deserve.

  18. Let’s see how ros gets on against down later. That may give us a better view on ourselves

  19. Well done to the Rossies U20s. Great battle in challenging conditions. Lots of mistakes but great excitement throughout.Ref seemed to lose it a bit towards the end. Novel final. Great to see.

  20. Great win by the Rossies. It should be a good final, Offaly are a decent side. Great to see an All-Ireland being contested by different counties for a change.

  21. Colin Walsh the Roscommon u20 full back is one of the best underage full backs in years. I thought he was the clear man of the match even though he didn’t get it.

  22. JP I agree with you there.
    Colin Walsh played very well, should have being MOM.
    He is a proper Full Back

  23. Walsh is excellent and was unreal this evening but underage football is chalk amd cheese to senior. Very little tactics played underage and lots of 50 50 battles. Galway Sean Andy was up their with the best I seen at full back underage but hasn’t cut it yet. Hope walsh does we could do with him at senior. Hope we win it now and wish ye all the best at senior. Time for us in this province to go all the way

  24. Fair play Roscommon hopefully they can go on and win it now.

    Glad this nonsense of goalies coming out the field was punished. Down goalie did it prior to Roscommon second goal.

    So as quick as it started with Beggin and Morgan may it now end.

  25. Delighted for Roscommon At first Down seemed slick footballers ike the Down of old but seemed very dirty by the end. Tough stuff.

  26. Why do people get so annoyed with goalkeepers coming outfield? It was the last few minutes, down had a man less and were about to be knocked out. Surely the obvious thing for the goalie to do is come out and make it man on man.

  27. Wide Ball that was when he was caught out at the end and punished. Understandable been out then but he had been out all game is the point other poster is making I presume. 50 50 on it myself has some benefits but when punished is a killer

  28. I did not see the Down game but my impression from the Connacht final was that they were very well coached, and I believe that there full back played well that day as well. They certainly have good players, Offaly are in the spotlight but would like to see the Rossies come though and win it, the final must be on in about two weeks.

  29. Rossie43 – I just don’t see why people get so annoyed with goalkeepers coming outfield. Surely as neutrals watching it adds to the entertainment? Of course there are risks to him coming out but there is also danger when a corner back or full back tears upfield. If they get turned over in a bad position it nearly always leads to a goal chance.

  30. Great for Sligo to finally get over the line at minor level but I hope they don’t celebrate too much as Meath next are very beatable.

    Well done to Roscommon U20s tonight, had a feeling they’d beat the best in Ulster. Connacht is very hard to win nowadays at underage level and going on to reach the AI proves they aren’t a bang average team as MayoDunphy, Mayoanaze was trying to claim after they won Connacht. A lot of good players coming namely Cregg, Walsh, Doyle, Fitzpatrick and a few others. Their transition should be a lot more smooth with that type of players to replace those past their best ar senior level.

  31. Without taking away from Sligos success and their 53 year wait didn’t anyone else feel the Connacht Council scheduled was unfair on Roscommon minors? Three knock out championship games in 14 days and a 6 day turnaround for last nights Connacht final.

    The rossies certainly made up for that disappointment tonight and the upcoming Al Final v Offaly is very intriguing.

  32. Regards goalkeepers coming outfield the first I saw do it was Matthew Flanagan of Balla for Mayo Juniors against Roscommon, in a Connacht Final I believe a few years ago. Mayo won a tight game where Flanaghan had a big influence.
    Where a team is a bit behind coming up to full time there is little to lose but as an all game tactic it is playing with fire. I’m surprised Morgan or Beggan haven’t been punished before now.

  33. The Down goalkeeper actually should have been picked midfield, great player.
    I’m wondering is Roscommon Offaly the smallest population final at minor, u20 or senior? Would need to check. But it can’t be far off in football.

  34. Congratulations to Rossies’ U20 team. Great contest but I think Roscommon were the better team. In the first half I felt the Down team looked a bit uncomfortable being behind and trying to chase the game. We might have seen a different game had they gone in front first and Roscommon were chasing. Some fine footballers on the Roscommon team.

  35. I’d say you are right JP. Smaller than most final pairings that I can remember. Neighbours too.

  36. Congrats to Sligo, if we can’t win it then it’s good to see a smaller county winning it out.

    Naturally I always want Mayo to win, but I take no pleasure out of our seniors beating Sligo or Leitrim by 25 points. Having a competitive Connacht football Championship is good for us all ultimately.

    Regarding our lack of underage success in recent years, I wonder what that could be down to? Strangely enough it doesn’t seem to have hampered us too badly at senior level either (Kerry were somewhat similar before they started going on the rampage at minor level 5 or 6 years back). Think Lee Keegan didn’t get selected for the Mayo minors either and it didn’t too him too much harm long-term.

    Does having a large extended senior panel help fellas get to the pitch of top level football quicker?

  37. It Means Nothing to Me – you say our lack of underage success hasn’t hampered the senior team, but if you look at our current team very few have no underage medals.

    Keegan didn’t play minor but he won a connacht U21 championship. Mattie Ruane was man of the match in the 2016 U21 final, Ryan, Oisín and Tommy were all on the 2018 u20 team that reached an all Ireland final. Eoghan McLaughlin played very little underage for Mayo due to cycling, but even with that lack of football he was the best player for Rice college in the Hogan cup final in 2018. So the potential was there to see.

    With all due respect to Sligo if we are consistently behind them at minor level, we won’t be challenging for all Irelands at senior level.

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