It was another entertaining round of action in the 2019 Bank of Ireland Celtic Challenge with Leitrim and Roscommon picking up victories.
Leitrim overcame a plucky Mayo side in a game that went back and forth right to the very end, while Roscommon put a gallant Sligo side to the sword.
Here is our round-up of this week’s action from Group G.
Leitrim Edge Out Mayo In Thriller
The hurlers of Leitrim and Mayo served up what was a seriously entertaining evening of hurling in perfect conditions at Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada.
In what proved to be a most sporting encounter the hurlers of Carrick, who made up the entirety of the Leitrim team, prevailed, but only just!
Centre-forward, Shane Mallon, proved to be a serious thorn in Mayo’s side hoovering up everything that came his way. Castlebar man Tom Fahy stood out in the first with a deadly touch and killer instinct for Mayo, however, the introduction of Pearse Kenny in the second half helped curbed Fahy’s influence.
Conor Hession threatened throughout the first half but was tightly marshalled by Paul Lenehan at full back who gave no quarter. Mayo’s Paddy Dozio and Leitrim’s Shane Mallon and Cormac White proved deadly accurate from frees throughout. Goals from Mallon and White in the first half proved to be the difference between the sides giving Mayo’s goalkeeper Niall Fleming no chance such was the quality of the finishing.
Half-time: Leitrim 2-5 Mayo 0-8
Never a truer word was said of a hurling match but a 3 point lead is only a puck of a ball. And so it proved.
Mayo were determined to put their stamp on the game and they duly delivered as two balls in quick succession at the start of the second half were duly dispatched by Conor Hession who twice gave Brían Goldrick no chance. Mayo now led their Connacht counterparts. Leitrim, however, were not going to lie down as another two goals from White and Mallon brought them back from the brink. The Leitrim half-back line marshalled by Shane Rynn held firm as Mayo came in waves again and again.
As the game drifted into the ninth minute of extra time Mayo trailed by just two points but try as they might with ball after ball they could not breach the Leitrim line again.
And so Leitrim roll on to play Roscommon with Mayo to play Donegal in the next round of the Bank of Ireland Celtic Challenge.
The best and fairest awards on the day went to Leitrim’s Tomas Mc Nabola and Conor Hession of Mayo.
Referee: David Staunton
Leitrim: B. Goldrick, C. Lyons, P. Lenehan, N. Crowe, B. King, S. Rynn, T. Mc Nabola, E. Mc Loughlin, F. Mc Loughlin, C. Hackett, S. Mallon (2-4), R. Mc Keon, C. Kane, A. Maizya, C. White (2-8), R. King, C. Farry, S. Carthy, R. Casey, P. Keane, P. Kenny, T. Taylor.
Mayo: N. Fleming, J. Monroe, R. Haran, C. Treacy, J. Deegan, D. Hill, P. Murphy, C. Mulchrone (0-1), P. Dozio (0-3), M. Gibbons (0-1), D. Henry (0-2), A. Ketterick, T. Fahy (1-3), C. Hession (2-2), O. Farrell (0-1), J. Duffy, J. Trench, J. Doyle, E. Heraty, K. Adams, M. Rooney, R. Horgan, R. Treacy, N. Colleran, B. Tuohy, P. Murray, C. Cosgrove, J. Kennedy, D. Murray, K. Gannon, S. O’Donnell
Report by: Hilary Phelan
Roscommon’s Four Goals Helps Them Past Sligo
Roscommon overcame a gallant Sligo side in the Sligo Centre of Excellence on a fine calm evening in the Bank of Ireland Celtic Challenge. Roscommon got off to a dream start with a point from the excellent Michael Brennan followed by a goal from full forward Adam Donnelly.
Sligo’s Thomas Cawley kept the home side in touch with two frees and a point from play in the first ten minutes.
Roscommon, however, added further points to their tally from free-taker, Dara Finneran, Michael Brennan and Kyle Kelly. Roscommon’s attack posed real problems for Sligo despite the best efforts of defender Shane Molloy. Daniel O’Brien was very effective at corner forward for Roscommon.
Half-time: Roscommon 1-12 Sligo 0-6.
After the break, Sligo got the first point from Senan O’Rourke. Roscommon followed with a point and a second goal from Adam Donnelly to leave the score 0-7 to 2-13. Sligo’s Fionn Connolly, who worked very hard throughout the game, produced the score of the match as he carried the ball from midfield to send it over the bar with a wonderful strike.
With less than ten minutes remaining the score read Sligo 0-11, Roscommon 2-19. Roscommon were on course for victory and Sligo couldn’t stop them. Two goals in succession from Eoin Kiernan in the closing minutes sealed the victory for the visitors, albeit that Sligo got the final three points of the game.
This was a highly entertaining game as can be seen from the high scoring. It was competitive but played in a very sporting manner. Sligo were forced to line out without their captain, Fionn Moylan, which hurt them dearly. Thomas Cawley, Shane Molloy, Fionn Connolly and Eoghan Donaghy were excellent throughout. Brian Byrne picked up the Best and Fairest Award for his superb high catching and excellent work rate.
Roscommon’s Michael Brennan, who picked up the Best and Fairest Award was a joy to watch and is a superb hurler. Daniel O’Brien, Adam Donnelly, Kyle Kelly and Eoin Kiernan performed very well amongst others and the team as a whole showed great skill throughout.
The best and fairest award on the day went to Sligo’s Brian Byrne and Michael Brennan of Roscommon.
Referee: Aidan Ferguson
Sligo: Ronan Lang, Evan Ballantyne, Paul Gallagher, Keelan Davey, Harry O’Donnell, Shane Molloy, Senan O’Rourke (0-1), Ciaran O`Reilly, Fionn Connolly (0-3), Eoghan Donaghy, Brian Byrne, Liam O’Kelly Lynch, Anthony Fidgeon, Thomas Cawley (0-8(7f), Stephen Mahon, Augistine Watters (0-1), Colm Ryan, Robert O’Kelly Lynch (0-1), Daniel O’Connor, Thomas Marren, Kenneth Mitchell.
Roscommon: Michael Corcoran, Sean Creaven, David Gacquin, Michael Dillon, Naoise Coyle, Dara Finneran (0-4(1f,65″), Kyle Kelly (0-2), Liam Egan, Trevor Fallon (0-1), Eoin Kiernan (2-2), Michael Brennan (0-7),Ethan Glennon, Adam Donnelly (2-2), Darragh O’Sullivan (0-1),Ronan Lambe, Eoin Bracken, Niall Brennan, Joe Kelly, James Mooney, James Dillon, James Mannion, Daniel O`Brien (0-2).
Report by: Frances Hanley