Rossies boss stays upbeat

Roscommon claimed back-to-back Connacht minor titles for the first time ever at Dr Hyde Park yesterday.

It was a significant achievement for Roscommon, who had never previously won provincial minor and U21 silverware in the same year. All kinds of records were broken and the promise of brighter days to come ensured the locals were content.

Manager Gareth Carroll, though, insists the youngsters aren’t being burdened with too much pressure or expectation.

“There was no pressure on our lads, it is important that young lads are allowed enjoy their football,” he said.

“It basically went down to the wire because Mayo are a very workmanlike team. We knew what they would be like. Both teams really went at it and even though it mightn’t have been a great game to watch, that really doesn’t matter because we wanted to win a Connacht title.”

Roscommon did plenty of damage in the opening quarter, accumulating a four-point advantage as Ruaidhri McManus (two), man of the match Diarmuid Murtagh, and Enda Smith scored. Mayo, with captain Adam Gallagher sharp from frees, narrowed the deficit to 0-6 to 0-3 by the interval.

After the restart Gallagher kept Mayo in touch with his excellent free taking, but at the opposite end Murtagh was precise too and fittingly slotted the insurance score in stoppage time. Carroll reckons huge improvement will be necessary if Roscommon are to defeat Kerry in the All-Ireland quarter-final.

“It is a great feeling to win beating Leitrim, Galway, and Mayo,” he said.

“It is great. A lot of work has been done by a lot of people at underage level in Roscommon. Everyone in our set up has contributed.

“There is immense character in this team.

“We mightn’t have got going the way we would have liked but we won. I am delighted for people in Roscommon who have worked hard during the last number of years. We have improving to do. That display won’t be good enough against Kerry, they won’t fear us after that.”

Scorers for Roscommon: D Murtagh 0-5 (1f), E Smith, R McManus (1f) 0-2 each, K Finn 0-1.

Scorers for Mayo: A Gallagher 0-6 (5fs), J Quinn, K Lynch 0-1 each.

ROSCOMMON: S Mannion; P Neilan, D Barron, C Kenny; N McInerney, C Hussey, R Daly; U Hanley, T Corcoran; C Compton, R McManus, E Smith; D Murtagh, K Finn, M Gunning.

Subs: P Kenny for Gunning (9), K Kilcloyne for Compton (36), B Fannon for McManus (41), C Casserly for Kenny (51).

MAYO: C O’Malley; D McHale, S Moran, K Lynch; P Durcan, C Burke, M Plunkett; B Mullen, A Gallagher; E Lavin, S Coen, D O’Connor; C Byrne, S Regan, S Hennelly.

Subs: D Duffy for Lavin (31), J Geraghty for McHale (38), J Quinn for Regan (51), R Coleman for Mullen (60).

Referee: S Hehir (Galway).

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