Roscommon crowned Connacht U-21 champions

Roscommon 1-13 Sligo 0-8

Roscommon 1-13 Sligo 0-8

There was never any sign of a shock at Dr Hyde Park this evening as Roscommon cruised to a Cadbury Connacht Under-21 Football final success that was every bit as comfortable as the scoreline suggests.

Nigel Dineen's promising Roscommon team were always in control with Donie Smith delivering an efficient performance in attack, ending the contest with an impressive 1-6 haul.

Smith's crisply-struck 45th minute penalty was the crucial moment as Sligo, who had struggled in the opening period, played with real determination after the restart.

But the DCU student ensured Roscommon were able to close out the deal with the minimum of fuss as Sligo were left to reflect on their poor start.

Roscommon dominated the first half with Smith especially sharp in an attack that had Sligo's defence in all kinds of bother. Fintan Kelly and Niall Daly were also dominant for the victors at centre-field.

Smith kicked five first half points, while Finbar Cregg, Cian Connolly, Scott Oates, and Conor Daly all landed scores as Roscommon led by 0-9 to 0-2 at the interval.

With Brian Egan rifling over a brace of long range frees, Sligo trimmed the deficit down to 0-10 to 0-5 by the end of the third quarter.

Smith, though, nudged a free over the bar and then rattled the Sligo net with a precise penalty and all that needed to be determined was Roscommon's winning margin.

Sligo were competitive in the closing stages, but Roscommon, with Colin Compton highly effective as a target man full-forward, held out for a satisfying eight-point triumph.

Scorers - Roscommon: D Smith 1-6 (1-0 pen, 0-5f), S Oates, C Compton 0-2 each, C Connolly, C Daly, F Cregg (0-1f) 0-1 each

Sligo: B Egan 0-3 (0-2f, 0-1 '45'), N Murphy 0-2 (0-1f), D Maye, P Hughes, J Rodgers 0-1 each

ROSCOMMON: T Lowe; C Cafferkey, C Duignan, D Murray; C Daly, P Brogan, R Stack; F Kelly, N Daly; S Oates, N Kilroy, F Cregg; C Connolly, C Compton, D Smith.

Subs used: C Shine for Cregg (50 mins), J McManus for Kelly (53), C Murtagh for Connolly (59), A Feehily for Oates (60).

SLIGO: V Cadden; L O'Connell, P Laffey, J Kelly; D Carobine, M O'Hehir, C Moloney; D Maye, J Clarke; Ciaran Brennan, P Hughes, B Egan; Cathal Brennan, N Murphy, E Kivlehan.

Subs used: D Coffey for Carobine (19 mins), C O'Dowd for Moloney (35), J Rodgers for Kivlehan (48), C Killoran for Ciaran Brennan (55).

Referee: Ray McBrien (Leitrim)

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