Roscommon through to All-Ireland U-21 football final

Roscommon 2-7 Cavan 2-2

Roscommon 2-7 Cavan 2-2

Colin Compton's 62nd-minute goal steered Roscommon through to their first Cadbury All-Ireland U-21 Football final since 1982, following a five-point win over Cavan this afternoon.

Roscommon led by 1-3 to 1-1 at half-time, with defender Conor Daly netting the Connacht champions' first goal at Pearse Park.

Kevin Tierney netted for Cavan and although Roscommon led by four points in the 59th minute, a second Tierney goal cut the deficit to a point.

However, Compton's goal coupled with a Donie Smith point ensured a five-point win for the westerners.

7,936 spectators watched this low-scoring affair which saw both sides struggle to deal with their nerves in the opening stages.

Forwards Compton and Raymond Lynch were both off target for Roscommon and Cavan respectively inside the opening 90 seconds, before Compton opened the scoring in the fifth minute.

The Strokestown clubman broke the deadlock after a foul by Cavan half-back Dara Sexton. The Breffni youngsters, who were beaten All-Ireland finalists last year, eventually came into their own despite Roscommon's initial dominance.

Terry Hyland's Cavan outfit hit a purple patch over the next six minutes, with Roscommon's defence rocked as Tierney registered Cavan's first score with a well-worked goal.

The Ballyhaise clubman was left one on one with Roscommon goalkeeper Tadhg Lowe and expertly drilled the ball past him to ensure a 1-0 to 0-1 lead.

Cavan continued to up the pace with half-forward Joe Dillon registering his side's first point after getting the better of defender Ronan Stack.

However scores were at a premium in the opening quarter, and again this proved to be the case in the 15-minute spell before the interval during which Cavan were held scoreless.

The 16th minute goal from Daly helped Roscommon get back on track, after some excellent support play from corner forwards Cian Connolly and Smith.

Smith was impressive before the break, adding two points in the 22nd and 25th minutes to give his side a 1-3 to 1-1 advantage at the turnaround.

Cavan lost defender Jason McLoughlin to injury late in the opening half. The Shannon Gaels clubman was definitely missed on the restart, as Roscommon threw everything at the Breffni rearguard.

Good work by Connolly set up Niall Kilroy for the opening point of the second half just 15 seconds in. Nigel Dineen's side were suddenly all over their Cavan counterparts, putting together attack after attack.

Smith, Kilroy and Compton each registered a wide during this period, while a third point from Smith opened up a 1-5 to 1-1 gap.

Cavan's first score of the second half came from their first attack with Christopher Conroy cutting the gap to three points in the 37th minute.

However, the Ulster champions were hit by another injury blow in the 40th minute with Shane Reilly having to make way for substitute PP O'Hara.

Two wides in quick succession did little for Cavan's confidence, along with a spurned goal chance from Lynch who watched Lowe pull off a fine save.

Cavan were enjoying most of the possession at this juncture but they continued to be wasteful, with Tierney's off-target '45' adding to their tally of wides.

Roscommon full-back Cathal Duignan was a tower of strength for his side, but Tierney managed to break through for his second goal in the 59th minute to cut the gap to a point - 1-6 to 2-2.

Tierney's three-pointer looked to have teed up Cavan for a grandstand finish, but it was Roscommon who finished much the stronger. Compton pounced for their second goal after a fumble by goalkeeper Conor Gilsenan.

Smith then registered his fourth point in deepest injury-time to wrap up a five-point triumph and book Roscommon's place in the All-Ireland final against Dublin in a fortnight's time.

Scorers - Roscommon: C Compton 1-1 (0-1f), D Smith 0-4 (0-2f), C Daly 1-0, N Kilroy, C Murtagh 0-1 each

Cavan: K Tierney 2-0, J Dillon, C Conroy 0-1 each

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

Subs used: C Murtagh for Connolly, J McManus for Oates (both 47 mins), F Cregg for Keane (52), D Clabbey for Kilroy (58).

CAVAN: C Gilsenan; N O'Donnell, K Brady, J McLoughlin; D Sexton, C Moynagh, M Brady; P Leddy, K Clarke; J Dillon, C Conroy, F Flanagan; J Brady, K Tierney, R Lynch.

Subs used: P King for McLoughlin (25 mins), PP O'Hara for O'Donnell (half-time), S Reilly for O'Hara (42), D McVeety for Dillon (47).

Referee: Cormac Reilly (Meath)

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