Connacht MFC final: Tribe retain title

July 13, 2018

Roscommon's Ruairdhi Fallon and Paul Kelly of Galway.
©INPHO/James Crombie.

Galway are Connacht minor football champions after beating Roscommon by 2-13 to 2-9 at Dr Hyde Park.

This is a historic victory for the Tribesmen as it's the first year that U17s are contesting the MFC, but it's also the fourth successive year that they've taken home the Tom Kilcoyne Cup.

Donal Ó Fátharta's charges, who came through the group phase with a perfect record, prevailed by 22 points when the sides met in the round-robin stage of the competition at Tuam Stadium on May 4th  but the Rossies gave a much-improved display tonight, although they were always playing catch-up and never looked like winning.

While Galway take the silverware, both teams will contest the All-Ireland quarter-finals on the last Sunday of the month. The winners will take on beaten Munster finalists Clare, while the Rossies face a daunting task against Munster champions Kerry.

There were seven points between the teams at half-time, the excellent visitors ahead by 1-10 to 0-6. Eoghan Tinney pointed in the opening minute and wing back Ryan Monahan followed up with the first of his four first-half frees. The wasteful Rossies didn't open their account until Ruaidhrí Fallon struck in the 14th minute and the winners roared into a 1-9 to 0-3 lead with a minute left before the break, Tinney volleying to an empty net as they assumed control.

However, the Rossies rattled off the next three scores, including a brilliant long-range Shane Cunnane point and two from full forward Adam McDermott, before Matthew Cooley replied for the winners with the last score before the break.

Fearghus Lennon' goal had the deficit back to three points ten minutes after the restart but Galway kicked on with a brace from Man of the Match Cooley. It was 2-12 to 1-7 when winning captain Conor Raftery drilled low to the net on 53 minutes. Cunnane's late consolation goal from the penalty spot added some respectability to the final scoreboard as Paul Staunton's side finished strongly.

Galway - D Halloran; C Deane, S Black, E Walsh; R Monaghan (0-4f), T Gill, C Sweeney; P Kelly (0-1), C Raftery (1-0); L Judge; A Halloran (0-1), O McCormack; E Tinney (1-1), D Cox (0-1), M Cooley (0-5). Subs: C Halbard for T Gill, S Horkan for O McCormack, O Gormally for L Judge.

Roscommon - D Connolly; C Brogan, D Murray (0-1), K Gunning; R Dolan, J Hester, J Lohan; E Crawley (0-1), S Cunnane (1-1, 1-0pen); R Fallon (0-1), E Derwin, R Walsh; F Lennon (1-0), Adam McDermott (0-5, 3f), J Fitzpatrick. Subs: L Ormsby for E Derwin, A McDermott for R Walsh, C Carthy for E Crawley, C Walsh for F Lennon.

Referee - J Gilmartin.

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