This evening’s Connacht MFC Round 2 clash with Roscommon at James Stephens Park in Ballina was obviously looked upon in advance as a bigger test for the county’s Minors compared to their opening round meeting with Leitrim a week ago. This was because the same evening the young Rossies had beaten fancied Galway by two points, to start their U17 provincial campaign in the best possible manner.
If anyone told you then that Tomás Morley’s charges would have 21 points to spare over Roscommon this evening you’d have been forgiven for questioning the sanity of such soothsaying. But that’s exactly what happened, with the Mayo lads running out 4-14 to 0-5 winners at Ballina this evening.
Mayo were out the gate well before half-time in this one. Roscommon got the first two points of the evening but a 1-1 burst from Ciaran Mylett put our lads into the lead and there they stayed until the finish.
Still, midway through the first half it was close, Frank Irwin’s free nudging us two points clear at that juncture.
But then we started to land the heavy blows, which put the result beyond doubt before half-time. Goals from Paddy Heneghan, Ciaran Mylett and Frank Irwin, interspersed with points from Rory Morrin, Ciaran Mylett, Ethan Henry and Paul Walsh saw us surge all of seventeen points clear at the break.
The tempo of the game understandably dropped in the second half. We added six more points to our tally while they managed to tack on two, as we closed out a 4-14 to 0-5 victory.
Tonight’s win was a significant one, in that it’s the first time we’ve beaten Roscommon at Minor level in the Championship since, as an U18 competition, we defeated them in the Connacht final of 2014. That was the last year we beat Galway at Minor level too.
We’ll get a chance to put that one to rights next month but, in the meantime, the lads are back in action this night week, where they face Sligo at Markievicz Park in Round 3. The young Magpies lost narrowly to Galway tonight in the other round-robin game – Galway won that tie at Tuam by 1-15 to 1-10 (match report here).