On a day when we definitely needed some good news, the county’s Minors provided it. They blasted five goals past Sligo in this evening’s Connacht MFC semi-final at MacHale Park, winning by 5-7 to 1-10.
When the teams met in the group stage of this year’s provincial Championship in late May it was the Sligo youngsters who had the better of the exchanges, winning that one by four points. On top of that, our lads would have exited the Championship last weekend only for Sligo’s win over Roscommon so it was Yeats County’s own doing that they were up against us this evening.
From the outset, it was clear that this was going to be a very different affair to that Markievicz Park meeting last month. Sligo bagged the first score of the evening but then points from Paul Walsh and Frank Irwin edged us ahead before Paul Walsh goaled to send us four clear.
Two minutes later the same player had the ball in the net a second time for us. That put us seven points to the good and we led by this margin at the break, though it took two pointed ’45s in succession from Sligo to cut the gap back down to that level.
Coming up to midway through the second half, Paul Walsh found the net for a third time, this one a punched effort, but Sligo struck back in kind and then tacked on two points to cut the deficit to six with just under ten minutes left to play.
Any fears that we weren’t going to see the win out were, though, quickly allayed. Ciaran Mylett rounded off a fine move to blast to the net with five minutes to go and then Paul Walsh bagged his fourth goal of the game to cap a remarkable evening’s return for him.
The reward for this evening’s win is a meeting with Galway in the Connacht MFC final on Friday week (5th July). That provincial decider – our first Minor one since 2016 – takes place at Tuam Stadium.
Well done to the lads this evening and the best of luck to them in the Connacht final.