History makers! Roscommon claim first ever TG4 Connacht intermediate title

TG4 Connacht Intermediate Ladies Football Final – Sunday, 24th June 2018

Roscommon 4-17 
Sligo 1-14 

Darren Kelly at Elvery’s MacHale Park 

For the first time in 40 years, Roscommon were crowned TG4 Connacht champions after they secured a first ever intermediate crown in style in Castlebar.

Michael Finneran’s team were under pressure as Sligo went 0-5 to 0-3 ahead but after Laura Fleming got Roscommon’s first goal on 15 minutes, they didn’t look back and added further majors through Joanne Cregg, Jenny Higgins and Fleming.

Fleming opened for Roscommon in the first minute before Katie Walsh replied.  But Sligo, chasing a fifth provincial win in seven years, went ahead through Nicola Brennan on six minutes.

Rebecca Finan and Sheila Brady overturned the deficit for Roscommon but Sligo looked in control after the opening quarter thanks to two Walsh efforts and one for Elaine O’Reilly.

The game’s defining period came between the 15th and 25th minutes as Roscommon kicked 2-3 unanswered to take a stranglehold in the hot, summer conditions.

Alice Kelly’s influence yielded a point before she played a major role in an attack down the left before Fleming finished Roscommon’s first goal on 15 minutes.

Kelly got another point but when Cregg’s low strike rolled past Noelle Gormley for the second major on 22 minutes, they started to believe and Brady made it 2-6 to 0-5.

Sligo needed to arrest the decline and Sarah Reynolds ended a 13-minute drought with Brennan pointing again before half-time.  But with Kelly and Brady keeping the umpires busy, Roscommon led 2-8 to 0-7 at half-time.

The third quarter was always going to be critical but Sligo were outscored despite Walsh coming close.  Katie and Tara Walsh did split the posts but they were 3-11 to 0-9 behind on 37 minutes.

Higgins finished a three-player move before Brady converted her fourth.  Another Brady minor had Roscommon eight clear but when captain Sinead Kenny and Cregg combined to send Higgins through on 37 minutes, she made no mistake.

Katie Walsh was Sligo’s chief taliswoman and finished as the game’s top scorer with 1-7.  Three further white flags left them 3-15 to 0-13 behind before she took Bernie Connolly’s pass for a goal eight minutes from time.

Fleming, Higgins, Sorcha Bruen and Rebecca Finan got the Roscommon points as they had to endure pressure as Connolly also scored for Sligo leaving it 3-15 to 1-14 on 53 minutes.

But after Amanda McLoone’s shot was blocked by Noelle Gormally six minutes from time, Fleming hit the rebound to the net before Jenny Downey added two frees.

On the day their 1978 All-Ireland senior champions were honoured, Roscommon ended a 40-year drought for provincial silverware.


Roscommon – Laura Fleming 2-2, Sheila Brady 0-5 (one free), Jenny Higgins 1-2, Joanne Cregg 1-0, Alice Kelly 0-3, Rebecca Finan 0-2 (free), Sorcha Bruen 0-1, Jenny Downey 0-2 (both frees)

Sligo – Katie Walsh 1-7 (five frees), Nicola Brennan 0-2, Sarah Reynolds 0-1, Elaine O’Reilly 0-1, Lauren Boles 0-1, Tara Walsh 0-1, Bernie Connolly 0-1

Roscommon: Helena Cummins; Honor Ennis, Rochelle Mullaney, Rachel Brady; Amanda McLoone, Aisling McAuliffe, Sinead Kenny; Joanne Cregg, Jenny Higgins; Alice Kelly, Roisin Wynne, Laura Fleming; Sheila Brady, Rebecca Finan, Niamh Feeney.  Subs used: Rachel Fitzmaurice for Kelly (39 mins), Jenny Downey for Brady (45 mins), Sorcha Bruen for McAuliffe (48 mins), Feena Beirne for Finan (54 mins), Louise Brady for Higgins (60 mins).

Sligo: Noelle Gormley; Michelle McNamara, Grainne O’Loughlin, Claire Dunne; Lisa Casey, Lauren Boles, Sinead Regan; Sarah Reynolds, Laura-Ann Laffey; Kelly-Ann Henry, Elaine O’Reilly, Nicola Brennan; Katie Walsh, Aoife Morrisroe, Tara Walsh.  Subs used: Bernie Connolly for Casey (HT), Denise McGrath for O’Reilly (HT), Ailish Gordon for Morrisroe (39 mins), Sinead Naughton for Brennan (48 mins), Siobhan Brennan for Walsh (54 mins).

Referee: Shane Curley (Galway)



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