Connacht JFC: last-gasp Boylan stuns Rossies

May 02, 2018

Mayo and Roscommon clashed in the Connacht junior football championship quarter-final at Elverys MacHale Park, Castlebar.

Ciaran Boylan netted in the fifth minute of injury time as Mayo dramatically defeated Roscommon by 2-15 to 1-17 at Castlebar.

In keeping with the rivalry that exists between these two counties, both had strong sides on display and the Rossies seemed to have done enough to advance when leading by two points with the indicated four minutes of injury time elapsed, only for the hosts to snatch victory from their grasp at the death.

With their fate all but sealed, the winners brought on All-Ireland U21 winning custodian Mattie Flanagan and played him as a fly goalkeeper for the closing minutes of injury time. His presence created the overlap for match-winner Boylan - son of Meath legend Sean - to hit the late, late winner.

A run of six unanswered points between the 19th and 30th minutes - including four sweetly-struck frees from captain Brendan Carr -  had propelled the victors (who face Leitrim on Thursday week for a place in the final) into a 1-8 to 1-5 lead at the end of a topsy-turvy opening period.

The match was played in MacHale Park as curtain-raiser to tonight's U17FC meeting of Mayo and Leitrim and it was the hosts who struck first via Jason Forkan - a late addition to their starting XV. However, the Rossies hit the front in the fourth minute when Shane Dowd fisted to the net followed quickly by a point from seasoned campaigner Cathal Cregg - not a bad junior player to have at your disposal!

Hubert D'Arcy's free increased the visitors' lead to four with six minutes gone. Amazingly, the sides were level again within three minutes when Cormac Doohan struck the first goal for Jarlath Trench's charges but a brace of D'Arcy frees made it 1-4 to 1-2 in favour of the Rossies 18 minutes in. Carr's free had them level for the third time with ten minutes left before the break.

The home side reeled off the next four points, only for Finbar Cregg to close the first-half scoring in the third minute of injury time.

The sides were level again by the 41st minute, thanks to a Finbar Cregg free which made it 1-10 apiece. The same player had opened the second-half scoring and added to a Ciaran Lennon strike as the Rossies battled back gamely.

Points from Conor Hussey, Finbar Cregg and D'Arcy (free) made it 1-13 to 1-10 in the Rossies' favour at the three-quarters stage as they landed five without reply at a vital juncture in the game. But Mayo pointed either side of a second Lennon strike to close within two with ten minutes to go.

Cathal Cregg and D'Arcy (free) helped keep Kevin McStay's men ahead as points were traded in the closing minutes and captain Ross Timothy stepped up to make it a three-point game in the last minute of normal time. Mayo pulled back what seemed like a consolation point only for impact sub Boylan (1-1) to win it for them in the most dramatic fashion.

Mayo - C McGlynn; E McGrath (0-1), J O'Dowd, E Doran; J Dowd, B Leonard, C Burke; P Gallagher, S Walsh; J Kelly, C Bohan, B Carr (0-7, 6f); C Doohan (1-3), TJ Byrne (0-2), D Joyce. Subs: J Forkan (0-1) for J O'Dowd (BC), C Boylan (1-1) for B Leonard (BC), K Hopkins for C Bohan, S Lally for D Joyce, D Lydon for P Gallagher, M Flanagan for C McGlynn.

Roscommon - J Featherstone; T McKenna, P Domican, F Lennon; C Hussey (0-1), U Harney, R Daly; C Daly, P Kelly; S Dowd (1-0), R Timothy (0-1), H Walsh; C Cregg (0-2), H D'Arcy (0-6, 5f), F Cregg (0-5, 3f). Subs: C Lennon (0-2) for H Walsh, R Hughes for S Dowd, D Petit for T McKenna, A Lyons for U Harney, A Dowd for C Cregg, L Cregg for R Daly.

Referee - S Hehir.

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