Five Highs and Lows in Roscommon Sport in 2017


• Winning the Connacht SFC title. Roscommon hadn’t beaten Galway or Mayo in the championship since 2001 and the league campaign did not auger too well for the championship. But Kevin McStay and his players knew different. After Galway had beaten Mayo they were super-confident that they would retain the Nestor Cup at Pearses Stadium. But Roscommon produced one of the performances of the year to sweep past The Tribesmen ad win by an emphatic nine points. The goals from Cian Connolly and Brian Stack were memorable as were the celebrations! What’s seldom is wonderful. It was a mighty day.
• Padraig Pearses winning the Roscommon SHC title: After a period of almost total dominance from Four Roads, the eternal bridesmaids Pearses, made it to the altar themselves as they defeated Four Roads in a thrilling final that featured one of the all-time great displays from 19 year old Daniel Glynn. It was a day that those from Taughmaconnell and Moore will never forget. First title in 30 years and well worth the wait.
• Roscommon U-17 footballers defeat Kerry in All Ireland semi-final: This was one of the finest displays from a Roscommon underage team that we have seen since 2006. Liam Tully’s men played some fantastic stuff to knock Kerry out. It may not have worked out in the final against Tyrone, but this showed what could be done against the top teams.
• Michael Glavey’s win the Connacht IFC title: Not the first Connacht club title to be won by a Roscommon club, but to win it beating the Mayo and Galway champions was a great achievement.. But not only that, but to win it playing some wonderful attacking and positive football was a pleasure to behold.
• Ballymoe FC win the Roscommon and District League Premier Division in dramatic circumstances: It all went down to the final minutes of the final game of the season. The smart money was on Castlerea Celtic to lift the title but Ballymoe snatched it with an injury time goal to pip their neighbours. It doesn’t get any closer than that.


• Roscommon v Mayo All Ireland FC quarter-final replay: Having drawn with Mayo the previous week, tens of thousands of Roscommon followers flocked to Croker to see their heroes complete the job. But Mayo had other ideas. Not only did they win but they put Roscommon back in their box with an awesome display. There was not a lot that could be said afterwards. But it was a very disappointing day.
• Roscommon U-16 footballers losing two finals: Roscommon had a marvellous U-16 team in 2017 and expectations will be high for the 2018 U-17 championship, and rightly so too. But having coasted into two finals the Ted Webb Cup and Fr Manning Cup, they were defeated in both conceding a number of crucial goals in the process. I have no doubt that will be sorted out for 2018 as this is a very good Roscommon team.
• Roscommon Hurlers: It was not a good year for Roscommon hurlers in league or championship. Ciaran Comerford is the new man at the helm and he will have a tough job. The goal should be to gain promotion in the league and to copper-fasten Roscommon’s place in the Christy Ring Cup. It will not be an easy task.
• Roscommon Ladies Footballers: After a league campaign that started very promisingly, the team ran out of steam towards the end and the championship was a disappointment. Missing a number of players and injuries to others were crucial for Michael Finneran’s side. There is a new impetus now in the ladies football game in Roscommon since their recent launch and I would be very confident of success in 2018.
• Roscommon’s NFL League Division One campaign: With memories of a tremendous 2016 campaign in our minds the 2017 campaign turned out to be a bit of a disaster for Roscommon. The defeats against Tyrone, Kerry and Donegal were narrow and probably unlucky, but the heavy losses in Mayo, Monaghan and in Croke Park were painful We didn’t know it then but the win against Cavan gave the team a great lift for later in the year. I am confident that Roscommon will be there or thereabouts in the league in 2018. There will be competitive games but division two is very winnable.