Galway 4-13 Roscommon 0-05
Galway obliterated Roscommon to retain their EirGrid Connacht U-20 football title in horrendous conditions at Tuam Stadium.
Dónal Ó Fatharta's side dominated from pillar to post, leaving a highly regarded Roscommon outfit crestfallen, and ultimately embarrassed, at the final whistle.
A brilliant half-back line of Cian Monahan, Tony Gill and Player of the Match Cathal Sweeney provided the platform for victory, and the winners’ ball handling further up the field, underlining their ability to adapt to the conditions, was a joy to watch.
Roscommon played with a strong breeze at their backs in the first half, realistically needing at least a six or seven-point advantage to leave them in a decent position.
Instead Galway’s two goals in the opening 30 minutes were pivotal, and left them in the driving seat at the break.
The sides were deadlocked at 0-01 apiece, courtesy of a Ciarán Lawless point from play and a free from Matthew Tierney, when the home side struck a killer blow after 14 minutes.
Cathal Sweeney made a 60-metre run, unchallenged, before Alan Greene set up Tomo Culhane for a brilliant finish.
Three minutes later, the young Tribesmen had their second goal. Paul McGrath lost possession cheaply, allowing Greene and Culhane tee up the supporting Cian Monahan for his side’s second green flag.
Roscommon, bereft of confidence, huffed and puffed, and only some fine individual efforts from joint captain Paul McManus (2) and Darragh Walsh were rare highlights.
Culhane and Matthew Tierney added further scores for Galway to leave them 2-03 to 0-04 ahead at the break, with the wind to come.
And how they made use of the elements, kicking an answered 2-06 in the third quarter.
Ryan Monahan pounced for a third goal, reacting quickest to an effort from Matthew Cooley that came back off the post in the 33rd minute.
Four minutes later, Jonathan McGrath’s speculative shot slipped through Roscommon goalkeeper Daniel Connolly’s hands for his side’s fourth goal — a score that summed up the visitors’ afternoon.
From there until the end, Galway did as they pleased, with Sweeney embellishing a terrific individual display with three long-range points from play.
Ryan Monaghan, Tierney (a free) and lively substitute Eoin Mannion also got in on the act with scores. Roscommon’s sole score of the half came from a 56th minute free by substitute Thomas O’Rourke.
Galway now go forward to play Munster champions Kerry in the All-Ireland semi-final in Croke Park on St. Patrick’s Day.
Galway: Conor Flaherty; Jonathan McGrath (1-00), Seán Fitzgerald, Jack Glynn; Cian Monahan (1-00), Tony Gill (0-01), Cathal Sweeney (0-03); Conor Raftery, James McLoughlin; Ryan Monahan (1-02), Matthew Tierney (0-04, 0-01f, 0-01 '45), Paul Kelly; Alan Greene (0-01), Tomo Culhane (1-01, 0-01f), Matthew Cooley.
Subs used: Eoin Mannion (0-01) for Cooley (41 mins), Macdara Geraghty for Raftery (49 mins), Dara Whelan for McGrath (51 mins), Daniel Cox for Greene (51 mins), Brian Mannion for Culhane (58 mins).
Roscommon: Daniel Connolly; Pearse Frost, Colin Walsh, Dylan Gaughan; Cian Murray, Niall Higgins, Paul McGrath; Keith Doyle, Ciarán Lawless (0-01); Ruaidhrí Fallon, Paul McManus (0-02), Paul Carey; Andrew Lyons, Darragh Walsh (0-01), Peter Gillooly.
Subs used: Adam McDermott for Gillooly (half-time), Robbie Dolan for Murray (36 mins), Shane Cunnane for Doyle (36 mins), Ciarán Sugrue for Carey (40 mins), Thomas O’Rourke (0-01f) for McManus (53 mins).
Referee: Declan Corcoran (Mayo).