Round 4 of the U17 Championship saw Roscommon Gaels continue their winning ways with a high scoring win over a very determined Western Gaels team. Western Gaels playing against a sizeable wind won the throw in and with their first attack pointed from their forward dashing wing back. From the kick out the home side signalled their intent with an excellently worked point by John McGuinness to equal matters. From this attack our lads got a foothold early and further points from Rory Carthy (45m), Liam Naughten and a brace from John McGuinness gave us a 0-05 to 0-01 lead after the 1st quarter. The Westies responded with a 2nd point from the midfielder before McGuinness added two more to his tally with excellently executed scores. Our lads continued to dominate using the wind to full advantage to race into a 0-15 to 0-04 lead coming up to half time. Scores by the excellent Zawyal Khan (putting in a man of the match display), John McGuinness, Rory Carthy and Jack Raftery building this lead. However, the Western Gaels lads battled bravely and a speculative shot for a point dropped short catching out our keeper to land in the net for a Goal and this gave them a lifeline at half time with the score at 0-16 to 1-04.
Now with the wind, the away team had 3 attacks but only came away with one point from their excellent midfielder. Despite playing against the wind, we then responded with 1-02 with the goal coming from Liam Naughten after an excellent drive from Ciaran Reilly. Still, Western Gaels kept to the task and responded with 1-03, their Goal been scored after our defence failed to deal with a high ball. Indeed, up to the last 4 minutes of the 2nd half the away team were leading this half by 1.05 to 1.03 which showed great character by them. The Gaels did finish strong with 2 Rory Carthy Frees and a John McGuiness point to leave the final score at 1-22 to 2-09.
There were many positives from tonight again particularly the first half display in scoring 0-16. Notable performances from Zawie Khan, John McGuinness and Eoghan Carthy, however concerns over the number of turnovers and the easy concession of two goals will give us plenty to work on ahead of the business end of the season. It is now 4 from 4 and a guaranteed semi-final has us in a good place with plenty of work to do.
We are where we want to be so well done to all concerned.