After previous success for Roscommon Minors in 2017, the squad which included four proud members of our local Padraig Pearse’s Club recently were crowned Connacht Minor champions.
After battling in gale force wind conditions on St Stephens Day at the Connacht Centre of Excellence and after defeating a fancied Galway team in the semi-final, The Rossie's had to play a highly rated Sligo team in the final.
The local boys - Eoin Colleran, Luke Walshe, Caelun Keogh, Declan Kenny played the final during Storm Bella with the wind favouring Roscommon in the first half. Roscommon went into the second half leading by only 4 points and knew they needed a big performance to secure the cup. Against the storm, Roscommon was able to snatch the victory by three points with local Padraig Pearse’s Clubman, Creagh native and Roscommon Captain Eoin Colleran, lifting the winning cup.
In preparation for the campaign the team had been placed on a strict diet and fitness regimes and latest Covid-19 restrictions had meant that the team had to be split up and train in their separate pods. The boys knew what was ahead of them, and they were able to keep their head down and focus on the match with the belief that they could get the job done.
Speaking on the strict preparation for the match , Cornerback for the Squad Luke Walshe said: “It was very strict coming up to the match, we couldn’t eat what we wanted coming up to the match not even at Christmas, we were told to stick to our strict carb diet. Training was very strict we just focused on our drills and our tactics.”
Padraig Pearse's also had Caelum Keogh at full-back, and Declan Kenny on the panel on the day. Aaron Clogher is another local man who is the team’s Performance Analyst.
These boys have been training for this moment since they entered U6s and the hard work at underage coaching in Padraig Pearses is paying off with a strong county representation over several years.
Captain Eoin Colleran also spoke of the difficulties they faced and what motivated them to be able to power through and get the job done: “One of our players Mark Watson broke his ankle the week before the game, that was a tough one, and towards the start of the season with ten minutes before a game was to be played a referee passed away Morgan Keena. We did it for both for Morgan and Mark.”
Although the game was in the absence of family, friends, and supporters due to COVID Restrictions. They were able to dispatch Sligo to come out on top as champions.
Luke spoke of the highlights when he chuckled: “Definitely the goal, that was special.”
The Padraig Pearses boys had all come through Garbally College in a proud day for the school and the South Roscommon Club “Thanks to all of the manager and lads who we have trained with up from the age of six. Huge thanks to our club, our schools, our families and friends, all those who have supported us over the years helping us become better players and people. You truly are our sixteenth man on the field,” stated Captain Eoin Colleran at the presentation moment!
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