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Feeney’s Sligo U17s book their place in the Celtic Challenge decider

Sligo 3-21 Meath Royals 3-11

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Sligo players Diarmuid Dunleavy, Conor Lang and Patrick Walsh supporting one another as they make a move during the semi-final with Meath Royals in Markievicz Park on Saturday. Pic: Donal Hackett.

Sligo players Diarmuid Dunleavy, Conor Lang and Patrick Walsh supporting one another as they make a move during the semi-final with Meath Royals in Markievicz Park on Saturday. Pic: Donal Hackett.

Sligo players Diarmuid Dunleavy, Conor Lang and Patrick Walsh supporting one another as they make a move during the semi-final with Meath Royals in Markievicz Park on Saturday. Pic: Donal Hackett.

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Sligo have qualified for the final of the Michael Feery Cup following this victory over Meath Royals in Markievicz Park on Saturday.

This game was played in fine conditions with Meath having slight wind advantage in the opening half. Sligo got the better start with Ciarán Keenan pointing from an early free after good work by Donnchadha O’Brien and Jack Feeney in the forward line.

A further point from play by Diarmaid Dunleavy gave them a two point advantage.

Sligo then had a couple of wides before Meath Royals opened their tally with a point from captain Rian Fay.

Sligo added points from Ciarán Keenan and Adam Rolston to increase their lead before Rian Fay added the first of five consecutive points for Meath.

Sligo had chances to add to their tally but a couple sailed wide.

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Meath were capitalising on turnovers despite Sligo having a good deal of possession.

Ciarán Keenan did add a point from a free after a foul on Robert O’Kelly-Lynch.

Meath, however got a goal from Liam Jennings followed by a free from Rian Fay to lead 1-8 to 0-5. Sligo finished the half with two further points, both from frees after Donnchadha O’Brien and Robert O’Kelly-Lynch were fouled.

At half time Meath had a four point advantage, 1-8 to 0-7.

Sligo started the second half very brightly with three unanswered points from Robert O’Kelly-Lynch, Adam Rolston and Patrick Walsh.

A free for Rian Fay from Meath followed, before Sligo added another three points, two from Robert O’Kelly-Lynch who was causing a good deal of problems for the Meath defence.

Meath pointed from play to level the score 0-13 to 1-10 at the thirteenth minute mark.

A free from Ciarán Keenan was added and then a link up by Meath’s captain Rian Fay and Malachy Fisher led to Meath’s second goal.

Sligo didn’t panic and added four points to their tally to give them a two point advantage 0-18 to 2-10. Meath didn’t relent and again Rian Fay added a point from play before Malachy Fisher found the net for a second time.

Meath now led 3-11 to 0-18. Joseph McCaughey was introduced into the Sligo attack.

Fortunes changed for Sligo as good work by Patrick Walsh found Robert O’Kelly-Lynch who was fouled and Sligo were awarded a penalty.

This foul also led to the dismissal of Meath’s defender, Fionn McHale for a second yellow card. The shot by Ciarán Keenan was saved by Meath goalkeeper Cameron Smyth.

Sligo, however, did all the scoring for the remainder of the game with two goals in quick succession from Easkey team mates Patrick Walsh and Adam Rolston.

A further point from play was added by captain Ciarán Keenan before the final score of the game, a second for Patrick Walsh and third for Sligo to ensure a place in the final.

Sligo will play Mayo in the final of the Michael Feery Cup, Division 5 of the Celtic Challenge competition. Sligo won this Cup in 2018 and a number of the players now feature on Sligo’s Senior hurling panel.

Martin Feeney’s management team will be hoping to overturn the result against Mayo in the opening round of this year’s competition when Mayo defeated Sligo by 1-15 to 2-6. Mayo defeated Kildare in their semi final also on Saturday.

The final is scheduled to take place on June 4. 

Sligo panel: Thomas Hargadon, Marc Gray, Conor White, Eoghan Durkan, Diarmaid Dunleavy(0-1), Neil Kelly, Michael Costigan, Michael Carroll, Conor Lang, Patrick Walsh(2-2), Ciarán Keenan(capt.)(0-12(10f), Jack Feeney, Adam Rolston(1-3), Robert O’Kelly-Lynch(0-3), Donnchadha O’Brien, Oisín Henessy, Joseph Mc Caughey, Cathal Hughes, Oisín Whelan, Corey O’Dowd, Shane O’Loughlin, Matthew Percy, Cormac Vereker, Jack McDaniel, Thomas Sheridan.

Meath Royals panel: Cameron Smyth, Ben McGovern, Fionn McHale, Charlie Benson, Tom Ryan, Eoin Kelleher, Michael Heffernan,Cian Dowling, Adam O’Neill, Dylan Duignan, Liam Jennings (1-2), Luke OHalloran(0-1), Rian Fay (0-7(5f), Malachy Fisher (2-1), Oisín Cashman, Sean Howley, Danann Donnelly, Sean Davis.

Referee: J Cahill


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