Saturday 18 November 2017

Corcoran finds range for Rossies


Cian Murphy

THOMAS CORCORAN showed nerves of steel at Croke Park to kick Roscommon into the semi-finals. The Strokestown teenager twice stepped up to land monster free-kicks to rescue his team -- first in regulation injury-time to force extra-time, and again in the dying moments of the match to see off a spirited Armagh.

Midfield general Aaron Findon and sharp-shooting forwards Ciaran O'Hanlon and Paul McGeown looked like they had Armagh on course for victory, only for Roscommon to refuse to be put away.

Centre-back John McManus -- a son of Rossies hero Tony -- played a true captain's part as he led their resistance with surging runs from the back and after being 0-4 to 0-1 down, they led 0-6 to 0-4 at half-time with wing-back Conor Daly prominent.

There was little between two impressive sides and when Donie Smith bundled in a goal in the 52nd minute to go a point up, it looked like the Connacht champions had the momentum.

But Armagh countered and it was left to Corcoran to force extra-time at 1-11 to 0-14.

Roscommon again started slowly in extra-time with Michael McKenna firing the Orchard County clear at 0-18 to 1-13 at the break.

But crucial scores from Roscommon substitutes Fintan Sweeney and Kevin Finn clawed them back, before Corcoran settled it with his dramatic late kick from 45 metres out to keep alive Roscommon's hopes of emulating their All-Ireland minor triumph of 2006.

Roscommon will now play the winner of the Tipperary and Meath match, which will be played today in Portlaoise (2.0).

SCORERS -- Roscommon: D Smith 1-2, T Corcoran 0-4 (4f), C Daly, K Finn 0-3 each, F Sweeney 0-2, E Smith, S Jordan 0-1 each. Armagh: P McGeown 0-5 (2f), C O'Hanlon, R McShane 0-3, M McKenna 0-2, P Burns, D McQuade, C Trainor, M Carson (1f), C McNally 0-1 each.

ROSCOMMON -- C Lavin; D Murray, R Timothy, S Carty; M Connaughton, J McManus; C Daly; F Kelly, T Corcoran; M Healy, D Smith, E Smith; L Conlon, E Lannon, S Jordan. Subs: K Finn for Lannon (17), D O'Dowd for Murray (34), F Sweeney for Jordan (44), T McKenna for F Kelly (53), A Gleeson for E Smith (66), D Brandon for Daly (77).

ARMAGH -- D O'Hagan; B McCarron, C Hoey, M Murphy; P Burns, C White, S Hughes; A Findon, D McQuade; P Og Grant, C O'Hanlon, M McKenna; C Trainor, P McGeown, R McShane. Subs: M Carson for Grant (h-t), E Rafferty for Hughes (34), C McNally for Trainor (53), C Cumiskey for Carson (67), C Gough for McQuade (77).

REF -- C Lane (Cork).

Irish Independent

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