Brendan O'Meara of St Dominic's and Jonathan Hussey of St Faithleach's in action during last year's Roscommon IFC final.

Championship favourites St Dominic's make winning start

Kevin Egan

It wasn’t the devastating, all-out attacking performance that St Dominic’s will need to find if they are to fulfil their undoubted potential in the Roscommon Intermediate championship later this year. But the Knockcroghery-based side still did enough in their game against Shannon Gaels to kick off their bid for the Jamesie Murray Cup with a 2-13 to 0-13 victory at Tulsk last Saturday evening.

With Daire Keenan, Jack Lohan and Keith Doyle all still in the US, it’s a case of trying to stay in contention and ensure that there is still a championship campaign up and running when those lads come home, and a 1-10 haul from Darren Donnelly put them well on the road towards achieving that goal.

Kyron Dockery surged forward from corner-back to score their first goal, helping Tomás Gilleran’s charges to build an early 1-3 to no score lead. Donnelly – who scored eight goals in last year’s championship – raised his green flag from the penalty spot shortly before half-time.

St Dominic’s will face St Brigid’s (see a report on their win over St Aidan’s in this week's Westmeath Independent) in their next contest, scheduled for 7pm in Kiltoom on Saturday, August 20.

There was no luck for the St Dominic’s juniors, who lost out by 2-7 to 1-7 in their opening round contest against Western Gaels.

Elsewhere in the intermediate championship, a new-look Clann na nGael team were pipped at the post in Loughglynn, losing by 0-15 to 2-8 to the home side, Éire Óg. Just three of the 16 footballers that played last Sunday were in the starting team that lost out to St Dominic’s in last year’s championship semi-final, but despite that almost complete overhaul, Clann started strongly and just failed to make their dominance count on the scoreboard.

Tomás O’Neill, Shane Gavin and Alan McManus were some of the young footballers that went well for the Johnstown club. Although Roscommon star Conor Cox racked up the scores and helped Éire Óg to build up a commanding lead, second-half goals from Gavin and Niall Connaughton saw Clann to take a one-point lead into the closing stages.

A black card for Darragh Egan in the 51st minute proved consequential. however, particularly when Cox knocked over the subsequent free to level the game. Cian McManus and Cox traded subsequent frees and it looked like a draw was imminent, but Liam Creaton had other ideas and he punched a winning score for Éire Óg in stoppage time.

There was better news for the Pádraig Pearses B team in the junior championship, as they picked up a 1-11 to 0-10 win over St Joseph’s in Kilteevan. An early goal from Garbally College student Adam McGreal gave them a strong start, while Daniel Glynn was in good form from frees. St Joseph’s rallied in the third quarter and cut the lead back to two, before Glynn struck two late points to wrap up their win.

When we consider that the Pearses seniors used 26 players in last year’s successful Fahey Cup campaign, it’s a testament to the strength in depth that exists in Woodmount that they still reached a county junior final. St Brigid’s were that bit better in that junior decider, but it should be a stronger Pearses group this year.