Sligo under-20 gaelic footballers are Connacht champions after a dramatic 4-4 to 1-12 victory over Mayo at Markievicz Park on Wednesday evening.
It’s Sligo’s first ever provincial title at under-20 or under-21 level.
Sligo were five points down and a man down as the game ticked into the closing moments – but they produced two goals in the closing stages from Eoghan Smith and team captain Jack Lavin.
Indeed, it was Lavin’s high dropping ball into the goalmouth in dying moments which deceived the Mayo keeper and bounced straight into the net to give Sligo a one-point advantage – a lead they would keep to clinch a memorable victory.
Listen back to the last dramatic 10 minutes of commentary here, as described as Ocean FM Sport’s Rian Bailey and Mark Breheny:
The home side led by a point (2-3 to 0-8) at half-time thanks to two excellent goals from corner forward and Player of the Match Jack Davitt.
In truth, Mayo enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in this game but were guilty of some wayward shooting in both halves.
Sligo, without playing particularly well, never let the heads dropped and stuck at it right to the end.
Mayo had done their homework and kept Sligo’s DCU duo of Lee Deignan and Eoghan Smith fairly quiet for much of the game.
Sligo went 21 minutes in the second-half without scoring, which scarcely looked good enough to win a Connacht final.
But despite having defender Shane Molloy red carded in the closing quarter, the team’s never-say-die attitude came to the fore once again, as they turned a likely defeat into a memorable and historic victory.
Sligo next face the Leinster under-20 champions in the All-Ireland semi-final on May 7/8th.
Connacht under-20 football final result
Sligo 4-4 (16)
Mayo 1-12 (15).