By Mike Fitzpatrick
Stamford’s fanatical support went home disappointed for once last Sunday due to this result at the hands of Sligo in the junior football B division semi-final.
It was a narrow defeat, but as the old cliche goes "at the end of the day, a win’s a win".
For the Sligo club, it was an especially successful day at the park; a few hours after this game, the senior side came up trumps versus mighty Kerry.
Sligo will face Astoria Gaels in the Junior B Final in a couple of weeks thanks to this fine victory.
This was Stamford’s second successive semi-final defeat in junior football, but something tells me that we haven’t seen the last of this Connecticut side.
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Sligo have a number of players to thank for this fine victory. A number of lads, understanding the scale of the game, and how important it was for the club in general, went full throttle after victory.
Half forward Barney Healy had a fabulous game for Sligo, notching a couple of early points for his side, and linking well with the likes of John McVann and Paul Tuffy to create more scoring opportunities.
Stamford hit back with a stunning goal from the most unlikely source in corner back Eamonn Fay. The crowd roared and the play stepped up a notch. Sligo fought back, and Healy played out of his skin to knock a number of scores over the bar.
Stamford did well to counter attack, bringing on substitutes Brian McKenna who hit two points, and veteran Tommy Moran who hit an accurate free kick over the bar to bring Stamford back into the hunt.
The tie moved to and fro with both sides knocking in scores in attempts to outdo their rival, but at the end of the game, it was to be Sligo’s day.
The hopes of the Stamford fans now rest on the shoulders of the senior team who are well within a shout of the playoffs.
Sligo: Neil Duffy, John Kilroy, Mike Gilligan, Pat Spellman, Ray Reynolds, Tom Carroll, Fergus Durcan, John McGrath, Eamonn Duffy (0-3), Barney Healy (0-5), Declan Henry, Brian McDonagh, John McVann (0-2), Paul Tuffy (0-1), Ronnie Cosgrave (0-1). Subs: John Norton, Declan McClafferty
Stamford: John Dean, Terry McDonagh, Jason Williams, Simon Roche, Eamonn Fay (1-0), Mike Curtin, Ollie O’Neill, Kevin McQuillan, Paul McDonagh, Damian Potter, Alan Carney, Cyril Carroll (1-0), Brian Martin (0-1), Paddy O’Gorman. Subs: Brian McKenna (0-2), Tommy Moran (0-1)