Sligo has just come up short in the Telten Cup semi-finals

They died with their shoes on, and showed that the spirit of resistance burns brightly in the county of William Butler Yeats.

Or, Sligo showed the weight of an outright refusal to bend the knee—in a memorable performance that had the colors of those giant Sligo legends of 2002, when those boys lit up that scorching heat and descended on the edge of greatness.

In Twenty Years, no one outside the team gave Tony McEnty’s boys in black a chance against an all-conquering Cavan side and it looked very dark when Cavan went 0-6 to 0-0 by the 14th minute. Took the lead.

In the end, inexperience undone them, but timing could have been a quick cure for the situation as they missed two excellent scoring chances in both the halves.

Twelve of this team are 25 or younger, but they showed true mature grit and grace by making their way into contention thanks to a wonderfully executed penalty from Pat O’Connor—the light and lean St. Man.

Sligo made 18 chances in this half and converted only four which is a significant statistic.

And they were never able to bridge that precious few points gap.

Because, time and time again the big gyroid McKiernan came to the rescue of the favorite with cool scores when his county needed him most, and that’s the classical definition of leadership.

But Sligo should be proud of the way they made it into an epic old-fashioned end-to-end contest and sweepers were mercifully rare as tickets to an All-Ireland final.

Both sides went for the jugglers, resulting in an enthrallingly entertaining affair in front of a large and most vocal Sligo crowd, who cheered the Rafters when Niall Murphy arrived at half-time and almost single-handedly won the match.

It also marked the final match of Sligo’s Pat Hughes as team boss Tony McEnty paid an emotional tribute to the genial Givagh legend.

And despite the loss, this match was the day this young Sligo team showed they are a rising force that they will be even stronger next year with a promising Under-20 team to choose from.

The game started badly with Cavan’s giant icon McKiernan and late deputy Stephen Smith setting up veteran Martin Reilly for the opening score in the first minute.

Ten seconds later Brefny midfielder James Smith made it 0-2 to 0-0 as young Sligo looked unsteady and nervous.

Sligo was checking patiently for a weak cavity like a dentist, but it was Cavan who was more clinical as midfielder Thomas Galligan aided from the wind and kept the hot favorite ahead of three.

Sligo was slowly settling into it, but failing to convert the scoring opportunity came three wides at the old bugbear trot, three shots into the hands of the keeper and an effort unintentionally back from the post.

Doubts were seeping into this young team like moisture in the old walls in the form of Oisin Cernan and Conor Brady, who hit a huge point by the 14th minute to put Cavan in a 0-6 0-0 lead.

And then we heard Sligo roar when Kerry man Pat Spillane finally knocked Yates County off the mark because he had great Sligo support compared to his famous opponents.

It was the start of a thrilling fifteen-minute Sligo attack as he hugged Cavan, creating 18 goalable chances in the first 35 minutes—two great goalscoring opportunities missed and ending with just four scores.

And then the magic for Sligo when the team captain brilliantly set up Luke Tovey, who was impacting Cavan’s goal—only to be knocked down by Gerard Smith.

Pat O’Connor had ice in her veins as she calmly sent Cavan keeper Raymond Galligan the wrong way with a less graceful shot that old timers would describe as the Daisy Cutter and finally it was…. Play.

Sligo was buzzing and Pat Hughes sent off a beauty 0-7 to 1-2 with the outside of his boot.

Yates County had found its mojo, but could only manage one more point from Darragh Cummins as Cavan grabbed four more points to advance from 0-11 to 1-3 at the break.

O’Connor had a chance to level matters but went for a goal when a point would have been enough.

But Devani brilliantly came to the rescue of Sligo when he defended brilliantly from McKiernan just before half time and it was a real-life support.

Sligo threw on the talismanic Niall Murphy for Hughes and the classy Coolera/Strandhill made immediate impact on five well-taken points.

The pace picked up in the second half as both sides tried to outsmart each other—exactly how real Gaelic football was played.

Cavan hit four early wides in the second half as Sligo came back to a double-point lead and we wondered if Lady Luck was wearing a black mini skirt.

But despite several strikes, Sligo couldn’t get the target he really needed to win this amazing contest.

O’Connor had a good chance with Murphy, but his shot went awry.

Cavan was only 0-17 to 1-12 with seven minutes to go.

It was time for Sligo to keep his boot firmly on Cavan’s throat – instead it was the inevitable McKiernan who punched another crucial point for the winners with a good score from Cavan’s Smith brothers and mainly Murphy for Sligo. hit.

There was an injury time of six minutes and Sligo fought like dogs, which would have been a resounding victory as Sean Carabin really excelled.

Sadly, that didn’t happen at all – but these boys have the time and played with great gusto and pride in the black jersey.

You couldn’t have asked for more.

Cavan: Raymond Galligan; Jason McLaughlin, Padraig Faulkner, Killian Brady (0-1); Ciaran Brady, Killian Clark (0-2) Connor Brady (0-1); Thomas Galligan (0-1), James Smith (0-2); Oisin Kiernan (0-1) Gyroid McKiernan (0-41ff) Gerard Smith (0-3); Martin Reilly (0-1), Paddy Lynch (0-1), Stephen Smith (0-1) subscription; Cian Madden (0-2) for Martin Reilly (30), Oisin Brady for Stephen Smith (56), Conor Moynagh for Killian Brady (67), Luke Fortune for Ciaran Brady (66), Chris Paddy Lynch for Paddy Lynch Conroy (73)

Sligo: Aidan Devne; Nathan Mullen, Evan Lyons, Paul McNamara; Luke Tovey, Darragh Cummins (0-1) Paul Kilcoyne; Peter Laffy, Pat Spillane (0-2); Mickey Gordon, Alan Reilly (0-1) Keelan Cawley; Sean Carabin (0-32f), Pat Hughes (0-1), Patrick O’Connor (1-1, Penn). sub; Niall Murphy (0-5,1 points) for Pat Hughes (H-Time), Mark Walsh (52 points) for Keelan Kawley, David Quinn for Darragh Cummins (62), Peter Laffy (62) and Conor Griffin. Donal Conlan (68) for Pat Spillane


Fergal Kelly (Longford)