Senior footballers find Roscommon’s Div 1 scoring power too hot to handle

Back 01/05/2022 @ 23:10 | mainnews | Senior footballers find Roscommon’s Div 1 scoring power too hot to handle

The difference between Division One and Division Four in the national standings was amply illustrated as Roscommon ran out as comfortable winners in the Connacht senior football semi-final at a rain soaked Markievicz Park on Saturday evening.

Although Sligo opened the scoring with a Paddy O’Connor point in the first minute the visitors quickly started to dominate possession and set the pattern of the game.

Roscommon corner forward Conor Cox equalised and then he and Sligo’s Niall Murphy exchanged frees as the game reached the tenth minute with scores even but Roscommon dominating possession.

That all changed on 13 minutes when Cox put his side ahead from another free and then in the moments afterwards was involved in an incident with his marker David Philips which saw the Sligoman receive a red card.

As Sligo adjusted to playing with 14 men, Roscommon built on their dominance of possession to open up a gap on the scoreboard.  They had two points each from Cox – one from play, one from a free – and Ciaran Murtagh as well as one from Enda Smith and an Alan Nolan 45 with Sligo just adding one from play by centre back Darragh Cummins to be six points ahead as two minutes of added time was called.

The home side were not giving in however and finished the half on the front foot with points from debutant wing back Mark Walsh and a superb Sean Carrabine effort from wide on the left, that latter on the strike of half time, to leave four points between the sides at the break.

While only the most blindly optimistic would have forecast a Sligo comeback at that point, Roscommon emerged from the dressing rooms with renewed intent and added five unanswered points with Enda Smith adding three of those to put the visitors nine ahead, 0-14 to 0-5, ten minutes into the second half.

Darragh Cummins raised Sligo’s first white flag of the second half with his second point of the game in the 46th minute as both sides started to make changes.

Roscommon full back Brian Stack and Niall Murphy exchanged points before the subs started to get in in the scoring act with Conor Daly, Keith Doyle and Niall Kilroy scoring for Roscommon and Pat Spillane notching one in return for Sligo to bring the score to 0-20 to 0-8 with eight minutes remaining.

Debutant Sligo midfielder Conán Marren then hit a fine long-range point and the returning Pat Hughes, who had just come on as a sub reminded the Sligo supporters of what he could offer with a neat point to make it 0-20 to 0-10 with five minutes to play.

Roscommon added a further three points – all scored by substitutes – while Sligo’s final score came from a Murphy free as the rain clouds cleared to see the game finish 0-23 to 0-11 to the visitors.

Sligo: A Devaney; D Philips, E Lyons, P McNamara; N Mullen, D Cummins (0-2), M Walsh (0-1); P Kilcoyne, C Marren (0-1); M Gordon, P O’Connor (0-1), K Cawley; A Reilly, N Murphy (0-3, 2f), S Carrabine (0-1).

Subs: P Spillane (0-1) for Reilly and D Quinn for Cawley (both 48); C Griffin for O’Connor (53); P Laffey for Cummins (57); P Hughes (0-1) for Gordon (64).

Roscommon: C Lavin; D Murray, B Stack (0-1), E McCormack; C Hussey, N Daly, R Daly; U Harney, E Nolan(0-1 ‘45’); C Murtagh (0-4), E Smith (0-4, 1f), C Heneghan; C McKeown, D Smith (0-1 f), C Cox (0-6, 3f).

Subs: C Daly (0-1) for Murray (46); K Doyle (0-1) for Harney (54); N Kilroy (0-2) for McKeon (56); D Murtagh (0-1) for D Smith (57); A Glennon (0-1) for Hussey (64).

Referee: N Mooney (Cavan).