The concession of two early goals by the Roscommon Senior Footballers ultimately cost them the chance of retaining the FBD League title in Tuam Stadium this afternoon.
Damien Comer gave Galway a dream start when he fisted a Fiontain Ó Curraoin free to the net after 13 seconds. His second goal was almost identical; connecting to an Eamon Brannigan ball. Roscommon played Armagh in a Challenge game on Thursday night and it showed in the early stages. As the game progressed they caught up to the pace and points from Senan Kilbride (x2), Kieran Kilcline, Ciaráin Murtagh, Scott Oates and Cian Connolly left it Roscommon 0-6 Galway 2-5 at Half-Time.
Roscommon, playing against the wind, started the second half much brighter. Cian Connolly added two further points, followed by two from Ciaráin Murtagh to leave make it 0-10 to 2-5 mid way through the second half. A fine save from Geoffrey Claffey in the 16th minute denied Galway the opportunity of a third goal. The home side eventually got their first score of the half a few moments later via Adrian Varley.
Frees from Ciaráin Murtagh and Cian Connolly levelled the game shortly afterwards and set up a grandstand finale. Galway regained the lead with a fine Johnny Heaney point from 40 metres out. They extended it to two points via a somewhat controversial Shane Walsh free – many felt that Roscommon should have been awarded a free out has Thomas Featherston was pushed during the incident. Captain Niall Daly reduced the gap to one point in the dying moments and the Roscommon pressure continued. They had chances to equalise and force the game into Extra-Time but Galway hung on to take the title.
Final score: Roscommon 0-13 Galway 2-8
Although it was a pre-season game the second half in particular was action packed and will stand to the players in next Sunday’s opening game of the Allianz League against Monaghan.
Team and scorers: Geoffrey Claffey, Ronan Stack, Thomas Featherston, Neil Collins; Brian Murtagh, Niall Daly (C) (0-1), Ronan Daly; Enda Smith, Cathal Shine; Scott Oates (0-1), Kieran Kilcline (0-1), Ciaráin Murtagh (0-4); Cian Connolly (0-4, 3F), Senan Kilbride (0-2), Cathal McHugh.
Subs used: Niall Kilroy for Kieran Kilcline; Ultan Harney for Scott Oates; Fintan Kelly for Cathal Shine; Fintan Cregg for Ciaráin Murtagh.
Referee: Declan Corcoran (Mayo)