Monaghan defeat Roscommon in League opener

Roscommon suffered an agonising 2-10 to 1-9 defeat to Monaghan in their opening game of the 2016 Allianz Football League.

Playing with a slight wind advantage they led by 1-5 to 0-2 at the break. The goal coming from a Ciarain Murtagh penalty and the points from Murtagh (x2), Fintan Cregg (x2) and Enda Smith. Roscommon suffered a blow just before half-time when Ciarain Murtagh received a Black Card.

Senan Kilbride got the opening point of the second half but it was Monaghan who made the better start. Derek Malone scored a goal after three minutes and applied plenty of pressure. Enda Smith went on a mazing run through the Monaghan defence and his pass found Fintan Cregg. The Elphin man’s shot from close range was well saved and touched over the bar by Rory Beggan. Points from Thomas Kerr (2) and Conor McManus reduced the Monaghan deficit. But Fintan Cregg added his fourth of the game in the 51st minute; finishing off a move involving Seanie McDermott, David Murray, Senan Kilbride and Conor Devaney.

Monaghan scored another three points without reply to level the game with thee minutes of normal time remaining. Fintan Cregg put Roscommon in the lead again and Monaghan equalised almost immediately. Then disaster struck. An attempted short kick-out by Roscommon went astray and Conor McManus sent the ball to the back of the net. Daniel McKenna added a point in the fourth minute of additional time to complete the turnaround. Final score: Roscommon 1-9 Monaghan 2-10.

Roscommon face the long journey to Killarney for next Sunday’s Round Two meeting with Kerry.

Roscommon Team and scorers:

Darren O’Malley; Sean McDermott, Neil Collins, Niall McInerney; David Murray, Niall Daly, (Capt) Ronan Stack; Enda Smith (0-1), Ian Kilbride; Fintan Cregg (0-5, 2F), Niall Kilroy, Ciaran Murtagh (1-2, 1P, 2F); Conor Devaney Senan Kilbride (0-1), Cathal Cregg.

Subs used: Cian Connolly for Ciarain Murtagh (BC), Ultan Harney for Senan Kilbride, Ronan Daly for Niall Kilroy, Cathal Shine for Conor Devaney, John McManus for Cathal Cregg.

Yellow Cards: Neil Collins, Conor Devaney.
Black Card: Ciarain Murtagh.

Referee: Conor Lane (Cork)
Attendance: 2,900.

There was better news for the Roscommon Ladies Footballers who defeated Offaly by 3-10 to 4-5 in the Lidl National Football League.