Roscommon recorded a first away Allianz League win over Kerry thanks to a 68th minute point from TG4 Man of the Match Enda Smith.
It was Kerry, playing against the wind, who made the best start to the game. They scored three points before Enda Smith got Roscommon’s opener in the 11th minute. A flick-on was gathered by Conor Daly who passed to the on-running Smith, who glided through the Kerry defence before slotting over.
The point sparked a period of domination by Roscommon which resulted in seven further points without reply. A quick Conor Devaney free found Cathal Cregg in space on the right wing and he pointed from 40 meters out. His second point two minutes later was from a similar position, after receiving a pass from Enda Smith.
Roscommon took the lead from a Ciaráin Murtagh point in the 17th minute, Conor Devaney added another in the 19th minute before Fintan Cregg landed two long range frees. The Roscommon pressure continued and an Enda Smith shot which came off the post was won back and slotted over by Cian Connolly from a tight angle.
Kerry responded immediately with two points in a row before Stephen O’Brien held off tackles from David Murray and Niall McInerney and eventually prodded the ball past the advancing Darren O’Malley. Although it looked as if he had taken too many steps there were no objections from the Roscommon defence.
Kerry took the lead in the 34th minute to head into the half-time break leading by 1-6 to 0-8.
The second half was a much tighter affair with the two sides trading points throughout.
Kerry began as they ended the first with a point, following a foul by Neil Collins. Enda Smith replied three minutes later before Kerry added another in the 43rd minute to maintain their advantage. Strong pressure from the Roscommon attackers, as Kerry tried to clear their lines, resulted in a point for Conor Devaney. A Kerry point in the 48th minute turned out to be there last of normal time as Roscommon began to dominate once more. Two points from Cathal Cregg in the space of a minute reduced the Kerry lead to a point before Ciaráin Murtagh scored the equaliser from a free in the 57th minute. The defences efforts of both sides were the story of the next ten minutes as weather conditions deteriorated. The score that proved to be the winner arrived with two minutes remaining. Enda Smith, who had been moved into the forward line, jinked in from the end line and slotted over.
Five minutes of additional time were announced and the Kerry pressure began to mount again however an heroic defensive performance saw Roscommon survive attack after attack. Following an incident which saw Ronan Daly receiving a yellow, despite being hit in the face, more time was added on. Kerry scored in the 77th minute but it proved to be too little too late and Roscommon hung on for a deserved win.
Final score: Roscommon 0-14 Kerry 1-10
Team and scorers: D O’Malley; S McDermott, N Collins, N McInerney; D Murray, N Daly, R Stack; E Smith (0-4), I Kilbride; F Cregg (0-2, 2F), C Daly, C Devaney (0-2); C Murtagh (0-2, 1F), C Connolly (0-1), C Cregg (0-3).
Subs used: Cathal Shine for I Kilbride (54), Sean Purcell for C Daly (57), Ronan Daly for C Cregg (BC, 59), Cathal McHugh for Connolly (63)
TG4 Man of the Match: Enda Smith
Yellow Cards: Neil Collins (36), Fintan Cregg (47), Ronan Daly (75), Seán Purcell (77)
Black Card: Cathal Cregg (59)