Roscommon’s impressive return to Division One of the Allianz Football League came to a disappointing end in Croke Park this afternoon following a 0-14 to 3-15 defeat to Kerry.
Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
Roscommon made a bright start to the game and led by 0-2 to 0-1 after 6 minutes thanks to a ’45 from Geoffrey Claffey and a free from Ciarain Murtagh. That score from the Captain, was to be Roscommon’s last for 16 minutes, as Kerry clocked up 1-4 without reply – the goal coming from Colm Cooper. A Ciarain Murtagh point from play and a free from his brother Diarmuid reduced the Kerry lead but they replied almost immediately with a Goal from Donncha Walsh. A Paul Murphy and a free from Colm Cooper point left it 2-8 to 0-4 heading into injury time. Diarmuid Murtagh responded with another pointed free to make it 2-8 to 0-5 but to compound Roscommon’s misery a quick Kerry break a few moments later saw Darran O’Sullivan capitalise on a loose ball, round the advancing Geoffrey Claffey and send David Murray the wrong way as he drove the ball to the back of the net.
Kerry extended their lead in the opening minutes of the second half with points from Cooper and O’Sullivan. Diarmuid Murtagh replied with a free in the 37th minute but that was cancelled out by a Paul Murphy free. Roscommon then began to get a better grip around the middle of the field and revival began with Roscommon scoring five of the next six points. A Donie Shine ’45 followed by two Ciarain Murtagh frees and points from Diarmuid Murtagh and Conor Devaney left it 3-12 to 0-10 with 15 minutes to play.
Colm Cooper and Barry John Keane added two further points and then a second period of Roscommon dominance followed but they didn’t make it pay. Full Back Neil Collins, who spent most of the day in an advanced position, scored two points in the space of a minute. However Roscommon kicked five wides in a row, which would surely be the most disappointing asking of the day’s play. Brendan O’Sullivan added another point for the Kingdom before Sean McDermott added Roscommon’s 14th and final point of the day in the 69th minute.
Although Kerry scored 3-15 the most impressive aspect of their play was their defensive structure, which saw most of the team drop back to flood the midfield and half back area, and tactical fouling on the edge of the scoring zones both of which reduced the flowing football which had become Roscommon’s trademark during the League. The decision to follow the Kerry forwards out the field backfired as it left the remaining Roscommon defenders exposed to high ball.
Overall the return to Division One has been positive and will benefit the players in the long term.
Team and scorers
1 Geoffrey Claffey, (0-1,’45)
2 Sean McDermott, (0-1)
3 Neil Collins, (0-2)
4 Niall McInerney
5 David Murray
6 Sean Purcell
7 Sean Mullooly
8 Niall Daly
9 Cathal Shine
10 Fintan Cregg
11 Ciaran Murtagh, (0-4, 3f)
12 Conor Devaney, (0-1)
13 Diarmuid Murtagh, (0-4, 3f)
14 Senan Kilbride
15 Cathal Cregg
Donie Shine (0-1,’45) for Cathal Shine (HT)
Ronan Stack for Sean Purcell (HT)
David Keenan for Sean Mullooly (46)
Niall Kilroy Cathal Cregg (55)
Ronan Daly for Conor Devaney (55)
James McDermott for Niall Daly (62)