Roscommon overcame a slow start to defeat Leitrim by 13 points in Pairc Seán Mac Diarmaida and book a place in the Connacht Senior Football Championship Semi-Final against Sligo on June 12th.
Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
Leitrim got the opening score of the game with their first attack and it took Roscommon until the 9th minute to equalise. That score from Diarmuid Murtagh settled Roscommon’s nerves and points from Cathal Cregg, Niall Daly and two from Donie Shine made it 0-5 to 0-1 after 15 minutes. Leitrim reduced the lead to two points before Ciarain Murtagh pointed a free in the 24th minute. Leitrim replied a moment later but from the resulting kick-out an intricate moving involving Man of the Match Fintan Cregg, Captain Ciarain Murtagh and the third member of the half-forward line Conor Devaney resulted in the Kilbride Clubman sending the ball to the back of the net. Another burst of scoring in the remaining 10 minutes of the half left it Roscommon 1-11 Leitrim 0-5 at half-time.
Leitrim started the second half well, scoring the opening two points before Fintan Cregg converted a free in the 40th minute. Roscommon will have been disappointed by the number of wides they kicked in the 15 minutes that followed – the only score during that time came from Cathal Cregg in the 49th minute. Letrim were reduced to 14 men in the 53rd minute when Darren Sweeney received a straight red and then the game. The game opened up slightly and Fintan Cregg scored two points in three minutes to leave it 1-15 to 0-9. Moments later an excellent save from Brendan Flynn denied Donie Shine a chance of Roscommon’s second goal. Cathal McHugh pointed soon after his introduction and Leitrim, who had used their six subs, were reduced to 13 men shortly after after Adrian Croal received a Black Card. Their misery was further compounded moments later when Killian McGriskin received a second yellow card.
In the five minutes that remained points from Ronan Daly (from play and from a free), Ciarain Murtagh, Cathal Shine and Fintan Cregg sealed a Roscommon win and Semi-Final spot.
Final score: Roscommon 1-21 Leitrim 0-11
A special mention must go to Seanis McDermott (pictured above) who made his 150th competitive appearance for Roscommon today and was excellent throughout, both in defence and attack.
Roscommon Team and scorers
1 Geoffrey Claffey
2 Seanis McDermott
3 Neil Collins
4 Niall McInerney
5 John McManus
6 Sean Purcell
7 David Murray
8 Niall Daly (0-2)
9 James McDermott
10 Fintan Cregg (0-4, 1f)
11 Ciaran Murtagh (0-3, 1f)
12 Conor Devaney (1-1)
13 Diarmuid Murtagh (0-2)
14 Cathal Cregg (0-2)
15 Donie Shine (0-3)
25 Senan Kilbride for D Murtagh,
23 Ronan Daly (0-2, 1f) for J McDermott,
18 Cathal McHugh (0-1) for D Shine,
24 Sean Mullooly for McManus,
20 David Keenan for Purcell,
19 Cathal Shine (0-1) for C Cregg