A much changed Roscommon U21 side suffered a four point defeat to Westmeath in Round Two of the Hastings Cup at Kiltoom earlier.
Roscommon U21 Manager Adrian Dockery took the opportunity to shuffle the deck again and made nine changes to the team which started in Monday’s defeat to Cavan. Despite the four point difference the teams were neck and neck for most of the game.
Westmeath made the better start and led by two points to nil before Roscommon got their opening point via a superb point from Lorcan Daly after two minutes. A Brian Kelly free in the 7th minute tied the game. Westmeath then scored 1-1 without reply in the space of two minutes. Then it was Brian Stack’s turn – he score 1-1 in a three minutes spell to leave the sides level on 1-3 apiece after 14 minutes. Lorcan Daly put Roscommon in the lead in the 17th minute. Roscommon held the lead six minutes before Westmeath repeated their earlier feat of scoring 1-1 in two minutes. They added another point in the 28th minute before Gearoid Keenan struck an injury time goal to leave it Roscommon 2-4 Westmeath 2-5 at Half-time.
The second half began like the first. Westmeath raised the white flag twice before Roscommon got their opening score; a point from half-time substitute Cathal Callinan. The sides traded points but Westmeath maintained a one point lead mid-way in the half; the Roscommon points coming from Cian McKeon, Luke Kelly and a Hubert Darcy free.
McKeon’s point in the 46th minute would prove to be Roscommon’s last of the game, which was a disappointing return. Westmeath added three further scores in the 14 minutes that followed to win on a scoreline of 2-12 to 2-8.
Roscommon Scorers: Brian Stack 1-1, Gearoid Keenan 1-0, Lorcan Daly 0-2, Brian Kelly (f), Cian McKeon, Luke Kelly, Hubert Darcy (f) and Cathal Callinan 0-1 each.
Team: Liam Cregg (Michael Glaveys); Jack Casey (Oran), Aidan Dowd (Western Gaels), Brian Stack (St Brigids); Luke Kelly (Strokestown), John Duffy (Western Gaels), Michael Cox (St Faithleachs); Gearoid Keenan (Fuerty), James Featherstone (Roscommon Gaels); Eoin McCormack (St Dominics), Cian McManus (Clann na nGael), Lorcan Daly (Padraig Pearses); Hubert Darcy (Padraig Pearses), Aidan Brogan (St Croans), Brian Kelly (Roscommon Gaels).
Subs used: Aidan Murray (Elphin) for Brogan; Cian McKeon (Boyle) for Keenan; Ciaran McHugh (Kilglass Gaels) for Daly; Mark Richardson (Padraig Pearses) for Casey; Cathal Callinan (Clann na nGael) for McManus.
Roscommon take on Longford in the last group game on Friday in McGann Park, Kenagh. Throw-in is provisionally down for 8pm.
One positive from the games to date is that 30 Roscommon U21 players have tasted competitive action. Many of the more experienced or well known players are in line for a return ahead of the Championship.