Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
Missed goal chances ultimately proved costly as Roscommon suffered a six point defeat to Tyrone in their Allianz Football League opener in Omagh.
Tyrone opened the scoring through a Darren McCurry point in the opening minute. Their lead didn’t last long however and Roscommon responded quickly and took the lead from a Niall Daly goal. Tyrone re-grouped and points from McCurry, from a 45, and Colm Cavanagh in the third minute drew them level. The action was end to end and with seven minutes gone Ciarain Murtagh struck a fierce shot on goal but was denied by a fine save from O’Neill.
Moments later Tyrone went ahead courtesy of a Peter Harte free and in the 13th minute Conor Devaney equalised with a point. Unfortunately it was to be Roscommon’s last score for 17 minutes. In the mean time Peter Harte kicked two points for Tyrone and their keeper denied two further Roscommon goal opportunities, including an Ultan Harney shot in the 19th minute. On that occasion the rebound fell to Donie Smith, but the Boyle man was unable to find the target.
Roscommon’s search for a score ended in the 30th minute when Donie Smith finished off a move involving Seán Mullooly, Enda Smith and Ultan Harney. Tyrone led by 0-7 to 1-2 with five minutes remaining in the half but clocked up a further three points. Tiernan McCann pointing either side of scores from Peter Harte – one from a free and one from play to leave it 0-10 to 1-2 at the interval.
Roscommon made a lively start to the second half with Donie Smith scoring twice in quick succession.
Tyrone extended their lead in the 38th minute through Niall Sludden and two Ronan O’Neill frees made it 0-13 to 1-4 moments later. Substitute John McManus stopped Tyrone’s run of scores with a fine point in the 43rd minute. Niall Kilroy and Fintan Cregg made it three in a row for Roscommon to leave it 1-7 to 0-13 after 51 minutes of play.
A bout of “handbags” followed after Roscommon was awarded a free in the 56th minute and two players from teams received yellow cards – Fintan Cregg and John McManus the Roscommon recipients. Incidentally Donie Smith sent the resulting free wide. Tyrone then kicked another three without reply, this time it was the turn of Bradley (x2) and Myler. Fintan Cregg responded with his second point of the afternoon with eight minutes remaining; Roscommon 1-8 Tyrone 0-16. Conal McCann cancelled it out a minute later but then Fintan Cregg knocked over his third point in a row. Tyrone wrapped up the game courtesy of a Niall Sludden point with four minutes remaining.
Final score: Roscommon 1-9 Tyrone 0-18.
Despite the defeat there were plenty of positives for Roscommon and they will be optimistic ahead of next Sunday’s game against Donegal in Dr Hyde Park. Here’s what Liam McHale had to say:
Elsewhere in the Division Roscommon’s next opponents Donegal suffered a 2-17 to 1-17 defeat to Kerry, Mayo were defeated by Monaghan last night 1-11 to 0-12 and Dublin defeated Cavan by 0-18 to 0-11.
Roscommon starting team.
1. Colm Lavin
2. David Murray
3. Thomas Featherston
4. Niall McInerney
5. Ronan Stack
6. Seán Mullooly
7. Conor Devaney (0-1)
8. Kevin Higgins
9. Tadhg O’Rourke
10. Niall Daly (1-0)
11. Seán McDermott
12. Enda Smith
13. Donie Smith (0-3)
14. Ultan Harney
15. Ciaráin Murtagh (C)
Shane Killoran for Higgins (26), John McManus (0-1) for Murray (35), Fintan Cregg (0-3) for Daly (HT), Niall Kilroy (0-1) for Enda Smith (43), Cian Connolly for Murtagh (51), Gary Patterson for Donie Smith (66).