Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
It was, what can best be described as a “Bad day at the Office” for the Roscommon Senior Football and Hurling Teams with both suffering defeats in the Allianz Leagues.
A dramatic ending in Dr Hyde Park saw the Senior Footballers suffer a one point defeat to Donegal when victory was in touching distance.
Playing against the wind in the first half it was Donegal who opened the scoring. Kicking two points in the opening three minutes. Roscommon’s opener didn’t arrive until the 7th minute – Fintan Cregg flicking Kevin Higgins’ effort over the bar. A Paddy McBrearty free put Donegal further ahead moments later before a Ciarain Murtagh free and Enda Smith point levelled the game in the 14th minute. Roscommon had the first of their goal chances in the 20th minute. A quick counter-attack saw Enda Smith put the ball through to bother Donie but his shot was saved from point blank range. Ciaran Thompson then put Donegal ahead but from the resulting kick out the ball made its way to Enda Smith and he pointed from an acute angle. Then Ciarain Murtagh pounced on a short Donegal kick out, played a one-two with Enda Smith and bundled the ball to the Donegal net. Roscommon could have got a second goal moments later. Seanie McDermott set up club mate Kevin Higgins but the midfielder blasted over from close range. McHugh reduced Roscommon’s lead to two points before Ciarain Murtagh (via a free) cancelled it out following a foul on Fintan Cregg.
Kevin Higgins put Roscommon four ahead in the 31st minute with a fine shot from the 45 metre line but a late Michael Murphy free left 1-7 to 0-7 at the interval.
Ciarain Murtagh opened the scoring in the second half scoring but Donegal scored four without reply to tie the game. It was Ciarain Murtagh who stopped the rot with a point from play in the 47th minute. Donegal then hit another purple patch, scoring four unanswered points to lead by 0-15 to 1-9. They were also denied a goal following a fine save by Niall McInerney. With five minutes remaining and Roscommon under pressure Conor Devaney kicked a short free to Shane Killoran, collected the return pass and blasted a shot through a maze of players into the roof of the Donegal net. Both teams continued to push for a winner and it was end to end action. In the first minute of injury time John McManus broke forward, passed the ball to the open Ronan Stack but the low shot from the St Brigid’s man was well saved by Mark Anthony McGinley. Roscommon should have been awarded a 45 from the action that followed but instead a Donegal kick-out followed and Eoin McHugh went on to score the winning point. It ended Roscommon 2-9 Donegal 0-16.
Roscommon Team: Colm Lavin; Seán McDermott, Thomas Featherston, Niall McInerney; Ronan Stack, Seán Mullooly, John McManus; Kevin Higgins (0-2), Tadhg O’Rourke; Shane Killoran, Ciaráin Murtagh (C) (1-4, 2f), Enda Smith 0-2, Donie Smith, Fintan Cregg (0-1) Conor Devaney (1-0).
Subs used: Thomas Corcoran for Higgins (48), Niall Kilroy for Cregg (50), Cian Connolly for Donie Smith (58), Gary Patterson for Murtagh (67).
Earlier in Athleague the Roscommon Senior Hurlers, under new manager Johnny Kelly, got a rude awakening when they suffered a heavy defeat to Wicklow in their first Division 2B League game.
By Robert McConn
From the throw in Wicklow, with the aid of a strong breeze, went on the attack and scored 1-7 without reply in the first ten minutes. Roscommon’s first score came after twelve minutes with a well taken point from Naos Connaughton. Shane Curley and Robbie Fallon added two frees. Roscommon never really got out of the blocks and Wicklow continued to dominate. They led at half-time by 2-11 to 0-3. There was an improvement in the Roscommon performance in the second half which was short lived when Alan Moore got a red card after fifty minutes. Roscommon introduced a number of subs to try and stem the flow but Wicklow went on win with an impressive score of 2-17 to 0-7.
Best for Roscommon were Jerry Fallon, Pat Nolan , Shane Curley and Robbie Fallon. Best for Wicklow Christy Moorehouse, who scored 1-7, Man of the match Andy O’Brien and Gerry Connors.
Team; Jerry Fallon, Alan Moore, David Loughnane, Pat Nolan, Michael Beirne, Peter Kellehan (Capt), Eamon Flanagan (0-1), Shane Curley (0-1,f), Jason Kilkenny, Adam Finnerty, Ronan O’Meara, Robbie Fallon (0-3, 3fs)Cathal Kenny, Naos Connaughton (0-1), John Coyne.
Subs used: Connor Coyle for O’Meara, Warren Boyle for Kenny, Gearoid Egan for Finnerty, Adrian Murphy (0-1) for Fallon. Gary Fallon for Flanagan.
Roscommon will have to improve quickly as their next fixture is next Sunday in Ballycran, County Down.