A costly defeat for Kerry
Roscommon footballers recorded a narrow win over Kerry at Hyde Park yesterday in what could turn out to be the crucial fixture in Division Two A.
Kerry, who lined out without six of the players who began against Kildare in the All-Ireland semi-final including Maurice Fitzgerald, began as if they really meant business and by the quarter stage they were well worth their 0-4 to 0-1 lead after Liam Hassett scored twice to add to early points from Eamonn Fitzmaurice and Dara O Se.
But Roscommon clawed their way back into the game and by the 25th minute they had drawn level when Don Connellan and Lorcan Dowd landed two excellent points from play and Eddie Lohan converted a free. Kerry finished the half strongly with points from Dara O Cinneide and Michael Francis Russell to lead 0-6 to 0-4 at the break.
Within five minutes of the restart Roscommon had levelled for the second time when Lohan scored twice from free kicks which resulted from sniping runs forward by wing half back Michael Ryan. Russell edged Kerry in front again but Roscommon continued to surge forward. Substitute Alan Nolan levelled the sides again and Lohan nosed them in front for the first time with a free midway through the half. Roscommon had a narrow escape when John McGlynn fisted wide in front of goal but they responded well to Pa Laide's equalising point with scores from Dineen and Lohan free kicks to open up a two-point gap. O Cinneide and Lohan exchanged points before Kerry mounted a determined late challenge.
Substitute Jerry Murphy reduced the gap to one point and Russell had at least a point for the taking as he raced goal-wards from the right wing. Instead he opted to pass the ball to the unmarked Pa Laide but his despairing effort to find the Roscommon net went narrowly wide. Dara O Se appeared to have worked his way into another scoring position a minute later but it simply wasn't Kerry's day and the midfielder was pulled up for over-carrying the ball.
Roscommon: D Thompson; R Callaghan, D Donlon, E Gavin; C Heneghan, C McDonald, M Ryan; G Keane, D Connellan (0-1); F Grehan, F O'Donnell, E Lohan (0-5, all frees); T Grehan, N Dineen (0-3, all frees), L Dowd (0-1). Subs: A Nolan (0-1) for T Grehan, F Dolan for F Grehan.
Kerry: D O'Keeffe; E Fitzmaurice (0-1), B O'Shea, K Burns; S Moynihan, M Hassett, T O Se; D O Se, D Daly; J McGlynn (0-1), L Hassett (0-2), D O Cinneide (0-2, one from free); M F Russell (0- 2), J Crowley, D O'Dwyer. Subs: P Laide (0-1) for O'Dwyer, W Kirby for McGlynn, J Murphy (0-1) for O Cinneide.
Referee: B Crowe (Cavan).
Westmeath - 3-10, Antrim - 1-12
Westmeath: A Lennon; D Brady, D Murphy, R Casey; D Healy, A Lyons, A Canning; J Cooney, D Shaughnessy; L Gillivan (1-0), M Ennis (0-1), E Casey (0-1); G Heavin (0-1), S Colleary (1-1), D Dolan (1-6). Subs: M Flanagan for Shaughnessy (41 mins), S Hynes for Cooney (50 mins), D Fox for E Casey (57 mins).
Antrim: D Shannon; C McKearney, M Mulholland, A Donnelly; T Convery, T McCrudden, A Finnegan; D Niblock, C Murphy (0-1); J Quinn (0-2), K Madden (0-8), Peter McCann; C McCabe, M Boyle, K Brady (0-1). Subs: Paul McCann (1-0) for Boyle(15 mins), P Mullholland for McKearney (56 mins).