Roscommon shock Tyrone in Omagh to book quarter-finals ticket

High-energy performance by the Rossies sent Red Hands crashing out of the championship

Roscommon's Robbie Dolan, Daire Cregg and Niall Higgins tackle Darragh Canavan of Tyrone. Photograph: Leah Scholes/Inpho

All-Ireland preliminary quarter-final: Tyrone 0-12 Roscommon 0-14

Davy Burke hailed the class of his finishers and the quality of his side’s defending on a glorious day for Roscommon.

They stunned Tyrone on their own turf at O’Neills Healy Park to book their ticket to Croke Park for next weekend’s All-Ireland SFC quarter-finals.

A high energy performance fuelled by Roscommon pride and passion sent the Red Hands crashing out in the biggest shock to date in this year’s series.


Diarmuid Murtagh and Donie Smith hit four superb points each to inspire the Connacht men to a fully merited success, their first ever championship win over Tyrone.

Speculation was sparked over the future of joint managers Brian Dooher and Feargal Logan after they left the ground without speaking to the media, but Roscommon boss Burke felt his side had not been given the recognition they deserved for the quality of their performances this season.

“Two wins in a row, having lost a number of games in a row. But we were playing a very high level of football for a very long time, and I think that went a little bit under the radar, the level of football we were playing,” he said.

“It’s huge. In fairness to those lads, they’re playing for Roscommon a long, long time. They needed a result like today. They needed to go out and do that – perform, and beat a top team – and that’s they’ve done today.”

Roscommon manager Davy Burke celebrates at the full-time whistle. Photograph: Leah Scholes/Inpho

Burke targeted a clean sheet, and placed his trust in a potent offensive unit to do the rest.

“Once we kept the goals out we thought we’d always clip a score. In fairness to the boys up top they just kept tagging scores, whatever Tyrone did we always got one, and we felt that’d be enough.

“Isn’t the great thing today that we’ve lovely forwards combined with a nice defensive plan. It’s easy having lovely forwards, but when we close down the ‘D’ as well ... it’s a lovely plan and fair play to the boys.”

He’ll meet a fresher team in next weekend’s last eight tie, but insisted his players will relish the challenge.

“It’s Kerry, Donegal or Armagh are our three potential oppositions next weekend, and sure we’ll get nothing easy there.

“But we’ll go to Croke Park full of confidence.”

After Seanie O’Donnell shot the home side in front, they were held scoreless for 13 minutes as Roscommon reeled off five points on the spin, including two each from Donie Smith and Conor Cox.

Both sides had goal chances late in the half, but Niall Morgan saved superbly from Diarmuid Murtagh, while Ciaran Daly shot wide of the Rossies goal.

Having turned around with a 0-9 to 0-3 interval lead, Roscommon had to soak up sustained pressure as the home side pressed with wind assistance.

But Darragh Canavan was the only man to find a way to penetrate, hitting a couple of delightful scores, while Darren McCurry converted three frees.

They got to within a point through Michael McKernan, but the visitors resisted through Brian Stack and Robbie Dolan, and broke for the clinching scores through Murtagh and Daire Cregg.

Tyrone: N Morgan; M McKernan (0-1), P Hampsey, N Devlin; B Cullen, M Donnelly, M O’Neill; B Kennedy (0-1, one mark), C McShane; C Daly, R Canavan, N McCarron, D McCurry (0-5, four frees), D Canavan (0-3, one free), S O’Donnell (0-1).

Subs: C Kilpatrick for O’Neill (h-t), P Harte for Cullen (h-t), E McElholm (0-1) for R Canavan (h-t), K McGeary for Daly (58), S O’Hare for McShane (63)

Roscommon: C Carroll; N Higgins, B Stack, R Dolan; D Murray, R Fallon, E McCormack; E Smith, U Harney; D Ruane, D Murtagh (0-4), S Cunnane; D Cregg (0-3); C Cox (0-3, one free), D Smith (0-4).

Subs: R Daly for Ruane (43), C Lennon for McCormack (47), N Daly for Harney (58), K Doyle for Murtagh (69)

Referee: D Coldrick (Meath).