Down 0-12 Roscommon 0-7
Down propelled themselves back into the Division Two promotion shake-up with a deserved win over a lethargic Roscommon in a dour match at a wintry Dr Hyde Park.
Apart from a 10-minute spell in the third quarter the visitors controlled the match and were deserving of their second win from three games.
Down manager Eamon Burns hailed his team's game-management as they comfortably stifled Roscommon, who had been reduced to 14 men after 16 minutes when Ian Kilbride was sent-off.
“We were organised and played very well at the back, they were shooting from outside their comfort zone,” Burns said.
In contrast, Roscommon manager Kevin McStay described his team’s performance as “one of the poorest, if not the poorest, performance in my time involved with the team”. “We have to win our next four matches now and even that mightn’t be enough, maybe it’s telling us we are not good enough for Division One,” he said.
Down, for whom corner-back Darren O’Hagan was outstanding, dominated the first-half and should have led by more than six points at the interval. Niall Donnelly opened the scoring in the ninth minute, and further points followed from Barry O’Hagan, Ryan Johnston and Donal O’Hare before the home team got their first score from Cian McKeon after 27 minutes.
Roscommon spurned two goal chances in the third-quarter. Goalkeeper Marc Reid dived to his right to save a Ciaran Murtagh penalty in the 46th minute while Ciaran Lennon sent a ground shot whistling past the post three minutes later.
Two points from substitute Donie Smith reduced the gap to four by the 53rd minute, but despite having wind advantage Roscommon failed to score again. Instead Down, who were without the suspended Connaire Harrison, regained their composure.
Once O’Hagan got their first point of the second-half in the 55th minute, they regained the initiative and closed out the match with scores from Darragh O’Hanlon and Niall Nadine.
DOWN: M Reid; C Flanagan, B McArdle, D O'Hagan (0-1); R Johnston (0-1), N McPartland, A Doherty (0-1, 45); C Poland, N Donnelly (0-1); C Mooney (0-1), C Maginn, S Millar (0-1); B O'Hagan (0-1), D O'Hare (0-3, 0-2 frees), A Morgan.
Subs: D O’Hanlon (0-1, f) for B O’Hagan (55), N Nadine (0-1) for O’Hara (bc) (63), K Quinn for McArdle (67).
ROSCOMMON: J Featherston; D Murray, J McManus, N McInerney; N Daly, F Lennon, B Stack; I Kilbride, E Smith; F Cregg, N Kilroy, C Devaney (0-1); D Murtagh (0-2, 2f), C Lennon, C McKeon (0-2, 2f).
Subs: C Murtagh for Cregg (half-time). D Smith (0-2, one 45) for McKeon (46), C Daly for F Lennon (55), H Darcy for Kilroy (59), S McDermott for Stack (62), U Harney for E Smith (67),
Referee: S Hurson (Tyrone).