Down 0-10 Roscommon 1-18
Roscommon were full value for their big win in Newry against a Down side that were outplayed for the majority of the Division Two contest. Eleven points the difference on a night that Conor Cox shone the brightest in a full forward line that was well serviced throughout.
Both sides drew last weekend but there was no doubt that there would be a Roscommon victory once Enda Smith buried a fourth minute penalty. The early green flag was enough to inspire a primrose and blue tour de force.
Loose in possession and overpowered at times, Down were under pressure all evening and struggled particularly in the middle of the field. Unable to gain primary possession made it a long evening for the rudderless hosts.
Cox was always in demand, showing and entertaining the travelling Roscommon supporters with decisive point taking, delicious link up play with Donie Smith and crucially punishing a sloppy Down team at every opportunity.
Cox landed four points alone in the first half and such was the glutton of supply, he could have scored more and just shot narrowly wide with an effort at goal. Down on the other hand relied on Pat Havern to produce scores off scraps.
Roscommon went for the kill in injury time of the first half. Anthony Cunningham’s side pushed their lead out from four to eight in a flash. Cian McKeon whipped over two excellent scores in this period both from long range to provide the visitors with an insurmountable 1-10 to 0-5 lead.
The second half was a non affair with Roscommon happy to hold the ball and pick off scores. The excellent Richard Hughes pointed in a five point scoring run midway through the half that sealed the points.
Down substitutes Tiarnan Rushe and Cory Quinn scored the last two points of the game. James McCartan did welcome back Kilcoo’s Ceilum Doherty off the bench but you feel more of that All-Ireland winning contingent will be needed if they are to avoid relegation.
Down: G McMahon; P Fegan, F McElroy, G Collins; D O'Hagan, N McParland, P Laverty; A Doherty, O Murdock; C Poland, L Kerr (0-1), C Mooney (0-1); A Gilmore (0-2, 0-1 free), P Havern (0-4, 0-1 free), K McKernan.
Subs: D Guinness for Laverty (h-t), C Doherty for Mooney (45 mins), T Rushe (0-1) for McKernan (45 mins), C Quinn (0-1) for Gilmore (54 mins) R McCormack for O’Hagan (57 mins).
Roscommon: C Lavin; R Hughes (0-1), E McCormack, B Stack; R Daly, N Daly, N Kilroy; U Harney (0-1), E Nolan (0-1); C Heneghan (0-1), E Smith (1-1, 1-0 pen), C Murtagh (0-1); C McKeon (0-2), D Smith (0-4, 0-2 frees), C Cox (0-5, 0-2 frees, 0-1 mark).
Subs: D Ruane for Kilroy (45 mins), D Murtagh for D Smith (57 mins), C Sugrue (0-1) for Heneghan (57 mins), K Doyle for C Murtagh (59 mins), D Keenan for Harney (64 mins).
Referee: N Cullen (Fermanagh).