Roscommon bounce back to Division One at the first time of asking

Cork left to rue five missed wides in the second half as Rossies finish strongest again

Roscommon 0-17 Cork 1-11

After just one season out of the top flight Roscommon clinched promotion back to Division One with a hard-fought win over a Cork side who were left to rue five missed frees in the second-half.

Roscommon finished with 13 men but Ultan Harney’s second yellow card and Cathal Cregg’s black card both came in injury-time.

In a match that bore many similarities to Roscommon’s narrow victory over Cavan a week previously, the home produced a late surge to win the match after trailing going into the last quarter with the Rossies’ bench once again making a crucial impact.

The home team has lost their way after a promising opening quarter and with Cork producing what manager Ronan McCarthy described as his team’s “best performance of the league”, the Rebels reeled off three points between the 43rd and 50th minutes to hit the front.

The Rossies then showed the resolve which has been the hallmark of their league campaign this season. Diarmuid Murtagh equalised from a free before Enda Smith burst through the Cork defence to set up fellow substitute Niall Daly for the lead point with 12 minutes remaining.

Diarmuid Murtagh and another sub Cathal Cregg stretched the lead to three with good individual points but they couldn't shake off a resilient Rebel side. Mark Collins notched his third point from play but Cork then hit three wides from good positions. Murtagh closed out the match with a point from an injury-time free after Smith was fouled.

Roscommon: C Lavin; D Murray, P Domican, F Lennon; C Daly (0-1), U Harney, B Stack; T O'Rourke, C Compton; C Murtagh (0-3, 2f), N Kilroy, C Devaney; D Smith (0-3), C Lennon (0-3), D Murtagh (0-5, 3f). Subs: N Daly (0-1) for Murray (43), E Smith for D Smith (46), C Cregg (0-1) for O'Rourke (52), S McDermott for Devaney (66), F Cregg for C Lennon (67), I Kilbride for C Daly (71).

Cork: R Price; K Crowley, J O'Sullivan, K Flahive; M Taylor (0-1), S Wilson, T Clancy; I Maguire, C O'Hanlon; R O'Toole, M Collins (0-3), J O'Rourke (0-1); C O'Neill (0-5, 3f, 1 45), P Kelleher (1-0), S Sherlock. Subs: M Hurley (0-1) for Sherlock (47), D Quinn for Clancy (51), D O'Connor for Kelleher (58), P Clancy for Taylor (58), D Quinn for Maguire (61).

Referee: P Hughes (Armagh).