Roscommon edge closer to the drop after Monaghan defeat
Hosts move into share of the lead in Division One table, while Rossies remain winless
Monaghan’s Jack McCarron celebrates scoring a goal against Roscommon. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Monaghan 2-17 Roscommon 1-13
Monaghan moved into a four-way tie at the top of Division One with a comfortable win over Roscommon in Inniskeen.
Monaghan led by four points at the end of an entertaining first half, before goals by Owen Duffy and Jack McCarron sealed a return to winning ways for the hosts.
McCarron top-scored with 1-7 as he continued his impressive form alongside Conor McManus in the Monaghan attack. Roscommon battled gamely throughout, but their losing run continued and a return to Division Two now looks increasingly likely for Kevin McStay’s side.
Monaghan started brightly with points from McManus and two from McCarron, while McManus also had a shot at goal saved by Darren O’Malley. All this before Ciaráin Murtagh got Roscommon off the mark.
Dessie Ward marked his first league start for Monaghan with a 10th-minute point and Darren Hughes added his name to the list of scorers.
A brace of frees by Murtagh kept Roscommon in touch but McCarron and McManus moved the hosts four points clear.
Roscommon continued to fight back though and drew level thanks to two more from Murtagh, and points from Conor Devaney and Seán Mullooly.
McCarron then ended 11 scoreless minutes for Monaghan and McManus soon converted a free to put two in it.
Dónie Smith responded, but a Shane Carey point and a pair of McCarron frees made it 0-12 to 0-8 in Monaghan’s favour at half-time.
McCarron picked up where he left off with the first point of the second half, before McManus and Murtagh also added to their tallies from frees.
Dónie Smith got Roscommon back within four, but McCarron pounced on a loose ball to find the net at the end of the third quarter, following a strong run by Darren Hughes.
Substitute Owen Duffy and Fintan Kelly added points for Monaghan, before the former palmed home the second goal at the end of a well-worked move involving McManus and another substitute, Conor McCarthy.
Ward then opened up a 12-point gap, before Enda Smith got one back and a quickly-taken free by substitute Ultan Harney set up Tadhg O’Rourke for a consolation goal.
Devaney kicked the last point of the game, but this fifth straight defeat means Roscommon need to win their last two games - including next Saturday’s trip to Croke Park - and have other results go their way if they are to escape relegation. Monaghan face Ulster rivals Donegal in a top-of-the-table clash on Sunday.
Monaghan: R Beggan; F Kelly (0-1), D Wylie, R Wylie; K O’Connell, N McAdam, R McAnespie; D Hughes (0-1), K Hughes; G Doogan, S Carey (0-1), K Duffy; J McCarron (1-7, 0-5f), C McManus (0-4, 2f), D Ward (0-2).
Subs: O Duffy (1-1) for Carey (46), C McCarthy for McAnespie (51), V Corey for K Duffy, O Coyle for D Wylie (both 62), B Greenan for D Hughes (64), S Gollogly for O’Connell (65).
Roscommon: D O’Malley; T Featherston, S McDermott, N McInerney; D Murray, S Mullooly (0-1), G Patterson; T Corcoran, T O’Rourke (1-0); F Cregg, C Devaney (0-2), E Smith (0-1); C Murtagh (Capt., 0-6, 5f), D Smith (0-2), C Connolly.
Subs: U Harney for Cregg, P Brogan for Featherston, R Stack for Patterson (all H-T), D Murtagh (0-1f) for Connolly (49), C Compton for D Smith (53), S Killoran for Corcoran (62).
Referee: N Mooney (Cavan).