Roscommon negotiate first hurdle easily in London

London left to rue a wides at Ruislip as Ros set up Connacht semi-final clash with Sligo

London 0-10 Roscommon 1-14

Out on the Emerald GAA Grounds pitch as the smell of beer and burgers wafted in the Ruislip air Roscommon manager John Evans found the words to give an accurate summary on this Connacht Senior Football Championship game. “We were just doing enough, that was about it,” Evans remarked.

That was certainly the case because while Roscommon were worthy winners there was a strange kind of glory in the success. Paul Coggins has invested enough into the London cause not to be remotely interested in moral victories so this loss against his native county will have cut him.

While there was so much to admire in the diligent and determined way London responded to setbacks throughout the match the statistic which agitated Coggins the most was the 15 wides the Exiles hit. “We created so many chances,” the London manager said afterwards. “We had a big wind there, maybe nerves played a part. Unfortunately you cannot control that too much. It was a big amount of wides to have, but it shows how much of the ball we had.”

In the second period as Lorcan Mulvey's muscular menace created problems for Roscommon London remained competitive, but they were ultimately caught out by a few lapses in concentration at the start of both halves.


At the outset Roscommon were permitted to set the tone and tempo as Enda Smith forced a string of turnovers. Smith's graft enabled Roscommon assume a lead that was never relinquished.

Three rapid points on the spin from Donie Shine, Cathal Shine, and Smith edged them ahead before the first London rally. That burst from the home team included a splendid point from Alan O'Hara, who won an All Ireland minor medal for Roscommon in 2006.

Again Roscommon regained the initiative with the 22nd minute black card brandished to London's Cathal Og Greene an issue for the Exiles. “He felt the black card had to be done,” Coggins remarked about referee Eddie Kinsella's decision. “He thought it was a straightforward one, I don't know.

“When you look at matches at home you see it happen so many times, he could have had a quick word in his ear. It was disappointing for the lad for Cathal Og. It didn't disrupt us too much because we had good lads to come on. The ref might have got a couple of decisions wrong, but so did I. These things happen.”

It had an impact, though, as Roscommon with Smith highly effective edged 0-8 to 0-2 clear before London summoned another burst.

By the time the interval rolled around Roscommon's advantage was 0-11 to 0-5. Then came Murtagh's flashy goal and from then to the finish all that needed to be sorted was the winning margin even though London continued to strain every sinew, something which encouraged Coggins.

“I felt it was a very good performance. The effort and energy and discipline was there. We were given no chance whatsoever. We weren't even a banana skin. It should have been a lot closer. We missed our chances.

“I think conceding 15 scores against Roscommon isn't the end of the world. Defensively we did well, but we just didn't score enough. We got into double figures, but we didn't score enough. It is over now. The lads gave their best, we will look to improve.”

Evans was impressed too by London's spirit. “We came to do a job and we did. I want to talk about London and I think that they deserve a lot of credit. They kept going and you could see that they are still very enthusiastic under Paul Coggins

“He kept at them. They kept trying and trying and trying. They kept us to 15 scores and they scored 10 themselves. They can be very proud of their game.

“On our own side certainly coming over here it is more or less a Gala occasion more than anything else. It was the first round of the Championship for us. It was a run out and there were some very good passages of play.”

Sligo on June 20th at Markievicz Park is next on the agenda for Roscommon. “We won't be red hot favourites going in against Sligo,” Evans reckons. “Absolutely not. It is a 50:50 game. It will be a tough game. In actual fact I will say that Markievicz Park will be a real tough one for us to get out of.” The summer mind games have commenced.

Roscommon: D O'Malley; S McDermott, N Carty, N Collins; D Ward, N Daly, C Cafferkey; I Kilbride (0-1), C Shine (0-2); E Smith (0-4), D Shine (0-2, 2fs), C Murtagh (1-2); D Murtagh (0-2, 1f), S Kilbride, C Cregg. Subs: R Stack for Ward (40 mins), C Connolly for S Kilbride (48 mins), U Harney (0-1) for E Smith (48 mins), D Smith for D Murtagh (52 mins), T Featherston for Carty (55 mins), R Daly for C Murtagh (60 mins).

London: D Traynor; B Collins, P Butler, D McGreevy; D McCarthy, C Carty, S Curran; M Gottsche, M Carroll; S Conroy, C Og Greene, J Moran; A O'Hara (0-1), L Mulvey (0-8, 5fs), A Moyles (0-1, f). Subs: P O'Shea for Greene (22 mins, black card), P McGoldrick for Moyles (44 mins), M Walsh for Moran (46 mins), A Carr for Carroll (54 mins), S Devine for McCarthy (55 mins), S Buckley for Conroy (69 mins).

Referee: E Kinsella (Laois).