Roscommon strike late on to claim FBD title
Injury-time free from Diarmuid Murtagh completes spirited comeback over Galway
Galway’s David Wynne comes under pressure from Roscommo’s Donie Smyth at Hyde Park. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho
Roscommon 2-16 Galway 3-12
Roscommon snatched the FBD Connacht Football League title from under Galway’s noses with an injury-time free from Diarmuid Murtagh.
In a game of swaying fortunes, Kevin McStay’s side edged a thrilling contest, coming from two points down in the final three minutes to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Both teams fielded experimental line-ups, and it was the home side that took command early on with points from Donie Smith, Cathal Cregg and Ross Timothy.
A bad mistake by Roscommon goalkeeper James Featherston, who slipped when taking a pass off Seán McDermott, allowed Frankie Burke fire home a simple goal to propel the Tribesmen into the lead by the 18th minute.
If Galway’s first goal was a gift, their second had class written all over it as Barry McHugh’s sublime pass caught the Roscommon defence napping, and Burke was in to score his second goal of the afternoon after 26 minutes.
But Roscommon responded with a goal of their own three minutes from half time when Enda Smith collected brother Donie’s diagonal ball, which bounced over the head of Galway’s Evan Wynne. The Boyle player raced towards goal and squared possession unselfishly for Cregg to palm into the net off the underside of the crossbar.
Trailing by 2-4 to 1-6, Roscommon dominated large tracts of the second half, and Enda Smith’s 57th minute goal put them in command, leading by 2-13 to 2-9.
But Galway weren’t finished and when Galway substitute Dessie Conneely goaled to hand the initiative back to his side, further points from Eoin Finnerty and Johnny Heaney looked to have handed Kevin Walsh’s side the title.
In a welter of excitement, Roscommon clawed their way back the deficit with points from substitutes Niall Daly and Diarmuid Murtagh to restore parity before Murtagh fired over the winner after a Galway defender was harshly penalised for overcarrying.
ROSCOMMON: J Featherston; P Neilan, P Domican, S McDermott; T McKenna, R Timothy (0-1), R Daly; C Daly, E Smith (1-1); F Cregg, N Kilroy, H Walsh; D Smith (0-3, 0-1f), C Murtagh (0-4, 0-2f), C Cregg (1-4). Subs: C Compton for F Cregg (h-t), C Devaney for Walsh (h-t), N Daly (0-1) for McKenna (53), C Lennon for C Daly (61), T McKenna for Neilan (65), D Murtagh (0-2, 0-1f) for D Smith (65).
GALWAY: R Ó Beoláin; E Wynne, S Mulkerrin, D Wynne; G O’Donnell, J Duane, J Heaney (0-1); C Duggan, T Flynn (0-1); R Finnerty (0-1f), B McHugh (0-4, 0-2f), E. Finnerty (0-1); P Cunningham (0-1), S Armstrong (0-2), F Burke (2-0). Subs: D Conneely (1-0) for Burke (43), A Varley (0-1) for Cunningham (49), C D’Arcy for McHugh (65), G Bradshaw for Heaney (69).
Referee: E O’Grady (Leitrim).