Ruthless Roscommon thrash outgunned Louth
Kevin McStay’s side bounce back in style to reignite Division Two promotion hopes
Kevin McStay’s Roscommon bounced back against Louth. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho
Roscommon 1-21 Louth 0-12
Roscommon stormed back into the Division Two promotion race with a comfortable victory over Louth in Drogheda.
The Rossies bounced back from a disappointing home defeat to Down in some style, reigniting their bid to make an instant return to Division One.
Kevin McStay wanted a reaction to that Down defeat a fortnight ago and there were a few added bonuses as the Rossies boosted their score difference, while rivals Down and Cork suffered defeats.
They set a ferocious pace in the early stages against a Louth side who had lost their opening three games and needed a win to have any hope of avoiding an instant return to Division Three.
Midfielders Conor Daly and Enda Smith were superb as the visitors cruised into a five-point to no score lead after eight minutes.
Roscommon were guilty of idling in front a little as Louth slowly worked their way into the game, but Pete McGrath’s men were living on the edge as some over-elaboration cost Roscommon a certain goal on 10 minutes, and moments later Craig Lynch denied Ciaran Lennon from point-blank range.
Louth did make a game of it in the second quarter, matching Roscommon point-for-point and while McStay’s men adjourned with a four-point cushion, 0-10 to 0-6, it seemed a modest return given their overall dominance.
The home side even managed to close the gap to three after the restart through Ger McSorley, but Roscommon eventually made their superiority count with three quick points from supersub Donie Smith (2) and Ciaran Murtagh, followed by a well-worked Diarmuid Murtagh goal, making it 1-13 to 0-8 on 48 minutes.
That profitable spell shattered whatever resolve Louth had left and the final quarter was a formality as the Rossies bolstered their score difference almost at will.
Roscommon: J Featherston; S McDermott, P Domican, D Murray; R Daly, N Daly (0-1), R Timothy; E Smith (0-2), C Daly (0-2); C Murtagh (0-2f), N Kilroy, C Devaney (0-3) D Murtagh (1-3), C Lennon (0-1), C Cregg. Subs: Manus for R Timothy (12), D Smith (0-7, three frees) for C Cregg (40), Cathal Compton for D Murray (54), F Cregg for D Murtagh (63), I Kilbride for E Smith (67), S Killoran for D Murtagh (69).
Louth: C Lynch; D Marks, E Carolan, J Craven; D Maguire (0-1), B Duffy (0-1), A Williams (0-1); T Durnin (0-1), A McDonnell (0-1); E Lafferty, C Grimes, R Holcroft (0-1); W Woods, D Byrne, R Burns (0-3f). Subs: Ross Nally for W Woods (BC ht), J Stweart for T Durnin (ht), G McSorley (0-3) for R Holcroft (ht), F Donohoe for A Williams (BC 57), E Keenan for D Maguire (63).
Referee: L Devenney (Mayo).