Roscommon eventually see off stubborn Sligo

The Rossies trailed at the break but turned it around to set up a final against Galway

Roscommon’s Shane Killoran netted their opening goal of the game. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Roscommon’s Shane Killoran netted their opening goal of the game. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

 

Roscommon 2-18 Sligo 1-16

Roscommon were forced to dig deep to get new manager Anthony Cunningham’s reign off to a winning start at Dr Hyde Park.

The home side trailed by four points the break but 1-4 without reply in the opening 15 minutes of the second half erected a match-winning platform.

Niall Murphy was excellent for the visitors, helping himself to 1-8 over the 70 minutes, but Roscommon’s greater spread of scorers, 11 overall, set up a fifth FBD League final in succession against Galway on Sunday next.

“You’d always be happy with a win but it’s a work in progress. It was nice to get a good match. There’s a lot of tidying up from our point of view. There were a lot of unforced errors and we’ll be looking at that strenuously during the week,” vowed Cunningham afterwards.

Shane Killoran’s 16th minute goal helped the Rossies into a 1-4 to 0-2 lead but Sligo, inspired by Murphy, hit an unanswered 1-7 to turn the match on its head. The Coolera/Strandhill forward grabbed the goal from the penalty spot when Patrick O’Connor was upended after a poor kickout from Darren O’Malley.

But points on the resumption from Ronan Daly, Donie Smith, Niall Kilroy and Caoileann Fitzmaurice settled Roscommon, who had a strong wind at their backs, and when Enda Smith’s fisted effort was turned into the net by a Sligo defender in the 49th minute, the Rossies were soon preparing for another final.

“We switched off, and that would be a concern. At any level, you can’t switch off to that extent, no matter where you’re playing. On the positive side, we scored feely and we scored well, and we worked very, very hard,” summed up Cunningham.

ROSCOMMON: D O’Malley; G Patterson, S Mullooly, C Daly (0-1); C Hussey, N Daly (0-1), R Daly (0-1); T O’Rourke, C Fitzmaurice (0-1); S Killoran (1-1), E Smith (1-3, 0-1f), N Kilroy (0-2); D Smith (0-3, 0-1f), C Lennon (0-1, 0-1f), C Cregg (0-1, 0-1f).

Subs: D Pettit for Mullooly (28 mins), H Darcy for Lennon (53 mins), A Lyons for Cregg (55 mins), E McGrath for Patterson (57 mins), C Compton (0-3, 0-1f) for Kilroy (61 mins).

SLIGO: A Devaney; N Mullen, P Laffey, JF Carr; K Cawley, P McNamara, G O’Kelly-Lynch; P Kilcoyne (0-1), D Cummins; S Carrabine (0-2, 0-2f), P O’Connor, L Towey (0-3); B McGowan, D Quinn, N Murphy (1-8, 1-0 pen, 0-4f).

Subs: A McIntyre for Cummins (44 mins), P Hughes (0-2, 0-2f) for Quinn (46 mins), A Marren for McGowan (58 mins), L Nicholson for Mullen (59 mins), A McLaughlin for Towey (65 mins).

Referee: J Henry (Mayo).

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