Roscommon 1-21 Leitrim 0-11
Conor Devaney scored the only goal but Roscommon were by far the better side as they saw off an ill-disciplined Leitrim by 13 points in Carrick-on-Shannon, writes Daragh Small.
Without a win over Roscommon in the championship in 16 years, Leitrim needed their full complement to stand any chance, but finished the game with 12 men as they crumbled in the final quarter.
The Roscommon bench did the damage, but with red cards for Darren Sweeney and Killian McGriskin, and blacks for Gary Reynolds and Adrian Croal Leitrim had little chance.
They trailed 1-11 to 0-5 at half-time, and the 2010 Connacht champions pushed for home in the second-half with Fintan Cregg their star up front.
Leitrim had the early initiative and Donal Wrynn’s point inside the first minutes looked like a signal of intent. But despite a few misses Roscommon had plenty in reserve and went 0-5 to 0-1 up before Leitrim would register their next score.
Diarmuid Murtagh scored twice, and further efforts from Cathal Cregg, Niall Daly and Donie Shine pushed Roscommon four clear by the 15th minute.
Kevin Conlan finally got Leitrim back on target and Emlyn Mulligan scored a brilliant point from the right but as Ciaran Murtagh and Conlan traded scores it was always evident that Roscommon had the upper-hand.
In the 27th minute Devaney struck the killer blow with a goal, after Fintan Cregg passed to Ciaran Murtagh and the latter gave the assist. Roscommon went on to lead 1-11 to 0-4 and Nevin O’Donnell got a consolatory point for Leitrim just before half-time.
But the points from Niall Daly, Shine (two), Devaney and Ciaran Murtagh pushed Roscommon into an unassailable lead at half-time. Early points from Mulligan and Croal did offer hope for Leitrim at the start of the second-half, but that soon evaporated.
Fintan Cregg kicked three of Roscommon’s next four scores and as the bench was un-loaded with Cathal McHugh and Cathal Shine getting amongst the scores Roscommon cruised to the win.
Meanwhile Leitrim’s side was decimated – Sweeney got red in the 54th minute, Croal was shown black with five minutes remaining and McGriskin’s late red ended a disastrous day for Shane Ward’s side.
Scorers for Roscommon: C Devaney 1-1; F Cregg 0-4 (0-1f); D Shine & C Murtagh (0-1f) 0-3 each; D Murtagh, R Daly (0-1f), C Cregg & N Daly 0-2 each; C McHugh (0-1f) & C Shine 0-1 each.
Scorers for Leitrim: K Conlan & E Mulligan (0-1f) 0-3 each; R Kennedy (0-1f), D Wrynn, N O’Donnell, A Croal & K McHugh 0-1 each.
Roscommon: G Claffey; N McInerney, N Collins, S McDermott,; J McManus, S Purcell, D Murray; N Daly, J McDermott; F Cregg, C Murtagh, C Devaney; D Murtagh, C Cregg, D Shine.
Subs: S Kilbride for D Murtagh (50), R Daly for McDermott (55), C McHugh for Shine (62), S Mullooly for J McManus (63), D Keenan for Purcell (67), C Shine for C Cregg (67).
Leitrim: B Flynn; M Murphy, P Maguire, M McWeeney; S McWeeney, G Reynolds, R Gallagher; D Wrynn, S Moran; J Rooney, E Mulligan, K Conlan; N O’Donnell, R Kennedy, A Croal.
Subs: K McHugh for Murphy (16), K McGriskin for Gallagher (32), B Prior for Reynolds (36, black card), D Sweeney for S McWeeney (35), C Gaffney for O’Donnell (35), N Woods for Kennedy (63).
Referee: Barry Cassidy (Derry).