Comer goal keeps Tribesmen in promotion race

Comer goal keeps Tribesmen in promotion race

By Declan Rooney

Galway 1-14 Roscommon 1-10

Both Galway and Roscommon are still in the hunt for promotion to Division 1 after Damien Comer's goal helped the Tribesmen to their third win of the campaign at Hyde Park.

Peadar Og O Griofa kicked six points after the restart for Galway, who didn’t deserve to trail by eight points at the break after Diarmuid Murtagh's injury time goal.

Indeed, Galway will still hope to claim victory next weekend against Kildare to ensure they are not relegated, but if Kevin Walsh's troops put in a performance like this at Pearse Stadium they will be hard to stop.

Roscommon on the other hand were poor for long stretches of this game. The only kicked two second-half points and were fortunate to hold a 1-8 to 0-4 lead at the break after O Griofa's penalty was saved by Darren O'Malley.

A win next week against Westmeath could be enough to see them into the league final, but after this defeat promotion is out of their hands.

Playing with the advantage of the very strong wind in the first half Roscommon needed to build a healthy cushion before the break, but it was the Tribesmen that got off to a flying start as a free from Paul Conroy and Patrick Sweeney's point put them two points up.

Roscommon needed a quick settler and it came form a Ciaran Murtagh free in the ninth minute, and his brother Diarmuid added a free from the other side to level matters in the 13th minute.

Enda Smith was a late introduction to John Evans' side and he repaid his manager's faith with a great score in the 14th minute when he got out in front of Johnny Duane.

Sean Denvir kept Galway in touch with a battling point from play, but a four-point burst from the home side in five minutes put them 0-7 to 0-3 up.

Seven minutes from time Galway were handed a great chance to pull within a point when Damien Comer was hauled down inside the area – David Murray was black carded for the offence – but Peadar Og O Griofa's penalty was well saved by Darren O'Malley.

Comer gave Galway some solace when he somehow kicked the resultant 45 into the teeth of the wind, but a minute from the break he saw another goal bound effort batted out by O'Malley.

And it proved crucial, as Roscommon countered and Diarmuid Murtagh flicked Cathal Shine's long delivery to the net past the stranded Manus Breathnach and Smith added another point to give Roscommon a 1-8 to 0-4 half-time lead.

Playing into the wind was tough for Galway in the first-half, but it also took them some time to adjust to the conditions in the other direction. However after two poor wides, Peadar Og O Griofa landed a 40th minute free and fisted over a point soon after to put five between the sides.

Conroy landed a long range free to retain Galway's momentum, and they hit a crucial score in 45th minute when Garreth Bradshaw picked out Comer with a long ball and the Annaghdown man hit the net with a low finish.

Galway were on the crest of a wave then and O Griofa pulled them level a minute later with a brilliant free from the right sideline.

And once they hit the front there was no stopping Galway, who kicked the last six points of the game to take an easy win in the end.

Scorers

Galway: P Og O Griofa 0-6 (4f), D Comer 1-2 (1'45), P Conroy 0-3 (3f), S Denvir 0-1, P Sweeney 0-1, G Sice 0-1.

Roscommon: D Murtagh 1-4 (2f), E Smith 0-2, C Murtagh 0-2 (1f), C Shine 0-1, M Breathnach 0-1 (own point),

Galway: M Breathnach; J Duane, F Hanley, C Sweeney; L Silke, G Bradshaw, G O'Donnell; F O Curraoin, P Conroy; G Sice, P Sweeney (A Varley 65), S Denvir (S Walsh 61); M Lundy (M Martin 68), D Comer, P O Griofa.

Roscommon: D O'Malley; S McDermott, N Carty, N Collins (C Cafferkey 3-13 blood); D Murray, D Keenan, C Daly; C Shine (M Healy 51), K Higgins (D Ward h-t); N Daly, C Murtagh, E Smith (R Stack 51); D Murtagh, S Kilbride, C Cregg (C Connolly 65).

Referee: Michael Duffy (Sligo).

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