Roscommon produced a strong second-half performance to ensure Anthony Cunningham’s tenure in charge got off to a winning start at Dr Hyde Park.
The home side trailed by four points at 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 final in succession against Galway on Sunday next.
“You’d always be happy with a win but it’s a work in progress. 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. 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.
Scorers for Roscommon: E Smith (1-3, 0-1 free), S Killoran (1-1), D Smith (0-3, 0-1 free), C Compton (0-3, 0-1 free), N Kilroy (0-2), C Cregg (0-1 free), C Daly (0-1), C Lennon (0-1 free), R Daly (0-1), C Fitzmaurice (0-1), N Daly (0-1).
Scorers for Sligo: N Murphy (1-8, 1-0 penalty, 0-4 frees), L Towey (0-3), S Carrabine (0-2 frees), P Hughes (0-2 frees), P Kilcoyne (0-1).
ROSCOMMON: D O’Malley; G Patterson, S Mullooly, C Daly; C Hussey, N Daly, R Daly; T O’Rourke, C Fitzmaurice; S Killoran, E Smith, N Kilroy; D Smith, C Lennon, C Cregg.
Subs: D Pettit for Mullooly (28), H Darcy for Lennon (53), A Lyons for Cregg (55), E McGrath for Patterson (57), C Compton for Kilroy (61).
SLIGO: A Devaney; N Mullen, P Laffey, JF Carr; K Cawley, P McNamara, G O’Kelly-Lynch; P Kilcoyne, D Cummins; S Carrabine, P O’Connor, L Towey; B McGowan, D Quinn, N Murphy.
Subs: A McIntyre for Cummins (44), P Hughes for Quinn (46), A Marren for McGowan (58), L Nicholson for Mullen (59), A McLaughlin for Towey (65).
Referee: J Henry (Mayo).