Roscommon end pre-season on a high with Connacht League victory

Roscommon end pre-season on a high with Connacht League victory
Enda Smith of Roscommon leaves the field with the cup following the Connacht FBD League Final at Tuam Stadium. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Roscommon 0-13 Galway 1-5

Eight Donie Smith points gave Roscommon their fifth FBD Connacht football league title and sends them into next Saturday’s NFL Division 1 opener against Mayo on a real high.

Galway were bossed for long spells of this Tuam Stadium clash and their 12 wides, eight yellow cards, three black cards and a red for David Wynne meant a frustrating day for Kevin Walsh’s side.

Roscommon led by two points at half-time, but Barry McHugh fired a goal early in the second half to level the game, however Anthony Cunningham’s side replied with five of the last six points to sail to victory.

Galway started the first-half with a very strong wind at their backs, but it was Anthony Cunningham’s side that got off to the brighter start. Only three minutes had passed when Shane Killoran curled over a point off his left from the left wing, and a minute later Donie Smith clipped over a free to double their lead.

Things could have gotten much worse for Galway in the fifth minute, but Ruairí Lavelle did well to smother Enda Smith’s shot.

Galway looked laboured in attack early on and their first score didn’t materialise until Shane Walsh finished off a sweeping counter attack with a point. Gary O’Donnell added another good score for Galway from the right to level matters in the 19th minute, but from there to the interval it became a tetchy affair.

O’Donnell was black carded after 20 minutes for a pull down on Ronan Daly, and with the Galway wing back in the sin bin Roscommon benefited with three points in a row to open out a 0-5 to 0-2 lead, two of which came from impressive full forward Ciaran Lennon.

Three minute from the break a mass brawl erupted, which resulted in yellow cards for Barry McHugh and Evan McGrath, and a minute later Ciaran Duggan was sin binned for pulling down Enda Smith.

Either side of that incident Galway added points from O’Donnell and McHugh, but after Eoghan Kerin was booked, Roscommon made it 0-6 to 0-4 at half-time when Donie Smith cut back on his left to score.

Donie Smith landed the first score if the second half four minutes after the restart, but as the half progressed Galway grew back into the game. A couple of missed frees from McHugh halted Galway’s progress, but when McHugh and Gareth Bradshaw twice exchanged passes, McHugh rattled the net for the levelling goal.

Ultan Harney pointed on the counter to put Roscommon ahead after 48 minutes and Colin Compton doubled the lead moments later, before a Donie Smith wiped out the goal with a third point in a row.

Roscommon were four points up and a super save from O’Malley denied Ciaran Duggan five minutes from time and it was an easy run to the finish for Roscommon.

Scorers

Roscommon: D Smith 0-8 (5f), C Lennon 0-2, S Killoran 0-1, U Harney 0-1, C Compton 0-1.

Galway: B McHugh 1-1 (1f), S Walsh 0-2 (1f), G O’Donnell 0-2.

Roscommon: D O’Malley; E McGrath, C Daly, D Murray (U Harney 39); C Hussey, N Daly, R Daly; T O’Rourke (H Darcy 68), E Smith; D Smith, C Compton, N Kilroy (A Lyons 55); C Lennon, C Cregg (C Fitzmaurice 62), S Killoran (G Paterson 17).

Galway: R Lavelle; D Kyne (D Wynne 27), S A Ó Ceallaigh, E Kerin; G O’Donnell, G Bradshaw, S Kelly; T Flynn (D Cummins 68), C Duggan; J Heaney, J Duane (P Cunningham 64), F Cooney (P Cooke 50); S Walsh, M Daly (C Darcy 35), B McHugh.

Referee: Liam Devenney (Mayo).

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