By Eoghan Cormican
The footballers of Roscommon sprung a major upset this afternoon in Fitzgerald Stadium when scoring their first win over Kerry in 15 years.
Kevin McStay and Fergal O’Donnell’s charges delivered a rousing closing 20 minutes, hitting four points while holding their opponents to just one.
A Stephen O’Brien point on 48 minutes moved Kerry two ahead, but Fitzmaurice’s side would add to their tally on only one further occasion during the remainder of the contest – that a Conor Cox free seven minutes into stoppages - as Cathal Cregg (0-2), Ciaran Murtagh (free) and Enda Smith kicked the Rossies to a famous win.
Kerry held the interval advantage despite going scoreless for 20 minutes of that first period and finding themselves five adrift after 25 minutes.
The home outfit started much the brighter and were three to the good following opening scores from Johnny Buckley and a pair of Johnny Buckley frees inside eight minutes.
The visitors, having been turned over seven times in those opening eight minutes, eventually settled, kicking eight unanswered points between the 10th and 25th minute. Chief contributors were Fintan Cregg (two frees) and two massive kicks from Cathal Cregg.
A Barry John Keane free on 28 minutes ended Kerry’s barren spell and they moved back in front thanks in the main to a fine individual goal from Stephen O’Brien on 31 minutes. It was a lead they would not hold as they are now pointless from their opening two league games.
Scorers for Roscommon: C Cregg (0-4); C Murtagh (0-1 free), F Cregg (0-2 frees), E Smith, C Devanney (0-2 each); C Connolly (0-1 each)
Scorers for Kerry: BJ Keane (0-5, 0-4 frees); S O’Brien (1-1); J Buckley (0-2), C Cox (0-1 free), T Walsh (0-1 each).
Kerry: B Kelly; B Ó Beaglaoich, M Griffin, S Enright; P Murphy, A O’Mahony, K Young; D Moran, J Buckley; J Lyne, D O’Sullivan, D Walsh; BJ Keane, T Walsh, S O’Brien.
Subs: T O’Sullivan for Lyne (12 mins, inj), A Fitzgerald for D Walsh (49), C Cox for Keane (57), F Fitzgerald for Enright (58), Barry O’Sullivan for Buckley (52, inj), Brendan O’Sullivan (33)
Roscommon: D O’Malley; N McInerney, N Collins, S McDermott; N Daly, D Murray, R Stack; E Smith, I Kilbride; F Cregg, C Devanney, C Daly; C Connolly, C Cregg, C Murtagh.
Subs: C Shine for Kilbride (54), S Purcell for C Daly (57), R Daly for C Cregg (59, bc), C McHugh for Connolly (53)
Referee: F Kelly (Longford)