Timely return to form for Roscommon

ROSCOMMON had a timely return to form in New York last night as the Connacht champions began the defence of their title impressively in the Bronx.

Goals from Kevin Higgins, Senan Kilbride and Cathal Cregg ensured Fergal O’Donnell’s men more than made amends for last week’s disappointing loss to Longford in the Division 4 final while an impressive spread of points from the Roscommon players sealed a comprehensive win.

Michael Finneran opened the scoring for the visitors inside the opening 20 seconds before Senan Kilbride added a second during the next passage of play.

Donie Shine, who had a poor league final last Saturday, showed his intent early on when he extended the Rossies’ lead to three points and he would go on to record 0-6 before being injured in a collision whilescoring that last point early in the second-half.

Despite Dan Doona getting the hosts off the mark in the seventh minute the Connacht champions surged ahead with points from Kevin Higgins, Conor Devanney and Shine before Kevin Higgins punched a 20th minute goal after a pass from Senan Kilbride who then made it 2-8 to 0-1 a minute later.

The hosts enjoyed a mini revival but it was 2-10 to 0-6 at the break and the Connacht champions were looking comfortable.

Although Roscommon took their foot of the pedal in the second-half they continued on their way to victory with a string of outstanding points including a point each from subs Enda Kenny and Seamus O’Neill. CJ Molloy grabbed a pair of points for New York while Kenny O’Connor grabbed the host’s consolation strike.

Scorers, Roscommon: D Shine 0-6 (free, 45), K Higgins 1-1, S Kilbride 1-3 (0-1 free), C Cregg 1-1, C Devanney 0-3, I Kilbride, M Finneran, E Kenny, D Ward, P Domican, K Mannion, S O’Neill 0-1 each.

Scorers, New York: D Doona 0-4 (0-4 frees), K O’Connor 1-1, J Kelly 0-2, (0-1 free, 0-1 45), CJ Molloy 0-2 (0-1 free), S Harold, and F Cleary 0-1 each.

ROSCOMMON: G Claffey, S McDermott, P Domican (capt), N Carty, D Ward, D Keenan, I Kilroy, M Finneran, K Mannion, C Devanney, K Higgins, C Cregg, S O’Grady, S Kilbride, D Shine.

Subs: E Kenny for Shine (37 mins), S Purcell for D Ward, S O’Neill for C Devanney (both 58 mins), G Henegan for C Cregg (62 mins), S Ormsby for S Kilbride (66 mins).

NEW YORK: A Hearty, P Lambe, R Stafford, R McGinley, J Goldrick, B McGourty, A Power, P Madden, S Harold, J Kelly, A O’Connor, K Walsh, D Doona (Capt), CJ Molloy, K O’Connor.

Subs: MJ Fitzgerald for J Goldrick (20 mins), S Toner for K Walsh (28 mins), K Smith for S Harold (half time), F Cleary for D Doona (48 mins), D O’Boyle for P Madden (62 mins).

Referee:P McEnaney (Monaghan).

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