John Evans delighted as resurgent Roscommon revel in victory

Roscommon 4-8 Galway 1-12: FBD Connacht final: There is growing optimism in Roscommon that a succession of good underage sides is about to mark them as a serious force at senior level, but the need to temper that expectation was also obvious at Kiltoom yesterday.

John Evans delighted as resurgent Roscommon revel in victory

Roscommon were backed by a strong wind in the opening half but just could not pull away from a Galway side who looked sharper contesting the breaking ball and who mopped up around midfield.

But all changed on the resumption when Roscommon blitzed Galway for three goals in the third quarter, all of them wonderfully constructed scores full of pace and impressive vision.

So John Evans added the FBD title to the Division Three crown won last year.

“We are delighted with it. Silverware hasn’t been coming Roscommon’s way in recent years so this group of players are trying to change that,” said Evans.

“And they showed that in the second half with their style and flair. In particular, the pace of their game really upped in the second half.”

Roscommon looked in trouble at half-time. Galway had carried the ball well and picked off some fine scores to trail by just 0-6 to 0-5 having faced the elements.

Just when it seemed Galway would pull away after the restart, Roscommon struck as Donie Smith, Diarmuid Murtagh and Senan Kilbride combined to send Ciaran Murtagh through for a goal.

Galway responded with points from Fiontán Ó Curraoin, Gareth Bradshaw and Michael Martin to get the margin back to a point by the 42nd minute, but then Roscommon hit them with a double blow.

Ciaran Murtagh was the creator this time, soloing in from the left before crossing for his brother Diarmuid to fist home. Then Ciaran Cafferkey ran through and blasted into the top left corner.

Galway again responded with five points to get the gap back to a goal with seven minutes left, but Senan Kilbride fisted a point to put four between them and then Enda Smith soloed through and hit another superb goal.

Galway midfielder Enda Tierney, one of the players to emerge for the Tribesmen during the campaign, pulled back a fine goal with a cracking effort and the manner in which they kept coming back pleased manager Kevin Walsh.

“There was a period there after half-time where we lost our shape and Roscommon punished us and that’s something we will have to analyse and see what went wrong. But we saw this as an extra game to try out players and step up our preparations for the league.”

Scorers for Roscommon: D Murtagh 1-3 (0-2f), E Smith 1-2, C Murtagh 1-1, C Cafferkey 1-0, S Kilbride 0-1, C Shine 0-1.

Scorers for Galway: M Martin 0-3 (2f), E Tierney 1-0, S Walsh 0-2, E Hoare 0-2 (2f), D Cummins 0-2, F O Curraoin 0-1, G Bradshaw 0-1, J Heaney 0-1.

ROSCOMMON: D O’Malley; S McDermott, N Carty, N Collins; B Murtagh, N Daly, C Cafferkey; I Kilbride, M Healy; M Nally, D Smith, E Smith; D Murtagh, S Kilnbride, C Murtagh.

Subs: C Cregg for Nally (47), U Harney for D Smith (47), C Daly for I Kilbride (52), B Murtagh for S Kilbride (57), O Milton for C Murtagh (60).

GALWAY: M Breathnach; T Fahy, D Walsh, C Sweeney; J Heaney, G Bradshaw, G O’Donnell; F O Curraoin, E Tierney; S Denvir, M Martin, S Walsh; D Cummins, E Hoare, M Coady.

Subs: TJ Ford for Breathnach (43), K Kelly for Fahy (47), T Flynn for Denvir (52), P Sweeney for Martin (57).

Referee: J Gilmartin (Sligo).

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