John Evans beaming as Roscommon players respond to ‘kick in the backside’

Kildare 2-12, Roscommon 0-24:

John Evans beaming as Roscommon players respond to ‘kick in the backside’

The visitors were full value for their six-point victory, having out-scored their opponents by nine points in the second half.

Cathal Cregg was the leading man for John Evans’ side with six points from play, but there was no shortage of star turns in their attack.

“They got their kick in the backside last Sunday,” said Evans, referring to his side’s round four defeat by Laois.

“We started asking questions of the lads. This isn’t any one-man show. We have a good setup put in place and we wanted to show that we were better than what we were last Sunday.”

Evans’ players delivered in spades, especially early in the second half. By the end, Roscommon were comfortable though the game was marred by ugly scenes at the finish that saw Kildare reduced to 13 players when Eoin Doyle and Eamon Callaghan were shown red cards. The winners also lost defender David Murray to a second yellow card.

“You could see something like that coming. There was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing. We were confused, there was a lot of confusion out there towards the end of the game. I couldn’t make too much out of it,” said Evans, who was perplexed by some of Fergal Kelly’s refereeing. “I was bemused by a lot of the calls today. I don’t think the players knew what was going on, either,” Evans added.

Kildare captain Eamon Callaghan was dismissed following a separate skirmish moments before the final whistle. He had just won a penalty but a row ensued before he was shown a straight red. The referee then called the game to a halt before the penalty could be taken.

“He just finished the game,” said Kildare boss Jason Ryan. “I didn’t think he hopped the ball.”

Although a goal would have been mere consolation at that stage for Ryan’s side, score difference could be crucial in the race to avoid relegation.

The game itself was an absorbing contest that turned on a brilliant passage from Roscommon after half-time. Trailing 2-9 to 0-12, the Rossies reeled off six successive points to move ahead. Cathal Cregg landed three in that devastating spell. Kildare scored just three points in the second half to fall to a fourth defeat of the campaign and a third reversal at home.

Scorers for Roscommon: C Cregg 0-6; D Murtagh 0-4 (0-3f), C Murtagh 0-4 (0-3f); S Kilbride 0-3 (0-1f); C Daly 0-2; N Daly, C Shine, E Smith, U Harney, C Compton 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kildare: P Cribbin 0-4, E O’Flaherty 0-4f; F Dowling, E Callaghan 1-0 each; G White 0-2; D Flynn, A Smith 0-1 each.

ROSCOMMON: D O’Malley; S McDermott, N Collins, D Murray; N Daly, N Carty, D Keenan; C Shine, M Healy; C Daly, C Murtagh, C Cafferky; D Murtagh, S Kilbride, C Cregg.

Subs: E Smith for Healy (29); U Harney for Cafferky (55); C Compton for D Murtagh, 66; I Kilbride for C Murtagh, 66; C Connolly for Cregg, 70.

KILDARE: M Donnellan; E Bolton, M O’Grady, O Lyons; K Cribbin, F Conway, E Doyle; G White, P Cribbin; P O’Neill, E O’Flaherty, D Flynn; E Callaghan, T O’Connor, F Dowling.

Subs: A Smith for Dowling, 32; C Fitzpatrick for O’Neill, 55; P Fogarty for O’Connor, 59; D Mulhall for Flynn, 66; T Moolick for White, 70.

Ref: F Kelly (Longford).

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