Roscommon 4-8 Galway 1-12
Roscommon continued their excellent run of form this afternoon in Kiltoom as a flurry of fantastic goals helped to put Galway to the sword in the final of the FBD League and secure their first silverware in this competition since 1999, when they beat the same opponents in
Tuam by 1-12 to 3-3 in a replayed final. The home side played with the aid of a blustery and diagonal wind in the first half yet led by just a solitary score at the interval, 0-6 to 0-5. That narrow margin looked inadequate as Galway enjoyed plenty of possession in the first half and looked far more potent when carrying the ball through the middle third of the field.
However few of the 1,927 supporters in attendance could have imagined the goal feast that was to come after the interval as Ciarán Murtagh, Diarmuid Murtagh, Ciarán Cafferkey and finally Enda Smith rattled the back of the Galway net to secure that the first silverware of the season would go to John Evans men.
Enda Tierney produced a stunning injury time strike to cut the deficit and give Galway supporters some scant late consolation, however they still have plenty of work to do in advance of Meath’s visit to Salthill for the first round of the National League next Sunday.
Both sides looked to be in great form in the early stages when Roscommon led by the odd score in five, with each point coming from play including some gorgeous strikes by Michéal Martin and Enda Smith, however the scoring rate dropped considerably after the first 10 minutes, with Roscommon in particular struggling to connect with their inside forwards.
Johnny Heaney and Shane Walsh kicked points of real quality for Galway as the sides were level five times in all, but Diarmuid Murtagh’s first score from play shortly before half time gave Roscommon a lead that they were never to relinquish.
Some wonderful combination play by Donie Smith and Senan Kilbride set up Ciarán Murtagh just three minutes after half time and the St Faithleachs player produced a sublime finish to round off the move, effortlessly slipping the ball along the deck and inches inside the near post.
Galway responded with three points to cancel out their goal and they looked to be in great shape with momentum on their side, but the game turned completely in Roscommon’s favour when Diarmuid Murtagh and Ciarán Cafferkey added two goals in the space of 30 seconds to put real daylight between the sides.
In both instances there was little or nothing Manus Breathnach could do in the Galway goal as acres of room opened up in his defence to set up the two scores, the former set up by Ciarán Murtagh who beat two men and then found his brother with a handpass, the second a solo effort by the wing back who gratefully accepted the acres of space opening up in front of him before blasting the ball to the roof of the net.
Again Galway regrouped and again they dragged themselves back into contention with a string of scores, two frees from Eddie Hoare and a point each from Shane Walsh and Danny Cummins.
They threatened to notch a goal of their own too when Cummins slipped inside two defenders and gave himself room to shoot from the 13m line, but Darren O’Malley stepped up for Roscommon and narrowed the angle well, eventually parrying Cummins’ effort out for a ’45.
Galway were exerting immense pressure at this stage but it was inevitable that Roscommon would eventually break out of defence and when they did with a little over seven minutes to play, they made their forays forward count in spectacular fashion.
First Senan Kilbride punched over a close range point to stem the tide of Galway scores and within a minute Enda Smith blasted the ball to the roof of the Galway net to push the lead out to seven once again.
Cathal Shine extended that advantage further and while Enda Tierney finally broke through to get Galway’s first goal of the game in the closing minutes, the score was only of interest to the statisticians and the reporters, as the home supporters were preparing to celebrate yet another excellent result for the in-form Rossies.
D O’Malley; N Carty, N Collins, S McDermott; R Stack, N Daly, C Cafferkey (1-0); I Kilbride, C Shine (0-1); M Nally, D Smith, E Smith (1-2); D Murtagh (1-3, 0-2f), S Kilbride (0-1), C Murtagh (1-1).
Subs: C Cregg for Nally (46), U Harney for D Smith (47), C Daly for I Kilbride (54), B Murtagh for S Kilbride (58), O Milton for C Murtagh (60+1).
: M Breathnach; T Fahy, D Walsh, C Sweeney; J Heaney (0-1), G Bradshaw (0-1), G O’Donnell; F Ó’Curraoín (0-1), E Tierney (1-0); S Denvir, M Martin (0-3, 0-2f), S Walsh (0-2); D Cummins (0-2), E Hoare (0-2f), M Coady.
Subs: TJ Forde for Breathnach (43), K Kelly for Fahy (47), T Flynn for Denvir (54), P Sweeney for Martin (57).
John Gilmartin (Sligo)