Roscommon, who fielded with only three of the side that won last year’s Connacht final, completely outclassed a poor 14-man Leitrim outfit at Carrick-on-Shannon.
After Roscommon goalkeeper, Colm Lavin denied a second minute Darragh Rooney goal chance with a spectacular left boot reflex save, the Rossies took complete command.
Noel Gately opened Roscommon’s account with a seventh-minute goal. David Bruen replied with a Leitrim point a minute later, his side’s only first-half score.
Almost immediately Roscommon’s Andrew Glennon palmed a Ciarán Lennon cross to the Leitrim net. Dylan Ruane and Shane Killoran added points before Enda Smith hammered home a 15th-minute goal.
Conor Daly, Noel Gately, and Shane Killoran added further points before Andrew Glennon shot his second goal and a Ciarán Lennon free left Roscommon ahead by 4-7 to 0-1 at the interval. Shane Flanagan’s second yellow compounded Leitrim woe.
Smith converting a 40th-minute penalty and Finbar Cregg hit two goals as half-time sub Conor Cox added 0–5 to the Roscommon tally.
A late spirited Leitrim surge saw the home side slightly reduce Roscommon’s massive lead.
Scorers for Roscommon: F. Cregg & E. Smith (2-2 each); A. Glennon (2-0); C. Cox (0–5, 3 frees); N. Gately (1-2); D. Ruane (0-2) C Daly (0-1)
Scorers for Leitrim: O. McLoughlin (0-2 frees); D. Bruen; C. Dolan (f), D. Wrynn, O. McCaffrey, & A. Hoare (0-1 each).
ROSCOMMON: C. Lavin; M. Richardson, C. Daly, A. Dowd; P. Scott, N. Daly, J. Casey; L. Mollahan, S. Killoran; D. Ruane, E. Smith, F. Cregg; A. Glennon, C. Lennon, N. Gately.
Subs: T. O’Rourke for Killoran, C. Cox for Glennon, C. Cregg for Gately, D. Murray for C. Daly (all HT); N. Kilroy for F. Cregg (54).
LEITRIM: D. McKiernan; C. Reynolds, P. Maguire, A. Flynn; D. Bruen, J. Gilheaney, C. Farrell; D. Wrynn, S. Flanagan; C. Duffy, C. Dolan, R. O’Rourke; D. Rooney, A. Hoare, N. Brady.
Subs: F. McTague for Farrell, M. Diffley for Duffy (all HT); K. Gaffey for McKiernan (44); O. McCaffrey for Bruen & O. McLoughlin for O’Rourke (55).
Referee: L. Devenney (Mayo)