Jim Gavin disappointed for fans caught out by fixture farce

Dublin 1-13 Roscommon 1-12: Jim Gavin expressed disappointment for the Dublin fans who had to alter their travel arrangements for their side’s narrow win over Roscommon at Carrick-on-Shannon.

The game was originally scheduled to take place in Dr Hyde Park in Roscommon, but the pitch failed a 9am pitch inspection due to water-logging, and the tie was refixed for Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada.

The last train had left from Dublin at 8am and that left many Dublin fans stranded as they required shuttle buses to get to the ground from the Roscommon station.

And the game was subsequently put back 15 minutes as the huge crowds filtered into the Leitrim venue.

“It was disappointing not only for Dublin supporters, but also for Roscommon supporters who might have made arrangements based on their Sunday around the game. For the people of Roscommon as well not to see their own side play in Dr Hyde Park, is a disappointment. But it was with the best intentions.

“I know last night Croke Park had sent some officials up to look up at the pitch. The word we got back, at that particular time, at 6pm on Saturday was that it was playable. We all kind of had an inkling it was going to be switched to Carrick-on- Shannon, and the lesson to be learned from this is to make those calls early.

“Even at 9pm last night people could have made arrangements, and the forecast for those that looked at it, would have seen there was rain forecast,” said Gavin.

Dean Rock was the difference on the day as he stuck 1-8 for the All-Ireland champions, who completed the group stages of the league without defeat.

Gavin added: “It was a great game with a real championship cut to it. Roscommon demonstrated they deserve their place in Division 1. They have earned their semi-final spot and that performance shows how strong they have been. From my perspective, the Dublin boys showed great resilience and great grit. At the start of the second-half Roscommon went hard at us and got scores on the board. But our boys showed great composure, great control to eke that result out.

The last time these two sides met in the league it was 3-20 to 0-7 in favour of the Dubs in Division 2, eight years ago. And when Roscommon trailed 0-9 to 0-3 at half-time with Sean McDermott and Cathal Cregg being sent off for black cards it looked set to be a similar one-sided result.

But to their credit Roscommon fought back and reeled in their visitors before Rock struck a crucial goal in the 57th minute to give them a 1-11 to 0-8 lead. But Roscommon response was superb: they stormed upfield and Senan Kilbride finished a Fintan Cregg delivery to the net. Roscommon kept tagging on the scores with Conor Devaney bringing them back within one point.

However Ciaran Murtagh couldn’t convert a last-minute free to seal a draw.

Dublin will face Donegal in their semi-final next weekend, while Roscommon will renew rivalries with Kerry, and manager Kevin McStay said his players might have been over-awed by Dublin.

“We got a bit frightened of them. We said this to them at half-time, why won’t we take a risk? Lads were isolated, nobody coming off the shoulder to give them support and the next thing it’s an over-carry. It’s where we are at. We are just learning. We see them on telly, they are built up into this big massive bunch of men coming down from the city and nobody can compete with them. And you stand back.”

Scorers for Dublin:

D Rock 1-8 (0-7f), S B Carthy 0-2, C McHugh 0-1, K McManamon 0-1, J Small 0-1.

Scorers for Roscommon:

C Murtagh 0-5 (0-3f), D Shine 0-3, C Devaney 0-2, S Kilbride 1-0, F Cregg 0-1 (0-1f), N Daly 0-1.

DUBLIN:

M Savage; K O’Brien, M Fitzsimons, D Daly; E Lowndes, C O’Sullivan, D Byrne; B Fenton, E O Conghaile; T Brady, D Rock, S B Carthy; C McHugh, K McManamon, P Mannion.

Subs:

R McDaid for O’Sullivan (35), P Flynn for Brady (44), E O’Gara for McManamon (49), J Small for Daly (50), C Costello for Mannion (57), C Kilkenny for Lowndes (64, black card).

ROSCOMMON:

D O’Malley; S McDermott, N Collins, N McInerney; D Murray, S Purcell, D Keenan; N Daly, C Shine; F Cregg, N Kilroy, C Murtagh; D Shine, S Kilbride, C Cregg.

Subs for Roscommon:

S Mullooly for McDermott (26, black card), C Devaney for C Cregg (35, black card), J McManus for Keenan (44), J McDermott for C Shine (51), B Murtagh for Kilroy (56), T Corcoran for D Shine (64).

Referee:

Derek O’Mahoney (Tipperary).


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