Roscommon 0-7 Down 0-12: Roscommon manager Kevin McStay labelled his side’s performance as “shocking” as the Rossies’ promotion bid suffered a setback against Down at a bitterly cold Dr Hyde Park.
Down were full value for their five-point success and made their numerical superiority count when Roscommon midfielder Ian Kilbride was shown a second yellow card after 15 minutes.
“Who wants to come and watch the sort of stuff we produced today? It was simply shocking. I know it’s only February but now we have to win our next four matches, and even then it mightn’t be good enough (for promotion). So that puts huge pressure on us. If we got something out of today, we had a bit of a cushion but that’s gone now.
“A lot of lads have to have a long talk with themselves because that’s simply not good enough at this level.
“We’ve gone out to take this league seriously. We win together and we lose together but the lads know my feeling on it. They know themselves that that was miles off the standard we expect from them,” he explained.
Points from Niall Donnelly, Barry O’Hagan, Ryan Johnston, Donal O’Hara (2 frees) and Caolan Mooney opened up a six-point advantage for Down after 27 minutes.
It could have been worse for the hosts as Down kicked some bad wides and Roscommon full-back John McManus made a brilliant last ditch tackle to deny Barry O’Hagan a certain goal after a terrible mix-up between Niall McInerney and goalkeeper James Featherston.
Roscommon shook themselves with two frees from Cian McKeon and an effort from play by Conor Devaney in quick succession but Down finished the half strongly with points from Colm Flanagan, Anthony Doherty (’45) and O’Hara to establish a 0-9 to 0-3 interval lead.
The home side were slightly better in the third quarter with a couple of Diarmuid Murtagh frees hinting at a revival.
When Enda Smith was upended inside the small square in the 45th minute, Roscommon were presented with a glorious chance to haul themselves back into contention from the penalty spot. But Reid did brilliantly to turn Ciaráin Murtagh’s effort around the post.
There was some consolation for Roscommon when substitute Donal Smith pointed the resultant ’45. The Boyle player added another score from play in the 53rd minute to reduce the arrears to just two points.
But Roscommon lost their way completely after that and ran out of ideas in attack. The excellent Darren O’Hagan settled Down with a point and further efforts from substitutes Darragh O’Hanlon and Niall Madine comfortably saw Down home.
D O’Hara 0-3 (2f), N Donnelly, B O’Hagan, R Johnston, C Mooney, C Flanagan, A Doherty (‘45), D O’Hagan, D O’Hanlon (1f), N Madine 0-1 each.
C McKeon (2f), D Murtagh (2f), D Smith (1 ’45) 0-2 each, C Devaney 0-1 DOWN: M Reid; A Doherty, B McArdle, C Flanagan; D O’Hagan, N McParland, C Mooney; C Poland, N Donnelly; R Johnston, C Maginn, S Millar; B O’Hagan, D O’Hare, A Morgan 7.
D McKibbin for Poland (55), D O’Hanlon for O’Hagan (55), N Madine for O’Hara (61, b/c), K Quinn for McArdle (67).
J Featherston; D Murray, J McManus, N McInerney; N Daly, F Lennon, B Stack; I Kilbride, E Smith; F Cregg, N Kilroy, C Devaney; D Murtagh, C Lennon, C McKeon.
C Murtagh for Cregg (h-t), D Smith for McKeon (45), C Daly for F Lennon (55), H Darcy for Kilroy (58), S McDermott for Stack (58), U Harney for E Smith (69).
S Hurson (Tyrone).
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