Diarmuid Murtagh the hero as the Rossies edge Cork in a classic
ROSCOMMON 1-19 CORK 3-12
An injury time score from a free by man of the match Diarmuid Murtagh gave Roscommon a narrow win in the under 21 football semi- final at Portlaoise.
Cork had slightly the better of the opening exchanges as Roscommon took time to settle.
Significantly the Rebels could not dominate on the scoreboard.
They notched up four points in 10 minutes by Dan MacEoin (two), Sean Kiely and Mark Sugrue, and looked impressive in doing so.
The bad news was that the Rossies, with corner forward Diarmuid Murtagh always posing a
threat, had four in the bag after 11 minutes and powered ahead.
Over the course of the next 20 minutes, Roscommon bossed the game, scoring seven more points, with two long range efforts by by Enda Smith particularly impressive.
Dan MacEoin got Cork's fifth point in the 30th minute, but in injury time Murtagh struck again to leave the half time score 0-11 to 0-5 in Roscommon's favour.
An early point by MacEoin and a goal by Mark Sugrue lifted Cork briefly. Then Roscommon's Murtagh punished the opposition with five successive points, four from frees.
Just when all seemed lost, Alan Cadogan made a powerful run at the Rossies defence and slammed home a goal to make the score 0-17 to Roscommon and 2-9 for Cork.
A fast response with a point from Mark Healy and an Ultan Harney goal set the stage for a hectic finish.
With two minutes to go Cork were three points behind on a 1-18 to 2-12 scoreline but they were level after MacEoin scored a brilliant goal from a 20 metre free.
Then came the killer blow from Roscommon's Murtagh.