Evans praises players' hunger to lift misfiring Roscommon
Roscommon 0-11 Antrim 1-6
Antrim were greatly flattered by their narrow loss at wintry Casement Park, as the winning margin did scant justice to the visitors.
The Rossies dominated most of the game and would have had the rain-soaked spectators heading for home by half-time had their attack not lost sight of the Antrim posts time and again. They rifled nine wides, some inexcusable, before the break.
Even Antrim manager Frank Dawson agreed his team was flattered. "It wasn't a two-point game. We were not just good enough throughout," he said.
The visitors ruled the roost in midfield and the home attack made no headway against a solid defence. By half-time, the winners had shot into a 0-7 to 0-1 lead with the Saffrons' lone flag raised in the 27th minute.
Antrim improved during the last quarter and the visitors failed to score from the 56th minute, as they reshuffled their side. Still, the home side only added two points before a face-saving goal when half-back Anto Healy fired in off a post in injury-time.
"This is a big win for us, away from home. Last week, we lost two terrible goals to Meath and you can call this win a backfire or a rebound, but we were hungry for victory today," said winning manager John Evans.
"We did have a lot of wides and we missed a great chance of a goal that would have put us 1-10 to 0-4 ahead, and that would have been game over. With young players you are going to have mistakes."
Man of the match: K Higgins (Roscommon)
SCORERS – Roscommon: C Gregg (3f), C Compton 0-3 each, D Smith 0-2 (1f), N Collins, C Daly, D O'Gara 0-1 each.Antrim: A Healy 1-0, T McCann (2f), C Kelly 0-2 each, B Herron, C Duffin 0-1 each.
ROSCOMMON – M Miley 6; N Collins 7, N Carty 7, S McDermott 7; D Keenan 7, N Daly 7, C Daly 7; M Finneran 7, K Higgins 9; C Gregg 7, D O'Gara 6, D Keane 7; D Smith 7, C Compton 8, C Devaney 6. Subs: F Gregg 6 for O'Gara (56), D McDermott 6 for C Gregg (60), S Oates * for Keane (65), C Dineen * for Devaney 69. * Not on long enough for rating.
ANTRIM – J Finucane 7; K O'Boyle 6, A McClean 6, S Finch 5; A Healy 8, J Crozier 7, N Delargy 6; P Doherty 6, S McVeigh 6; M Herron 6, C Kelly 7, B Herron 6; R Murray 6, C Murray 6, M Pollock 5. Subs: T McCann 6 for C Murray (31), T Scullion 7 for Finch (31), L Carland 7 for McVeigh (34), C Duffin 6 for R Murray (54), P Kelly 6 for M Herron (64).
REF – B Rice (Down).