Lack of trademark flair and panache from Down is a real loss to game
Published 27/04/2015 | 02:30
The only consoling thing about watching the first half of a diabolical game of football is that sometimes the game is transformed in the second half.
Thankfully for the Roscommon and Down supporters yesterday, this did actually happen in Croke Park.
And the style of football changed sufficiently to leave some sort of positive impression about both sides as they head into Division 1 football next February.
That opening period was pathetic as on numerous occasions I counted 13 players from both teams in their own half. The malaise of modern football, packed defences, seemed to be the only way either team could play.
And it is only when you look down from the seventh floor of the Hogan Stand that you can appreciate, if that is the correct word, how ghastly this style of play really is.
The strange thing is that despite the teams effectively playing with 13 defenders, they still managed to give away the silliest of frees and thereby conceded the easiest possible points.
This applied particularly to Down in the first half and one wonders how the players or managers can justify such undisciplined play.
Roscommon - captained by Niall Carty - were the best team by quite a distance, mainly because they had forwards who were more inclined to attempt points than Down. The standard was set by Senan Kilbride who scored some magnificent points in a man-of-the-match display.
For those of us who have watched and admired Down in their many glorious visits to Croke Park over the years, it was hard to believe what we witnessed yesterday.
Where was the flair and panache that were always Down's trademarks? What a loss to the game that Down style of football has been.