Late performance from Roscommon's subs see off Down
Roscommon 1-15 Down 1-11
Despite having an extra man for most of the second half following Luke Howard's dismissal, Roscommon needed late scores from subs Cathal Cregg and Donie Smith to finally see off Down in Newry.
Roscommon were the better side for long spells, but they struggled in a fiesty second half until great cameo performances from the bench.
Down started brightly with two Donal O'Hare points in the first three minutes but Roscommon hit four in a row in a six minute spell, all from play, with Senan Kilbride turning onto his left to hit the best of them from long range.
The home side got back on level terms at 0-5 apiece through Paul Devlin's free, and briefly took the lead when Jerome Johnston, a sub for Caolan Mooney, sent over his second point of the night.
From there, the Rossies comtook over and scored an unanswered 1-4 before the interval, the goal on the stroke of half time from Diarmuid Murtagh.
Down had Kevin McKernan black-carded for a trip after 25 minutes and Jim McCorry rang the changes, having used five of his subs by the start of the second half.
Things got fiesty following Down's second black card for Conor Garvey and immediately after Arthur McConville's palmed goal in the 46th minute, Luke Howard was sent off for a second yellow card.
After all the free-flowing football of the first half, the second was littered with bad-tempered spats and stoppages.
Points from McConville, Jerome Johnston and Peter Fitzpatrick brought Down right back into it and they closed the gap to a point with 10 minutes to go. Roscommon failed to score for 20 minutes until Cregg and Smith relieved the pressure.
Scorers - Down: D O'Hare 0-3 (1f), A McConville 1-1, J Johnston 0-3, P Devlin 0-2 (1f, 1 '45'), C Maginn 0-1, P Fitzpatrick 0-1. Roscommon: D Murtagh 1-4 (2f), C Murtagh 0-2, S Kilbride 0-1, D Shine 0-1 (f), M Nally 0-1, N Daly 0-1, C Cafferkey 0-1, C Cregg 0-3, D Smith 0-1
Roscommon: D O'Malley; S McDermott, N Carty, N Collins; C Daly, N Daly, C Cafferkey; I Kilbride, C Shine; M Nally, D Shine, E Smith; C Murtagh, S Kilbride, D Murtagh. Subs: U Harney for Nally (12), D Smith for Shine (50), C Cregg for D Murtagh (53), M Whyte for O'Malley (53)
Down: S Kane; D O'Hagan, B McArdle, L Howard; P Devlin, D Turley, K McKernan; N Madine, P Fitzpatrick; C Maginn, C Laverty, C Mooney; C Crilly, D O'Hare, D Savage. Subs: J Johnston for Mooney (15), C Garvey for McKernan (BC, 25), M Poland for Savage (31), A McConville for Crilly (HT), D O'Hanlon for Turley (HT), N Donnelly for Garvey (BC, 45)
Referee: B Cassidy (Derry)
Sunday Indo Sport