Roscommon continue to plunder silverware by claiming Division Two title against 14-man Down
Roscommon 1-17 Down 0-15
Published 26/04/2015 | 16:01
Roscommon's trophy-gathering season continues at a relentless pace after a comfortable second passage against Down in this Division Two final in Croke Park.
Following on from their Connacht League and Connacht under-21 successes a five-point win maintains a strong momentum in the county.
It was their second successive League title after their Division Three triumph over Cavan 12 months ago.
They were helped by a rather harsh red card for Down centre-back Brendan McArdle just before half-time after he picked up a second yellow card.
In McArdle's absence the game really opened up after a dour first half and they were able to exploit those conditions better.
The Rossies showed a lot of class in the second half with "man of the match" Senan Kilbride helping himself to four points from play.
Half-back Conor Daly was also outstanding proving so many assists with his driving runs forward.
The sides were level seven times in the opening half and, accordingly, it was 0-7 each at the interval.
McArdle picked up a second yellow card on 34 minutes when he needlessly restrained Senan Kilbride whose shot had just been blocked by Aidan Carr.
Kilbride admitted afterwards he had made the most of the contact.
There were few openings in that half but Cathal Cregg will feel he should have done better when he got space off Cathal Shine's well placed 20th minute delivery but pulled his shot wide across the goals.
Kilbride showed some of the classiest touches and got arguably the point of the half when he linked with Cian Connolly to deliver off his less favoured right foot.
Roscommon made their most telling surge just after half-time when, on the back of renewed dominance by Keith Higgins and Cathal Shine at midfield, they hit four unanswered points for a 0-11 to 0-7 lead.
Down closed to a point at one stage but Roscommon continued to find the openings and were already pushing themselves out of sight with a re-establishment of their four point lead, 0-16 to 0-12, when Ciaran Murtagh finished superbly on 61 minutes for the game's only goal.
Kevin McKernan, Conor Laverty and Donal O'Hare kept driving Down on but with 14 men they struggled to bridge the gap.
Scorers - Roscommon: C Connolly 0-5 (4fs), C Murtagh 1-2 (0-1f), S Kilbride 0-4, U Harney, D Shine (f), C Cafferkey, D Smith, C Cregg, D Murtagh all 0-1 each.
Down: D O'Hare 0-5 (3fs), K McKernan 0-2, B McArdle, C Maginn, C Laverty, P Fitzpatrick, J Johnston (f), R Johnston, P Devlin (f), B McArdle all 0-1 each
Roscommon: D O'Malley; N Collins, N Carty, D Murray; C Daly, N Daly, C Cafferky; K Higgins, C Shine; D Smith, C Murtagh, R Stack; C Connolly, S Kilbride, C Cregg. Subs: D Murtagh for Smith (ht), U Harney for Cregg (47), B Murtagh for Murray BC (52), D Shine for Connolly (54), I Kilbride for Higgins (66), C Compton for C Murtagh (61)
Down: S Kane; G Collins, A Carr, D O'Hagan; K McKernan, B McArdle, L Howard; C Mooney, P Turley; D O'Hanlon, C Maginn, C McGovern; P Devlin, C Laverty, D O'Hare. Subs: P Fitzpatrick for Turley (ht), R Johnston for Devlin (47), N Madine for Carr (59), A McConvile for Maginn (63), J Johnston for McKernan (66), R Boyle for Collins (69).
Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois)