Roscommon dig deep to hold NUIG at bay
Roscommon 0-12 NUI Galway 0-8
Roscommon eked out a hard-earned victory to set up a winner-takes-all contest against Mayo next weekend.
Trailing by four points at the break, NUI Galway, inspired by their midfield pairing of Conor O'Shea and Peter Cooke, eroded the deficit to just two points with three minutes remaining.
But late points from substitute Senan Kilbride and Ciaráin Murtagh (a free) gave Roscommon joint-managers Kevin McStay and Fergal O'Donnell their second win in a week.
The home side dominated the opening half. Points from Niall Kilroy and Cian Connolly opened up a two-point lead before Cooke registered his side's first score in the 17th minute.
Further Roscommon points followed from Murtagh and Connolly (frees), while Conor Devaney landed one of the points of the afternoon from distance.
A free from Cooke provided some respite for the visitors but there was still time for Connolly to grab his second free to give the Rossies a 0-6 to 0-2 interval lead.
NUI Galway showed far more purpose after the break, with O'Shea bisecting the posts in the 34th minute. There were also scores for Cooke, Adam Gallagher (a free), Kevin Finn, Michael Daly and Enda Boland.
However, Roscommon always managed to keep their noses in front. Kilroy, Ronan Daly and Murtagh (a free) found the range before Kilbride and Murtagh sealed the deal.
"We really worked hard but we coughed up possession too. We worked really hard to win it back but then we gave it away as quick. Technically, we were poor but the workrate was very high,"said O'Donnell.
SCORERS - Roscommon: C Connolly 0-4 (3fs), C Murtagh 0-3 (3fs), N Kilroy 0-2, C Devaney, R Daly, S Kilbride 0-1 each. NUI Galway: P Cooke 0-3 (1f), C O'Shea, A Gallagher (1f), K Finn, M Daly, E Boland 0-1 each.
ROSCOMMON - D O'Malley; R Stack, S McDermott, R Daly; G Patterson, N Daly, C Cregg; F Kelly, I Kilbride; C Devaney, N Kilroy, S Oates; C Connolly, C Shine, C Murtagh. Subs: K Kilcline for Oates (h-t), S Kilbride for Kelly (46), F Cregg for Devaney (59), C McHugh for Connolly (59).
NUI GALWAY - D O'Sullivan; K McDonnell, D Cunnane, D Murray; J McManus, L Cullen, A Nolan; C O'Shea, P Cooke; S Moran, M Daly, A Gallagher; K Finn, E Finnerty, C Davey. Subs: E Boland for Cullen (18), S Conroy for Finnerty (25), A McCormack for Davey (35), A O'Connor for Nolan (44), O Gallagher for Moran (53), E Lavin for Gallagher (57).
REF - J Glavey (Mayo).