Rossies find more southern comfort
Roscommon 4-25 Cork 3-10
Published 29/02/2016 | 02:30
With 4-22 from play, 12 different scorers and a second win in Munster in succession, these 70 minutes belonged to Roscommon football.
The Connacht men produced a performance that made former manager John Evans' claim that they could go all the way to the top suddenly not seem so fanciful with wins away to Cork and Kerry making for an impressive start to life in Division 1.
No one is suggesting that they'll be there in September but there is serious potential in this side which is reflected in the sizeable Roscommon support that travelled south for the game.
This was also a story of Cork. As brilliant as Roscommon were, Cork were marked absent for long periods. Gone were the team from the first round that sliced through Mayo in Páirc Uí Rinn. They actually grabbed the first goal of the game on 13 minutes but that only sparked Roscommon into life.
Roscommon can work it through the hands to willing runners or they can go direct to Senan Kilbride. Their first goal came from the latter option when Fintan Cregg's centre came down in Kilbride's area. He held off Eoin Cadogan to gather and lashed the ball to the net to give his side real momentum.
Cork weren't helping their own cause at this stage. The stats around kick-outs won't make for good reading and with Roscommon dominating possession, they were lining up to score. When the excellent Fintan Cregg tapped over in the 31st minute, all six of their starting forwards had scored from play.
That score put Roscommon five points up and Cork needed half-time to come quickly. Instead, they lost another kick-out and Ian Kilbride found Cathal Cregg who had plenty to do but still managed to find the roof of the net.
By the time David Coldrick brought the first half to a close, they led by 2-13 to 1-7 with all of their scores coming from play.
The game looked done at that stage but those present still expected some sort of reaction from the hosts. Damningly, it never materialised. Roscommon hit the first 1-2 of the second half which included their first score from a placed ball of the game.
Ciaran Murtagh grabbed the goal and he'd find the net again with just over 15 minutes to go as Roscommon showed a remarkable blood lust. Murtagh's second strike put their lead at an incredible 20 points as Cork simply limped towards the finish line.
Their final tally of 3-10 - usually enough to win a game - is probably a generous reflection of their performance. Peter Kelleher's two-goal haul saw him emerge with some credit as did Luke Connolly who grabbed their third goal. Otherwise, it was an afternoon to forget for Cork football as a trip to Croke Park to face the All-Ireland champions looms this weekend.
"We'll have to review everything," Cork manager Peadar Healy admitted afterwards. "There's obviously an awful lot of work to be done. We need to get back to basics to start with that's for sure."
"I just feel leaving the pitch there today that there's an awful lot of work to be done. We as a management have to come up with answers and that's it. We'd be hoping to turn the tide around. We're after three games now in the league, two bad results and a good result. We just need to go back to basics now.
"(Roscommon) were very good and exceptionally fit. I'd love to see their wides stat, it was phenomenal. If you score 3-10 at home ... if you'd said this morning we'd score 3-10, you'd say we've a chance of winning this game but we were beaten by double scores. It was a great performance by them but it's a bad result for us and it's a bad result for Cork football. It's a long time since Cork were beaten like that at home.
"It's unacceptable, absolutely. We the management have to come up with answers and find answers fairly fast and fairly soon."
Roscommon joint-manager Fergal O'Donnell was enjoying being on he right side of a one-sided game.
"I was on the receiving end against Mayo a few times and in 2009 managing the biggest defeat Roscommon ever saw! But I don't recall ever being on the winning end against a top team like that."
"The biggest thing for us is to be playing in Division 1. The pitch was unbelievable and to be playing against players with All-Ireland medals is what our lads need. It was one of those days, you know it won't happen every day, I think we scored (4-22) from play, you need to be realistic. Things went well for us and they didn't go for Cork.
"We put a lot of work in, we stayed at the Silver Springs and we met this morning. Of course, you do have doubts when you're coming over but we're thrilled.
"We won't get carried away, you're never as good as you think when you win like that. Cork could have a few goals and we'd be disappointed with the goals we gave away because when it comes to scoring difference we'll regret some of them.
"We did kick some great scores but it was a bit over-flamboyant at the end, I suppose the crowd were getting a bit carried away."
O'Donnell went off insisting that the target remains to stay in Division 1 this campaign though attempts to keep a lid on expectations will be futile if they produce more performances like this.
Cork face the longest of weeks before a daunting trip to Croke Park.
"It's unacceptable, absolutely," Healy agreed.
"We the management have to come up with answers and find answers fairly fast and fairly soon."
SCORERS - Roscommon: C Murtagh 2-3 (1f), F Cregg 0-5 (2f), C Cregg 1-2, C Devaney 0-4, S Kilbride 1-1, C Connolly 0-3, E Smith 0-2, N Daly, N Collins, D Murray, C Shine, D Murray 0-1 each.
Cork: L Connolly 1-3 (1 '45), P Kelleher 2-0, D Goulding 0-4 (3f), P Kerrigan, C O'Neill (1f), B Hurley 0-1 each.
Roscommon - G Claffey 7; S McDermott 8, N Collins 8, N McInerney 8; N Daly 8, S Purcell 8, D Murray 8; E Smith 9, I Kilbride 8; F Cregg 9, C Murtagh 9, C Devaney 9; C Connolly 9, S Kilbride 8, C Cregg 9. Subs: C Daly 8 for N Daly (26), R Daly 7 for C Cregg (54), R Stack 7 for Purcell (58), J McManus 7 for Murray, C Shine 7 for F Cregg (both 60), C McHugh for Murtagh (63), B Murtagh for McManus (64).
Cork - K O'Halloran 5; C O'Driscoll 5, E Cadogan 4, J Loughrey 5; T Clancy 6, M Shields 5, B O'Driscoll 5; A O'Sullivan 4, I Maguire 5; M Collins 4, P Kerrigan 6, L Connolly 7; D Goulding 6, P Kelleher 7, B Hurley 5. Subs: S Kiely 5 for O'Sullivan, K Crowley 5 for Shields (both h-t), R Deane 5 for Collins, J O'Sullivan 5 for Loughrey (both 46), C O'Neill 6 for Goulding (50), D Macon for Hurley (66).
Ref - D Coldrick (Meath)