Cregg gives Rossies the edge in dour contest
Roscommon 0-12 Sligo 1-6
Roscommon edged a poor game at Dr Hyde Park to make it six wins out of seven for the campaign.
There was nothing at stake for both sides and as a result the match lacked bite for long periods.
The home side roused themselves for the second half. They recovered from the concession of a soft goal by James Kilcullen in the 48th minute to land the next five scores, and that was the difference between the sides.
The Sligo full-forward line was lively early on. Three frees from Niall Murphy were followed by a delightful effort from play by Stephen Coen.
Roscommon only had a Cathal Cregg point but they improved and points from Cregg, Donie Shine and Donie Smith tied up the match by the 31st minute.
Sligo ensured they took a slender advantage to the break when substitute Adrian Marren found the target to give the Yeats County a 0-5 to 0-4 lead.
Two Smith frees pushed the Rossies back in front inside the opening nine minutes of the new half, but Sligo hit back when substitute Keelan Cawley squared possession for Kilcullen to finish to the net.
Roscommon responded instantly with a point from Cregg that was sandwiched between two fine efforts by substitute Colin Compton.
Donall Keane and Smith tagged on further scores before Pat Hughes pulled one back for Sligo.
Cregg eased the home support's nerves in injury time when he availed of a slip by Ross Donovan to register his side's 12th score.
Roscommon manager John Evans admitted that his side were far from their best.
"Nobody could be happy with that performance. There may be a plus to winning your first five games in the league but there's a minus as well, and the minus is the last two games when they don't count for anything. It's hard to get guys motivated," he said.
SCORERS – Roscommon: C Cregg, D Smith (2fs) 0-4 each, C Compton 0-2, D Shine, D Keane 0-1 each. Sligo: J Kilcullen 1-0, N Murphy (3fs) 0-3, S Coen, A Marren, P Hughes 0-1 each.
ROSCOMMON - R O'Reilly 7; S McDermott 6, N Carty 6, N Collins 6; D Keenan 8, N Daly 6, D Donnelly 6; C Shine 6, K Higgins 6; C Burns 5, D Shine 6, F Cregg 5; S Kilbride 5, C Cregg 8, D Smith 7. Subs: C Compton 6 for Burns, D Keane 6 for F Cregg, C Murtagh 5 for Kilbride (all h-t), M Finneran 5 for C Shine (58), D Flynn 5 for C Cregg (69).
SLIGO - V Cadden 6; R Donovan 6, G Ryan 6, B Walsh 6; M Quinn 6, J Martyn 6, L Bree 6; J Kilcullen 7, S McManus 7; V Frizzel 5, B O'Mahony 5, D O'Boyle 5; J Quinn 5, N Murphy 7, S Coen 7. Subs: A Marren 6 for Quinn (29), K Cawley 6 for O'Boyle, M Breheny 5 for O'Mahony, B Egan 5 for Frizzel (all h-t), P Hughes 5 for Kilcullen (55), K McDonnell 5 for Walsh (61).
REF – M McNally (Monaghan).
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