Wednesday 13 December 2017

Dalton strikes late to earn first point for Wicklow

Roscommon 0-13 Wicklow 1-10

Jacko Dalton poached an injury-time goal to give Wicklow their first point of the season at Dr Hyde Park.

Conor McGraynor's 40-metre free wasn't dealt with by Roscommon and the Wicklow substitute reacted quickest, blasting the ball beyond goalkeeper Geoffrey Claffey.

It was a sickening blow for the home side who had opened up a five-point lead at the end of the third quarter. But they spurned a number of chances and Wicklow, helped by the arrival of McGraynor and Dalton, stuck to their task to rescue an unlikely point.

The opening half was desperate viewing for the small attendance. Corner-forward John McGrath was the visitors' sole scorer from frees and open play.

Roscommon, inspired by wing-back Conor Daly, were marginally better and a brace of frees from Cathal Shine and Donal Smith, alongside points from play by Kevin Higgins, Daly (two) and Shine gave John Evans' men a 0-7 to 0-5 interval advantage.

A point from Wicklow midfielder James Sheerin inside a minute of the new half, eroded the deficit, but points from Michael Finneran, Daly and two fine efforts from Smith put Roscommon in the driving seat and, seemingly, on course for victory.

McGraynor kicked two frees and a '45,' but David O'Gara and McGrath swapped points to leave Roscommon three points to the good entering injury-time.

Dalton's green flag stunned the home side. However, they still had a chance to win it, but Cathal Cregg miscued his effort from 30 metres.

Man of the Match: C Daly (Roscommon).

SCORERS – Roscommon: C Daly, D Smith (1f), C Shine (1f) 0-3 each, D O'Gara 0-2, K Higgins, M Finneran 0-1 each. Wicklow: J McGrath 0-6 (4f), C McGraynor 0-3 (2f, 1 45), J Dalton 1-0, J Sheerin 0-1.

ROSCOMMON – G Claffey 6; N Collins 6, N Carty 6, S McDermott 6; D Keenan 6, N Daly 6, C Daly 8; M Finneran 7, K Higgins 6; F Cregg 5, D O'Gara 7, D Keane 5; D Smith 7, C Shine 7, C Devaney 5. Subs: J Connaughton 5 for F Cregg (56), C Cregg 5 for Keane (59), S Oates 5 for Devaney (67).

WICKLOW – J Flynn 6; C Hyland 6, J Kelly 6, P Cunningham 5; D Hayden 6, A Byrne 6, D Healy 6; J Sheerin 6, A McLoughlin 7; N Mernagh 5, P MacWalter 7, P Earls 5; A O'Malley 6, J Stafford 6, J McGrath 8. Subs: P Dalton 5 for Earls (12), C McGraynor 7 for Dalton (41), R Finn 5 for Sheerin (55), J Dalton 7 for Mernagh (56), S Byrne 6 for McGrath (70).

REF – J Henry (Mayo).

Irish Independent

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