Rossies dispose of Mulligan-inspired Leitrim
Roscommon 1-18 Leitrim 0-13
Roscommon overcame the challenge of Leitrim at Dr Hyde Park to get their Connacht championship campaign off to a winning start.
Scoring just six points after the interval, the foundations were laid in the opening 35 minutes and now advance to face the daunting challenge of Mayo in the Connacht semi-final.
From the offset the home side had Leitrim under the cosh with Cathal Cregg, Senan Kilbride, Ciaran Cafferkey and Kevin Higgins on the mark with early points as the visitors struggled to get to grips with their opponents in the provincial quarter-final.
Three pointed frees from star forward Emlyn Mulligan was as much as Leitrim could muster to stay in contention.
Roscommon were at this stage on top in many areas of the pitch and by time Leitrim’s Darren Sweeney was black-carded his side trailed 0-9 to 0-5 and yet to score from play.
Ciran Murtagh and Kevin Higgins added further scores and just before the half-time whistle they effectively ended the contest when they raised the green flag.
Ronan Stack finished off the move that saw the Division Three league champions take an interval lead of 1-12 to 0-05.
The Rossies opened the scoring in the second period but this was quickly followed by Leitrim’s first point from play for the day courtesy of Kevin Higgins, which sparked a mini-revival.
Mulligan again was unerring from a free, Kevin Conlon pointed with a perfectly executed 45 and Wayne McKeon reduce the gap to seven points.
Mulligan was now exerting the kind of influence we have come to expect from the marksman, with a brace of quick-fire scores, though the gap remained at a healthy six points from a Roscommon perspective.
The gap proved too much for the visitors and the final two pints of the game put a gloss on the scoreline, though the second-half will have given John Evans plenty of food for thought.
An improvement is required to stand any chance of a shock victory against Mayo in the semi-final.