Wednesday 20 February 2019

Delight for Anthony Cunningham as Roscommon upset Galway in FBD league final

Roscommon 0-13 Galway 1-5

20 January 2019; Enda Smith of Roscommon lifts the cup following the Connacht FBD League Final match between Galway and Roscommon at Tuam Stadium in Galway. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
20 January 2019; Enda Smith of Roscommon lifts the cup following the Connacht FBD League Final match between Galway and Roscommon at Tuam Stadium in Galway. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Anthony Cunningham’s term as Roscommon manager got off to the best possible start as his well-organised side out-classed Galway in the FBD Connacht League final in Tuam Stadium.

Roscommon are among the favourites for relegation from Division 1 of the upcoming Allianz football League but if the evidence of this game counts for anything then Galway are more likely to be in trouble.

Granted, they were below strength but most of those who were trying to make an impression ahead of the opening Division 1 game against Cavan next Sunday did themselves no favours.

Roscommon had all the answers, which they delivered effectively after a goal by Barry McHugh drew Galway level in the 44th minute.

They managed just one more point while Roscommon added six to secure a morale-boosting win which leaves them in a good position as they prepare for their League opener against Mayo.

They led by 0-6 to 0-4 after a  fractious first half in which Mayo referee, Liam Devenney booked four players and sent Galway’s Gary O’Donnell and Ciaran Duggan to the ‘sin bin’ for black card offences.

There was also a serious flare-up on the half hour mark, with around 20 players involved in an incident in front of the stand. When it calmed down, Galway corner-forward Barry McHugh and Roscommon corner-back,  Evan McGrath  were booked, while many others, who were equally guilty, escaped censure

Roscommon were generally the better side throughout the half, using direct ball to far greater effect than Galway, whose build-ups were often slow and laborious.

It was level at 0-2 each after 20 minutes before Roscommon kicked three points during O’Donnell’s time in the ‘sin bin’.

He marked his return by kicking his second point, after which McHugh cut the deficit to one before Donie Smith fired over Roscommon’s sixth point.

Smith took his total to eight in the second half of a niggly game which produced no fewer than 12 yellow cards.

Scorers: Roscommon: D Smith 0-8 (5f), C Lennon 0-2, S Killoran, U Harney, C Compton 0-1 each.

Galway: B McHugh 1-1 (0-1f), G O’Donnell, S Walsh (1f) 0-2 each.

Roscommon: D O’Malley; D Murray, C Daly, E McGrath; C Hussey, N Daly, R Daly; T O’Rourke, E Smith; N Kilroy, C Compton, S Kiloran; D Smith, C Lennon, C Cregg.

Subs: G Patterson for Killoran (17), U Harney for Murray (35+3), A Lyons for Kilroy (52), C Fitzmaurice for Cregg (61),H Darcy for O’Rourke (67)

Galway: R Lavelle; D Kyne, SA O Ceallaigh, E Kerin; S Kelly, G Bradshaw, G O’Donnell; T Flynn, C Duggan; J Heaney, J Duane, F Cooney; B McHugh, M Daly, S Walsh.

Subs: D Wynne for Kyne (27), C Darcy for Daly (ht), P Cooke for Cooney (50), P Cunningham for Duane (62, D Cummins for Flynn (67).

Ref - L Devenney (Mayo)

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