Donegal complete miserable week with relegation from Division One after Roscommon defeat

Roscommon 0-21 Donegal 0-9

Hugh McFadden of Donegal in action against, Roscommon players, from left, Ruaidhrí Fallon, Enda Smith, David Murray and Brian Stack

Donnchadh Boyle

A miserable week for Donegal GAA was compounded after their relegation from the top-flight was confirmed with defeat to Roscommon in Dr Hyde Park.

After being in the news for all the wrong reasons with the collapse of the county’s academy and the departure of manager Paddy Carr, Donegal needed a miracle to avoid the drop, starting with a win over the hosts.

However, that never looked likely as the home side ran out convincing winners with Donegal hitting just two second half points.

Roscommon’s handsome win wasn’t enough for Davy Burke’s men to force their way into a league final spot as Galway’s win over Kerry ensured they joined Mayo in the decider next week.

The teams went toe to toe early on and were level four times in the opening ten minutes but from there Roscommon took charge and kicked six of the next seven points.

Ben O’Carroll has been excellent for Roscommon in this league campaign and continued that form here kicking three first-half points and generally causing Donegal no end of problems. He might have added a goal to that tally but for a good save from Shaun Patton early on. The only worry for the Rossies was that O’Carroll didn’t reemerge after half time.

Donegal had some nice moments early on, not least when Eoghan Ban Gallagher tapped over a point that saw them move the ball the length of the field while Hugh McFadden at full forward offered a potential outlet.

But generally Roscommon were in charge. The finished the half with 12 points, 11 from play, registering just one wide and held a five-point advantage (0-2 to 0-7) at the interval.

Roscommon’s scoring rate slowed significantly in the second half with another couple of goal chances going abegging while Donegal didn’t register their first score of the second half until the 18th minute through Ciaran Thompson.

By that stage, Donegal’s confidence had long since disappeared.

News from Salthil confirmed that Roscommon’s league was over and they move on to their championship opener in a fortnight against Mayo in Castlebar while Doengal have until April 23 to regroup when they head for Newry to face Down.


Roscommon: D Murtagh (1f), E Smith, B O’Carroll, C Murtagh 0-3 each, K Doyle, C McKeon 0-2 each, T O’Rourke, N Daly, C Connolly, C Cox, B Stack 0-1 each.

Donegal: C Thompson 0-2, J Brennan, M Langan (1f), E Ban Gallagher, C McGonagle, J McKelvey, C O’Donnell, J Brennan 0-1 each.


Roscommon: C Carroll; C Hussey, B Stack, D Murray; N Daly, E McCormack, T O’Rourke; D Ruane, K Doyle; C Murtagh, N Kilroy, E Smith; D Murtagh, C Cox, B O’Carroll SUBS: R Fallon for O’Rourke (13), D Smith O’Carroll (HT), C McKeon for Kilroy, R Hughes for Daly (both 42), C Connolly for Cox (60).

Donegal: S Patton; M Curran, C Ward, M O’Reilly; JR Molloy, B McCole, E B Gallagher; M Langan, J McGee; C McGonagle, C Thompson, C O’Donnell; J McGroddy, H McFadden, J Brennan SUBS: J McKelvey for Langan, K Tobin for O’Reilly (both HT), K Dunleavy for McGroddy (42), J Bradley Walsh for McGee (66), B O’Donnel for Gallagher (70+2).

Referee: J McQuillan (Cavan)