Evans purring after Cregg fires Roscommon to facile triumph
Roscommon 1-21 Limerick 0-13
A superb first-half performance laid the foundations for a facile Roscommon victory at Kiltoom.
John Evans' charges played a delightful brand of flowing football to rip the Limerick defence to shreds and build up an unassailable 14-point lead at the interval. The visitors improved in the second half as Roscommon slackened off, but they had left themselves with too much to do.
"You'd have to be pleased when you put up 1-14 in the first half. We played some scintillating stuff and you can see that the players' confidence is growing,'' Evans said. "The style of football we're playing is good. But the second half would lead us to believe that we've a good bit of work to do."
Enda Smith curled over a point inside 30 seconds to set the trend for the opening 35 minutes. Man of the match Cathal Cregg and Limerick full-forward John Mullane swapped points, but by the time John Brudair's side scored again, Roscommon had disappeared over the horizon.
A rampant home side hit nine points without reply with Cregg, Senan Kilbride and Diarmuid Murtagh tormenting the Limerick full-back line. Wing-forward Conor Daly pitched in with three points as Roscommon ran riot.
Limerick created a couple of goal chances, but all they had to show for their efforts was a '45' from Eoin Hanrahan and a free from Ian Ryan. Meanwhile, Roscommon goaled in the 30th minute when Smith unselfishly squared the ball for Murtagh to find the net. Two further points from the in-form Cregg gave Roscommon a healthy 1-14 to 0-3 advantage at the break.
The second half continued in similar fashion with Daly, Cregg, Donal Shine (free) and Kevin Higgins finding the target. Limerick mustered up some sort of challenge with six points in succession midway through the half, but the damage was done.
With three wins from three, Evans was already turning his attention towards a trip to Fermanagh next weekend.
"We're consolidating our position in the division at the moment. The big thing about this league is that the middle game shows where you are. It will decide where you're going to go, so next Sunday in Fermanagh becomes hugely important now."
SCORERS – Roscommon: C Cregg 0-7, D Murtagh 1-2, D Shine (2f, 1'45), C Daly 0-4 each, S Kilbride 0-2 (1f), E Smith, K Higgins 0-1 each. Limerick: I Ryan 0-4 (3fs), S Buckley 0-2, J Mullane, E Hanrahan ('45), M Brosnan, J Riordan, I Corbett, S Lucey, S O'Carroll ('45) 0-1 each.
ROSCOMMON – D O'Malley 6; N Collins 7, N Carty 7, S McDermott 7; D Keenan 6, N Daly 7, C Cafferky 7; K Higgins 6, C Shine 6; E Smith 7, D Shine 7, C Daly 8; S Kilbride 7, C Cregg 9, D Murtagh 7. Subs: D O'Gara 5 for E. Smith (43), R Stack 5 for Collins (49), D Keane 5 for O'Gara (53), M Nally 5 for C Daly (56), D Smith 5 for Cregg (60), F Cregg 5 for Murtagh (60).
LIMERICK – D O'Sullivan 7; J McCarthy 6, P Browne 6, M O'Riordan 6; J Riordan 6, I Corbett 7, S O'Meara 5; G Hegarty 5, T Lee 6; M Brosnan 6, E Hanrahan 6, S Buckley 7; G Collins 5, J Mullane 6, I Ryan 6. Subs: S Lucey 6 for O'Meara (26), S O'Carroll 6 for Hegarty (30), D Treacey 5 for Collins (38), K Phair 5 for Mullane (53), M Fitzgibbon 5 for Hanrahan (55), D McCarthy 5 for Brosnan (57).
REF – N Ward (Westmeath)