Saturday 24 March 2018

Finneran's late point steals it for Rossies

Roscommon 0-8 Monaghan 0-7

Michael Finneran kicked the winning score in injury-time as Roscommon's late rally left Division 3 front-runners Monaghan reeling at a bitterly cold Dr Hyde Park.

The visitors were 0-7 to 0-4 to the good in a dreadful game with eight minutes remaining, but four unanswered points – including Finneran's spectacular winner – left Roscommon manager John Evans in buoyant mood afterwards.

"We've great spirit," he said. "We have guys in there and every single one of them have been training hard. There are a lot of young lads as well, and they just wanted to have a cut and stand up to teams like Monaghan. The battling quality is beginning to come back."

Roscommon, who were still missing a host of first-choice players, were 0-5 to 0-2 behind at half-time, having played into the teeth of a strong wind.

The visitors had to rely on points from Conor McManus, Owen Duffy, Kieran Hughes, Owen Lennon and Darren Hughes, while Roscommon replied with a Donie Smith free and a fine effort from play by Cathal Cregg.

James Connaughton pared the margin back to two points early in the second half but points from Paul Finlay and Kieran Hughes left Malachy O'Rourke's charges 0-7 to 0-3 ahead by the end of the third quarter.

Roscommon wing-back Conor Daly then kicked a fine score as the pendulum swung quickly in their favour, with Smith, Kevin Higgins and Cregg bringing the sides level.

Then, in the first minute of injury-time, Roscommon recycled possession and Finneran landed a booming effort from 45 metres.

Man of the match: N Daly (Roscommon)

SCORERS – Roscommon: D Smith (2fs), C Cregg (1f) 0-2 each, J Connaughton, R Daly, K Higgins, M Finneran 0-1 each. Monaghan: K Hughes 0-2, C McManus (1f), O Duffy, O Lennon, D Hughes, P Finlay (1f) 0-1 each.

ROSCOMMON – D O'Malley 8; N Collins 7, N Carty 7, S McDermott 8; D Keenan 7, N Daly 9, C Daly 7; M Finneran 8, K Higgins 7; C Cregg 7, J Connaughton 8, F Cregg 6; D Smith 7, S Oates 5, C Devaney 6. Subs: D McDermott 5 for Oates (10), E Smith 6 for McDermott (49), I Kilbride 5 for F Cregg (52), C Dineen 5 for Devaney (57).

MONAGHAN – R Beggan 6; D Mone 6, R McNally 7, K Duffy 6; C Walshe 6, D Hughes 8, D Wylie 6; O Lennon 7, N McAdam 6; G Doogan 6, K Hughes 7, O Duffy 6; C McManus 6, P Finlay 7, D Malone 6. Subs: V Corey 5 for K Duffy (53), D Clerkin 5 for O Duffy (59), S Gollogly 5 for Doogan (66), M Keogh 5 for Beggan (66).

REF – D O'Mahony (Tipperary)

Irish Independent

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