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Freeman sends Roscommon packing

Alan Freeman's late free floored Roscommon as IT Sligo snatched victory in their Connacht FBD Insurance League opener yesterday.

Stephen Coen's impressive haul of 1-3 in a low-scoring encounter was crucial for the students at their Ballinode ground yesterday.

Roscommon had the better of the opening quarter to lead by 1-2 to 1-1, with both teams dispatching penalties inside the first six minutes: Senan Kilbride struck first for the visitors, with Coen hitting back.

The hosts, though, squeezed in front by half-time, with points from Eugene Keating and Coen putting them 1-3 to 1-2 ahead.

Roscommon dominated much of the proceedings after the interval, but three unanswered points -- frees from Kilbride and Ger Heneghan and a Colm Garvey effort -- was a poor return for their possession. They should have been ahead by much more than two points -- 1-5 to 1-3 -- on 49 minutes.

IT Sligo came back into the game forcefully in the closing period and flurry of three points in a six-minute spell -- a Coen free and scores from Sean Kelly and Freeman -- propelled them back into a 1-6 to 1-5 lead again.

Heneghan did level matters again with a 57th-minute free for Roscommon. However, the home side claimed the win courtesy of Freeman's free a minute later.

SCORERS -- IT Sligo : S Coen 1-3 (1-0 pen, 0-1f), A Freeman 0-2 (0-1f), E Keating, S Kelly 0-1 each. Roscommon: S Kilbride 1-1 (0-1f), G Heneghan 0-2 (0-2f), C McHugh, K Higgins , C Garvey 0-1 each.

IT Sligo -- A Faherty (Galway, capt); D Reynolds (Leitrim), B Gilleran (Longford), S Boyle (Donegal); C Greene (Donegal), G Reynolds (Leitrim), K Cawley (Sligo); D Givney (Cavan), E Keating (Cavan); G Gaughan (Sligo), A Costello (Sligo), S Kelly (Mayo); S Coen (Sligo), S Henry (Sligo), D Cummins (Galway). Subs: A Freeman (Mayo) for Henry (35 mins) S Ryder (Fermanagh) for Kelly (55 mins), C Murrin (Donegal) for Gaughan (55 mins).

Roscommon -- G Claffey; S McDermott, M Killilea, P Duignan; S Purcell (capt), C Garvey, J Rogers; M O'Carroll, P Freeman; J Connaughton, B Higgins, K Higgins; C McHugh, S Kilbride, G Heneghan. Subs: D Kearney for Killilea (19 mins), T Kelly for Connaughton (37 mins), D Hussey for Kilbride (59 mins).

Ref -- R McBrien (Leitrim).

Irish Independent