McKeon's early double puts Rossies in control
Roscommon 3-19 Sligo 2-10
Goals from Cian McKeon and Diarmuid Murtagh in the opening half laid the platform for a comfortable victory for unbeaten Roscommon at Kiltoom.
Kevin McStay's side, who also saw off Leitrim with ease a week earlier, dominated for the bulk of proceedings but two late Sligo goals in injury-time from Adrian Marren and Kyle Cawley put some degree of respectability on the scoreboard from the Yeats County's perspective.
McKeon grabbed his first goal in the fourth minute after being set up by Ciarán Lennon. The Boyle player added a second eight minutes later when Ciarán Murtagh set him up.
The visitors were very competitive, creating 15 scoring chances over the opening 35 minutes, and Stephen Coen, Nathan Mullen and Seán Carrabine gave the Roscommon defence plenty to think about.
Three points in succession from Mullen, Coen and midfielder James Clarke eroded the deficit to four points but a comical third Roscommon goal in the 31st minute put the match beyond Sligo's reach. Defender Eddie McGuinness fielded possession in his full-back line but goalkeeper Aidan Devaney couldn't hold his attempted back pass and Diarmuid Murtagh was left with the simplest task of firing into the empty net.
Leading by 3-8 to 0-8 at half-time, Roscommon disappeared over the horizon in the third quarter. Substitutes Donie Smith and Finbarr Cregg added some delightful points. Centre-forward Ciarán Murtagh was also in the groove with three fine efforts from play.
Sligo were struggling but a superb Pat Hughes catch allowed Marren to chip Roscommon goalkeeper Aaron Brady before Cawley added a second with aplomb soon afterwards.
Roscommon play Mayo in Dr Hyde Park on Sunday. Sligo have a bye.
SCORERS - Roscommon: C McKeon 2-1, D Murtagh 1-2 (1f), C Murtagh 0-5 (1f), D Smith 0-3, C Daly, F Lennon, Finbarr Cregg 0-2 each, C Lennon, P Kelly 0-1 each. Sligo: A Marren 1-2 (1f, 1'45), Kyle Cawley 1-0, S Coen 0-3 (1f), N Mullen 0-2, Keelan Cawley, J Clarke, P Hughes 0-1 each
ROSCOMMON - A Brady; S McDermott, J McManus, N McInerney; C Daly, S Mullooly, F Lennon; E Smith, Fintan Cregg; N Daly, C Murtagh, P Kelly; D Murtagh, C Lennon, C McKeon. Subs: H Darcy for Kelly (24, BC), D Murray for Mullooly (h-t), Finbarr Cregg for N Daly (h-t), D Smith for McKeon (h-t), T McKenna for F Lennon (54), P Domican for McInerney (54).
SLIGO - A Devaney; E McHugh, P Laffey, E McGuinness; K Cawley, P Kilcoyne, J Gillen; J Clarke, D Cummins; N Mullen, F Cawley, S Carrabine; S Coen, A Marren, K Cawley. Subs: G O'Kelly-Lynch for Gillen (h-t), M Gordan for McHugh (h-t), P Hughes for Coen (h-t), C Lally for Mullen (46), K Henry for Carrabine (57), P McNamara for Keelan Cawley (61).
REF - P Lydon (Mayo)
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