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Rossies have plenty to work on ahead of decider with Galway

Roscommon 2-18 Sligo 1-16

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Pat Hughes of Sligo takes a tumble under pressure from Roscommon’s Garry Patterson. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Pat Hughes of Sligo takes a tumble under pressure from Roscommon’s Garry Patterson. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Pat Hughes of Sligo takes a tumble under pressure from Roscommon’s Garry Patterson. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Anthony Cunningham insisted that his Roscommon charges are very much a "work in progress" after seeing off Sligo to reach their sixth FBD Connacht League final in succession.

The Yeats County, inspired by corner forward Niall Murphy, deservedly led by four points at the break. However, the home side, with a strong wind at their backs, turned things around in the second half.

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Cunningham: “You’d always be happy with a win but it’s a work in progress.” Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Cunningham: “You’d always be happy with a win but it’s a work in progress.” Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

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Enda Smith's 49th-minute goal set up his side for another tilt at Galway - the fifth year in-a-row that both counties will meet in the final of the province's pre-season competition.

"You'd always be happy with a win but it's a work in progress," said Cunningham (above). "It was nice to get a good match. There's a lot of tidying up from our point of view.

"There were a lot of unforced errors and we'll be looking at that strenuously during the week. But we're looking forward to playing Galway next Sunday."

Roscommon started with intent and Shane Killoran, his side's best player, netted after he fastened himself to a loose hop-ball that was awarded for a kickout infringement.

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Donie Smith of Roscommon in action against John Francis Carr of Sligo. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Donie Smith of Roscommon in action against John Francis Carr of Sligo. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

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When Smith clipped over a point to give Roscommon a 1-4 to 0-2 lead after 17 minutes, Cunningham's charges looked set to experience a very comfortable afternoon at the office.

But Sligo, and particularly the impressive Murphy, had other ideas. The Coolera/Strandhill forward kicked a couple of wonderful long-range points before slotting home a 24th-minute penalty when Patrick O'Connor was fouled after Brian McGowan had intercepted a poor kickout from Darren O'Malley.

Luke Towey also pitched in with two points from play and suddenly Paul Taylor's side were in control, leading by 1-10 to 1-6 at half time.

But it was soon Roscommon's turn to keep the scoreboard ticking over as they hit 1-4 without reply during the opening 15 minutes of the second half.

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Donie Smith of Roscommon in action against Peter Laffey of Sligo. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Donie Smith of Roscommon in action against Peter Laffey of Sligo. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

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Ronan Daly, Donie Smith, Niall Kilroy and Caoileann Fitzmaurice raised white flags before Enda Smith's fisted effort got the slightest of touches off a Sligo defender and ended up in the back of the net.

Murphy and impressive substitute Pat Hughes kept Sligo's chances alive but Donie Smith and Colin Compton, who produced a three-point cameo off the bench, guided the Rossies over the finishing line.

"We switched off, and that would be a concern," added Cunningham. "At any level, you can't switch off to that extent, no matter where you're playing. On the positive side, we scored freely and we scored well, and we worked very, very hard.

"The spread of scorers was good. But it's early days, and, for us, it's heads down for the week. Next Sunday will be another day's work to prepare for the League. It's good to be in the final."

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Shane Kiloran of Roscommon shoots to score his side's first goal. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Shane Kiloran of Roscommon shoots to score his side's first goal. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Scorers - Roscommon: E Smith 1-3 (1f), S Killoran 1-1, D Smith (1f), C Compton 0-3 each, N Kilroy 0-2, C Cregg (1f), C Daly, C Lennon (1f), R Daly, C Fitzmaurice, N Daly 0-1 each. Sligo: N Murphy 1-8 (1 pen, 4f), L Towey 0-3, S Carrabine (2f), P Hughes (2f) 0-2 each, P Kilcoyne 0-1.

ROSCOMMON - D O'Malley; G Patterson, S Mullooly, C Daly; C Hussey, N Daly, R Daly; T O'Rourke, C Fitzmaurice; S Killoran, E Smith, N Kilroy; D Smith, C Lennon, C Cregg. Subs: D Pettit for Mullooly (28), H Darcy for Lennon (53), A Lyons for Cregg (55), E McGrath for Patterson (57), C Compton for Kilroy (61).

SLIGO - A Devaney; N Mullen, P Laffey, JF Carr; K Cawley, P McNamara, G O'Kelly-Lynch; P Kilcoyne, D Cummins; S Carrabine, P O'Connor, L Towey; B McGowan, D Quinn, N Murphy. Subs: A McIntyre for Cummins (44), P Hughes for Quinn (46), A Marren for McGowan (58), L Nicholson for Mullen (59), A McLaughlin for Towey (65).

REF - J Henry (Mayo).

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