Johnson magic in Down victory
Down 1-21 Roscommon 1-16
Down always looked as if they would come out on top in this hard-fought encounter at McKenna Park, but it wasn't until Gareth Johnson fired to the Roscommon net with five minutes left that they could breathe easy.
For the Rossies, Robbie Fallon scored four first-half points, while Danny Toner notched up four points for the Mourne men.
A three-point spurt saw Roscommon lead by 0-9 to 0-8 at the break.
Down upped their work rate in the second-half and after 50 minutes were ahead 0-14 to 0-13. When Toner slotted his ninth free on 60 minutes Down led 0-17 to 0-14 and looked to be in command.
Gareth 'Magic' Johnson was introduced for a short cameo and rattled the back of the net to put Down six up.
All credit to Roscommon, who fought back strongly and Adrian Murphy scrambled home a loose ball to leave it 1-19 to 1-16.
Down, though, had the last word with points from Eoghan Sands and Mal Magee easing them over the finishing line.
Scorers - Down: D Toner (0-12, 10f); G Johnson (1-1); C O'Prey (0-3); E Sands (0-3); M Magee (0-2). Roscommon: R Fallon (0-8, 6f); N Connaughton (0-5); A Murphy (1-0); S Curley (0-1, 1f); J Kilkenny (0-1); J Coyne (0-1).
DOWN: S Keith 7; J McManus 8; M Hughes 8; S Ennis 7; J McGrath 7; C Woods 9; M Ennis 8; C O'Prey 8; D McManus 8; C Egan 7; C Teggart 6; C Bailie 6; E Sands 8; M Magee 8: D Toner 7 Subs: C Mageean for Teggart; G Johnston for Bailie; R Branagan for Egan.
Roscommon: J Fallon 7; M Beirne 7: D Loughnane 7; P Nolan 7; S Curley 8; E Flanagan 7; P Kellehan 7; C Coyle 6; H Rooney 7; A Finnerty 6; J Coyne 7; J Kilkenny 7; C Kenny 7; R Fallon 8; N Connaughton 8 Subs: A Murphy for Kenny; G Fallon for Coyle; G Egan for Finnerty; D Dolan for Fallon
Ref: Kevin Brady (Louth).