CONNACHT SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTER-FINAL
By David Hennessy at Ruislip Emerald GAA Grounds
It is a qualifier route once again for Paul Coggins’ London as Roscommon booked their place in a Connacht semi-final with a seven point victory in Ruislip on Sunday.
The visitors were in control from early on and once they built up a six point advantage, they would keep that distance between themselves and London. Roscommon were too quick for London at times, breaking quickly and finishing so clinically that the hosts were just punished for every mistake.
Ciarán Murtagh’s second half goal was the hammer blow that ended any hopes of a London fight back.
The game was not all one-way traffic and London had their fair share of opportunities and will rue the large number of wides they hit during this encounter, particularly in the second half as they tried to force their way back into the game and Roscommon were no longer scoring prolifically.
The Rossies established a lead in the opening minutes, with scores from Donie Shine (a free), Cathal Shine from distance and Enda Smith who took the ball from Scott Conroy and once he had created the opportunity, made no mistake.
Although the early signs were not good for London, Paul Coggins’ team did fight their way back into it by the seventh minute with an Adrian Moyles free, won by Lorcan Mulvey, and an Alan O’Hara score that came after the Roscommon native showed the skill to beat several Roscommon tackles and palm over.
To within a point was as close as London would get to Roscommon for the remainder of the match. Enda Smith stretched the visiting team’s lead with a good score from distance before Diarmuid Murtagh found a good score from out on the right wing.
While London struggled to create opportunities, Roscommon increased their lead to four points when Enda Smith left Martin Carroll behind for his third score.
London’s Cathal Greene was shown the black card, perhaps harshly, for his hard tackle on Neil Collins, forcing London to change some personnel.
With London on the offensive, Scott Conroy’s ball could not find Alan O’Hara and Roscommon were able to break with Ciarán Murtagh pointing. Roscommon showed their class in this way several times, pouncing on a misplaced London ball and once in possession, they broke quickly and had taken their point before London were able to re-group.
Enda Smith got away from London’s Martin Carroll, Donnacha McCarthy and Caomhin Carty for a great individual score late in the first half that stretched Roscommon’s lead to six points. This was a gap London would not manage to close.
Lorcan Mulvey produced three points, two from frees, for London before the half-time whistle blew but all were cancelled out by Roscommon scores. His free, London’s first score in roughly 20 minutes, was cancelled out when London were over-run with Donie Shine passing to Ian Kilbride who palmed over the bar. Another Mulvey free was answered by a Ciarán Murtagh point that followed another swift Roscommon break after misplaced a pass in the final third. Mulvey finished off a neat passing move involving Donnacha McCarthy and Scott Conroy only for a Donie Shine free to maintain Roscommon‘s six point advantage. At the midway point, the score was 0-11 to 0-5 in favour of Roscommon.
For the full report, see this week’s Irish World.