By Brían Mangan
Roscommon got their 2020 season underway with a 4 point win over Sligo in Markievocz Park this afternoon after an entertaining game in the FBD Quarter Final. A Cian McKeon goal midway through the second half just as Sligo were gaining momentum was the key score of the game as it came at a period Sligo were very much in the ascendency. Both sides will view this as a useful workout with the Allianz National League just around the corner.
Play was very rusty in the opening exchanges, understandable considering we are only in the first week of January. Plenty of shots were dropping short, passes going astray and balls being fumbled as Sligo dominated in the opening quarter but failed to capitalise on the score board. Andy Glennon and Henry Walsh were sharp inside for Roscommon and they combined for their first three points. Pat O’Connor converted his second free of the game in the twentieth minute to equalise the game 3 all but this sparked the Rossies into action and led by Shane Kiloran (who had 3 in the first period) and the direct Cian McKeon they scored the next 5 points on the trot to add some daylight between the sides. Liam Gaughan added his second class score of the half to narrow the gap to 4 before a sweetly struck Finbar Cregg made the score 0-9 0-4 at the half time whistle.
Sligo dominated the third quarter again, with the intensity in their tackling going up several notches. They were diving on every break, with Pat O’Connor adding some beautiful long range scores and Seán Carrabine excellent from wing back. With the wind at their backs it looked like the Yeats Men were going to kick on as they trailed 0-12 0-10 after 18 minutes before Roscommon struck for the games only goal which ultimately decided the contest. McKeon blocked down an attempted cross field pass around midfield and suddenly the entire defence was open infront of him as he bore down on goal. He played a swift one two with Ciaran Lennon, who showed well all afternoon, before blasting to the empty net and give Roscommon a five point advantage, which they held to the finish. Darragh Cummins made a late impact notching two points for Sligo towards the end, but Roscommon were able to see the game out through late scores from Lennon and McKeon to set them up a semi final in Carrick-on-Shannon next weekend.
Roscommon: A Brady, D Neary, B Stack, E Flynn, P Scott, E McGrath, R Hughes, T O’Rourke, S Kiloran (0-3), H Darcy, C McKeon (1-4,0-2fs), F Cregg (0-1f), A Glennon (0-2), C Lennon (0-2), H Walsh (0-2) SUBS D Ruane, R Daly, E Smith, E Nolan, C Cox (0-1f)
Sligo: A Devanney, JF Carr, E McHugh, M Gordon, N Mullen, P McNamara, S Carrabine, P O Connor (0-3fs), P Kilcoyne (0-1f), G O’Kelly-Lynch, C Griffin (0-1f), N Ewing, L Gaughan (0-5, 0-3fs), P Hughes, D Quinn SUBS: K Cawley, J O’Reilly, D Cummins (0-2), S Coen, E McGuinness