Category: Archive

Roscommon slog past Donegal

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Malachy Clerkin

DUBLIN — Who says there’s no merit to the National Football League? After Sunday’s final round of group matches, the much-maligned league, for all its supposed flaws, has thrown up some highly interesting matchups for the semifinals, not the least of which is a repeat of last year’s astonishing All-Ireland semifinal between Meath and Kerry in Div. 2. Sean Boylan’s men won that game by 15 points and, having been sent home with their tails firmly between their legs, Kerry will certainly be out for revenge. Pride more so than progress will be at issue. The other Div. 2 semifinal will be between Laois and Armagh. In Div. 1, a rejuvenated Roscommon will take on a similarly sprightly Cavan, and Tyrone — perhaps the form team in the country at the minute — will face Mayo.

Relegation and promotion issues were also at stake last Sunday. Taking the plunge from Div. 1A will be Offaly and Westmeath, neither of whom have been able to reproduce a hint of the form they showed last summer. They will be replaced by Armagh and Kerry. The losers in Div. 1B are Clare and Derry, who, after some wretched post-Christmas displays, will be replaced by Meath and Laois.

Div. 1A

Roscommon 2-13, Donegal 1-12

A noble effort, this from two teams that could have been forgiven for going through the motions on what was a filthy day in Roscommon. A total of 28 scores was staggering given the severity of the rain and wind and, in the end, Roscommon’s sprinted start was the difference.

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They led by 1-6 to 0-1 after half an hour and although Donegal mounted a spirited fight back, Roscommon were always a step or two quicker and a score or two better on the day.

Roscommon 2-13: S. Lohan 1-5 (1-4 frees), N. Dineen 0-5 (0-3 frees), G. Cox 1-1, S. O’Neill 0-1, J. Dunning 0-1. Donegal 1-12: A. Sweeney 1-4 (1-0 pen, 3 frees), C. McFadden 0-3, B. McLoughlin 0-2, M. Hegarty 0-2 (both frees), K. Rafferty 0-1.

Galway 1-12, Dublin 1-12

By the width of their fingernails did they hold on, but hold on Dublin did to preserve their top-flight status for next year. Twice in the dying minutes they struck an upright in search of the equalizing point that would keep them up, but then substitute Paul Casey popped up to dissect the posts and that was that.

Every one of Galway’s side was an All-Ireland winner and although they were without Michael Donnellan, to draw with a side of their quality will give Dublin great hope going into the summer.

Galway 1-12: P. Joyce 0-6 (2 frees), K. Comer 1-1, D. Savage 0-3, J. Donnellan 0-2 (1 free). Dublin 1-12: R. Cosgrove 1-4 (2 frees), S. Connell 0-3, E. Crennan, C. Whelan 0-2, P. Casey 0-1.

Offaly 1-11, Westmeath 0-12

This was a fabulous game, a massive crowd, a great advertisement for the league. Pity none of it mattered. Despite serving up one of the best spectacles seen in Tullamore for years, both these sides were relegated, each paying the price for wintering indifferently. But both sides will take encouragement from the game, Offaly in the manner in which they tore Westmeath apart early on and Westmeath in the fact that they rediscovered some of their form from last summer in clawing their way back. The summer could hold sweetness for either of these teams yet.

Offaly 1-11: P. Kellaghan 0-3 (2 frees), J. Reynolds 1-0, C. Quinn 0-2, J. Hurst 0-1, K. Slattery 0-1, C. McManus 0-1 (free), P. Mulhare 0-1, A. McNamee 0-1, D. Ryan 0-1. Westmeath 0-12: J. Fallon 0-6 (3 frees, 1 45), J.P. Casey 0-5 (4 frees), M. Flanagan 0-1.

Cork 2-13, Tyrone 1-15

Now that’s the way to stave off relegation. Thunder in to an early lead — 0-10 to 0-3 by halftime. Grab a goal early into the second half just so you’re comfortable. And then quit for a half an hour while one of the best young teams the country’s seen in years waltzes its way through you to go into a two-point lead deep into injury time. Then bring on a young sub, wet behind the ears and not at all looking like he’ll trouble anybody, and sit back and watch while he scores the winning goal from nothing in the 518th and final minute of your league campaign. Good old Cork, they never do things by halves.

Cork 2-13: F. Murray 1-3, C. Corkery 0-3 (3 frees), M. O’Sullivan 1-0, J. O’Donoghue 0-2, C. Murphy 0-2, C. Crowley 0-2, S. Levis 0-1. Tyrone 1-15: P. Canavan 0-6 (4 frees), S. O’Neill 0-5 (4 frees), P. McLoughlin 1-0, S. Cavanagh 0-1, C. Gourley 0-1, B. Dooher 0-1, B. McGuigan 0-1.

Div. 1B

Cavan 1-10, Sligo 0-11

Nearly three times as many frees as scores, seven yellow cards, a mischievous wind and an avalanche of wides made this a game to forget. Jason Reilly popped up with his customary goal before being sent off, and it proved the difference in the end.

Cavan 1-10: F. O’Reilly 0-4 (4 frees), J. Reilly 1-0, M. Graham 0-2, P. Reilly 0-2, A. Forde 0-1, L. Reilly 0-1. Sligo 0-11: G. McGowan 0-6 (6 frees), D. Sloyan 0-3 (1 free), K. Quinn 0-1, E. Cawley 0-1.

Kildare 2-12, Clare 2-6

Some days you wonder if you wouldn’t have been better off just lying in your bed. Sunday was one of those for Clare. They didn’t get the heavy win they needed to avoid getting relegated. In fact, they didn’t get any win at all. Not only that, they were completely outclassed by Kildare (20/1 for the All Ireland, folks. You read it here first) and had three players sent off in the process. And it rained. And it was windy.

Kildare 2-12: M. Lynch 1-4 (0-3 frees), S. McKenzie-Smith 1-1, K. O’Dwyer 0-3 (2 frees), B. Moylan 0-2, D. Jordan 0-2. Clare 2-6: D. Ryan 1-2, R. Gibbons 1-0 (pen.), B. Considine 0-1, P. Hehir 0-1 (free), C. Mullen 0-1(free), S. Meade 0-1.

Fermanagh 2-9, Mayo 1-9

It’s been two years coming, and on Sunday it finally happened. Mayo lost a league match. It took a last-minute goal from Raymond Gallagher, some questionable refereeing and a plethora of wides from their forward line, but they finally came up short. Still, they’re in the semi-final. They could yet win it again.

Fermanagh 2-9: C. Bradley 1-2, Ra. Gallagher 1-2, Ro. Gallagher 0-2 (1 free), R. McCabe 0-2, P. Brewster 0-1. Mayo 1-9: C. Mortimer 0-4 (1 free), J. Gill 0-3, D. McDonagh 1-0, S. Carolan 0-2 (1 free).

Derry 1-17, Down 1-9

Ho-hum, another league campaign draws to a close, another Derry side has a lean and hungry look about it. They were simply irresistible on Sunday. They were a total of 1-13 from play, with Dermot Dougan and Geoffrey McGonagle looking particularly spectacular. Down, on the other hand, look like they’re in trouble. The sight of them wheeling Mickey Linden on in the second half in an effort to retrieve a game that was fast getting away from them tells its own story.

Derry 1-17: D. Dougan 1-3, A. Tohill 0-3 (3 frees), G. McGonagle 0-3, P. Bradley 0-3 (0-1 free), G. Diamond 0-2, J Donaghy 0-2, P. McFlynn 0-1. Down 1-9: M. Walsh 1-1 (all frees), P. Bradley 0-2 (both frees), J. Clarke 0-1, P. McConville 0-1, G. McCartan 0-1, S. Treanor 0-1, M.Magill 0-1.

Div. 2A

Louth 1-18, Kerry 2-12

Kerry could have won this if they’d really tried to, but when Eamon Fitzmaurice was sent off early on, they seemed to lose their appetite somewhat. They still played some marvelous stuff, but the fact that they were already as good as promoted seemed to be foremost in their minds. Still, now they have Meath to look forward to. Should be fun.

Louth 1-18: M. Stanfield 1-5 (1-0 pen., 2 frees), O. McDonnell 0-3, J. Neary 0-2, S. O’Hanlon 0-2, M. McDonnell 0-2, C. Grimes 0-2, P. McGinnity 0-1, M. Farrelly 0-1. Kerry 2-12: N. Kennelly 2-2 (1 free), I. Twiss 0-3, A. MacGearailt 0-3, D. O’Keeffe 0-1 (free), D. O Se 0-1 (45) D. O Cinneide 0-1.

Limerick 0-12, Wicklow 0-6

Limerick could have won by another 10 points if it hadn’t been for a combination of wayward shooting and great goalkeeping. Wicklow were unforgivably poor, poorer than even the 7-point margin suggests. It’ll be a short summer for them.

Limerick 0-13: M. Reidy 0-8 (4 frees, 1 45), J. Stokes 0-1, D. Reidy 0-1, P. Ahern 0-1, C. Mullane0-1, S. Lavin 0-1. Wicklow 0-6: A. Nolan 0-2 (1 free), S. O’Neill 0-1, O. + hAnnaidh 0-1, J. Doyle 0-1, A. Foley 0-1.

Leitrim 1-11, Antrim 0-7

Two of the worst teams in the country served up exactly what was expected of them — a stinker. Leitrim will take no great encouragement from their win, nor Antrim any great sadness from the defeat.

Leitrim 1-11: O. Maguire 0-6, P. McDermott 1-1, F. McBrien 0-2, S. Canning 0-1, P. McLoughlin 0-1. Antrim 0-7: A. Finnegan 0-2, M. McCrory 0-1, M. McCarry 0-1, K. Madden 0-1, J. Murphy 0-1, G. Adams.

Armagh 4-17, London 0-5

Armagh 4-17: C. O’Rourke 0-11 (6 frees, 1 45), D. Marsden 1-1, S. McDonnell, 1-1, P. Loughrane 1-0, P. McGrane 1-0, P. McKeever 0-3, P. Duffy 0-1. London 0-5: S. Lynch 0-2 (1 free), A. Dillane 0-2 (1 free), J. Carmody 0-1.

Div. 2B

Meath 1-11, Longford 0-7

Meath have goalkeeper Cormac Sullivan to thank for the fact that they’ll be playing top-flight football next season. Twice in the final throes of this game he produced fine saves to deny Longford, and with the likes of Ollie Murphy and Trevor Giles having a strangely muted afternoon, his interventions were needed.

Meath 1-11: R. Kealy 1-2, E. Kelly 0-2, G. Geraghty 0-2, N. Nestor 0-2, D. Curtis 0-1, J. Cullinane 0-1, A. Kenny 0-1. Longford 0-7: P. Davis 0-5, T. Smullen 1-0, P. Barden 0-2.

Carlow 2-10, Wexford 0-11

A nothing game, with nothing at stake for the home side. And yet Carlow at least looked anxious to impress and in the end they were much to strong for a Wexford side which went into the game as favorites. Quite who they were impressing is another matter — Dr. Cullen Park wasn’t exactly heaving for this one.

Carlow 2-10: B. Kelly 0-4 (3 frees), T. Walsh 1-1, M. Carpenter 1-0, G. Ware 0-2, P. Kiernan 0-2, W. Quinlan 0-1, J. Kavanagh 0-1. Wexford 0-11: M. Forde 0-7 (5 frees), S. Doran 0-2 (1 free), J. Hegarty 0-2, D. Kinsella 0-1.

Tipperary 2-18, Monaghan 1-13

Monaghan’s wretched league campaign whimpered to a fitting end against a Tipperary side who, while not being significantly better than them, did at least have a star to fall back on in the shape of former All-Star Declan Browne.

Tipperary 2-18: D. Browne 1-7, B. Hickey 0-6, P. Lambert 1-1, K. Mulryan 0-1, L. England 0-1, E. Hanrahan 0-1, P. Cahill 0-1. Monaghan 1-13: H. Malone 1-1, T. Freeman 0-3, D. McDermott 0-2, D. Freeman 0-2, R. Woods 0-2, J. McElroy 0-1, N. Corrigan 0-1.

Laois 2-12, Waterford 1-12

Laois made hard work of this one. They’re through to the semifinal now, but unless they can do better than just scrap past the worst team in the country, like they did on Sunday, the semifinal will be as far as they go.

Laois 2-12: C. Conway 1-5 (1-0 pen., 4 frees), B. McDonald 1-3, M. Lawlor 0-2, G. Ramsbottom 0-1, N. Garvan 0-1. Waterford 1-12: C. Power 0-7 (6 frees, 1 45), S. Walsh 1-1, R. Hennessy 0-1, C. Watt 0-1, T. Dunphy 0-1, J. O’Reilly 0-1 (free).

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