Allianz Football League Division 2
ROSCOMMON 3-10 ARMAGH 0-15
By Steve Malone at the Athletic Grounds
The old adage of goals wins games rang true for Roscommon as their three goals wiped out the progress that was displayed by Armagh for much of the game.
Tonight’s victory puts Roscommon in the driving seat for promotion back to Division One, with Cavan coming up next week, while Armagh travel to Ennis hoping to keep their promotion hopes alive with when they take on Clare.
It was a strange atmosphere in the empty Athletic Grounds but both sides put on a good display and especially considering the lack of competitive football, both teams showed signs that they are in the right track.
Two second half goals in as many minutes turned the game on its head and what is frustrating for Armagh is that they gave away two penalties.
It looked as if Roscommon were going to be too wasteful in front of the posts as they missed eight first half scores whereas Armagh had only kicked two wides, but the goals in the second half changed the contest.
Points from Rian O’Neill and Callum Cumiskey gave Armagh an early lead before Cian McKeon opened Roscommon’s account in the 14th minute.
Both defences were on top but two Oisin O’Neill points and another from young Conor Turbitt gave the Orchard side a 0-05 to 0-01 lead. McKeon and Conor Cox closed the gap but on 34 minutes Enda Smith was pulled down in the square and earned a penalty.
The offended had no hesitation in taking the spot kick where he tucked his shot under the same side keeper Blaine Hughes dived. The converted penalty put Roscommon ahead for the first time but only briefly. Rory Grugan levelled the score with a neat effort, and he tagged on another but not before Rian O’Neill curled a stunning effort between the posts to give Armagh a 0-08 to 1-03 lead.
Points from Grugan and Rian O’Neill had Armagh looking in control but that was torn to shreds in a matter of minutes.
Firstly, Roscommon were awarded a second penalty on 43 minutes and again Smith didn’t disappoint with his conversion. And two minutes later Conor Daly fired home from close range after a super driving run from the influential Conor Cox.
The Rossies were a different team thereafter and they used the width of the pitch wisely and their substitutes impressed. Conor Cox, Ciaran Lennon and McKeon traded points with Jamie Clarke, Oisin O’Neill and Rian O’Neill and the latter was sent off after picking up a second yellow on 70 minutes.
There was no way back for Armagh as Roscommon held firm and finished worthy winners.
Scorers for Roscommon: Enda Smith (2-0, 2-0 penalties), Conor Cox (0-04, 0-3 frees), Conor Daly (1-00), Cian McKeon (0-03, 0-1 free), Ronan Daly (0-02), Ciaran Lennon (0-01).
Scorers for Armagh: Rian O’Neill (0-05, 0-3 frees), Oisin O’Neill (0-04, 0-1 free, 0-1 mark), Rory Grugan (0-03, 0-2 frees), Conor Turbitt (0-01), Jamie Clarke (0-01), Callum Cumiskey (0-01).
ROSCOMMON: Colm Lavin, David Murray, Conor Daly, Sean Mullooly, Ronan Daly, Brian Stack, Niall Daly, Cathal Compton, Tadgh O’Rourke, Niall Kilroy, Enda Smith, Cian McKeon, Ciaran Lennon, Conor Cox, Cathal Cregg. Subs: Conor Devaney for Cregg (43’), Ciaran Murtagh for N Kilroy (43’), Conor Hussey for C Daly (50’), Shane Killoran for O’Rourke (59’), Eddie Nolan for Compton (62’)
ARMAGH: Blaine Hughes, Ryan Kennedy, Aidan Forker, Paddy Burns, Conor O’Neill, James Morgan, Callum Cumiskey, Niall Grimley, Oisin O’Neill, Conor Turbitt, Stefan Campbell, Mark Shields, Rory Grugan, Rian O’Neill, Jamie Clarke. Subs: Aaron McKay for Ryan Kennedy (ht’), Jarly Og Burns for Turbitt (46’), Cathal McKenna for Conor O’Neill (54’), Joe McElroy for Campbell (58’), Jemar Hall for Cumiskey (62’),
Referee: David Gough (Meath).