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Dublin: 16 °C Wednesday 21 August, 2019
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Smith fires two goals as Roscommon seal Super 8s place with win over Armagh

A six-point victory for Kevin McStay’s side in O’Moore Park in Portlaoise.

Enda Smith lashes home his second goal of the game.
Enda Smith lashes home his second goal of the game.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Roscommon 2-22
Armagh 1-19

Fintan O’Toole reports from Portlaoise 

WITH THE GAME deep in injury-time, Roscommon were finally able to relax and realise their passage to the Super 8s was assured.

Armagh had been sticky opponents throughout the second half of a pulsating game in Portlaoise, that was played in sweltering conditions.

But with the prize of a spot in the last eight on the line, Roscommon hit 1-3 in the additional time after the 70th minute to copperfasten their success. The goal sparked the biggest cheer of the game, Enda Smith hammering a shot to the net for the second time in the game. Armagh mustered a final point in response but Roscommon were full value for their six-point victory.

Smith’s first goal goal was the critical score in separating the teams at the break. It arrived in the 29th minute, a timely boost for Roscommon as they trailed by two at that juncture and struggled to repel Armagh’s advances.

At one end, Charlie Vernon misplaced a hand pass for Armagh and Roscommon countered swiftly with a fine team move culminating in an assured finish to the net by Smith.

The first-half was filled with breathtaking football, the game played at a furious pace and featuring splendid score-taking. Rory Grugan and Andrew Murnin hit 0-4 apiece for Armagh, all of Murnin’s efforts notched from play.

Ciarán Murtagh contributed 0-5 for Roscommon in that time frame and while Cathal Cregg only kicked a single point, he was invaluable to his side in drawing fouls for converted frees, providing an outlet for deliveries and causing chaos in the Armagh rearguard.

Roscommon made a decisive burst after half-time kicking four out of the first five points in the second half, while goalkeeper Colm Lavin made a splendid save from a penalty in the 44th minute from Rory Grugan.

Kieran McGeeney and Kevin McStay Kieran McGeeney and Kevin McStay after the match. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Armagh did find the net two minutes after that penalty miss as Mark Shields profited from a delivery from Ryan McShane and lashed a fierce shot into the bottom corner.

Yet Roscommon were always capable of upping the ante with the Murtagh brothers, Cregg and Donal Smith all shining in the scoring stakes. Trailing 1-18 to 1-14 with ten minutes left, Armagh made one last push to salvage the game. Niall Grimley’s assured place kicking left them 1-19 to 1-18 adrift by the 70th minute.

Roscommon didn’t waver and held their nerve with an injury-time scoring spree prolonging their season and sending them towards Croke Park next weekend.

Diarmuid Murtagh and Patrick Burns Roscommon's Diarmuid Murtagh and Armagh's Patrick Burns. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Scorers for Roscommon: Enda Smith 2-1, Diarmuid Murtagh (0-5f), Ciaran Murtagh (0-2f) 0-6 each, Donal Smith, Cathal Cregg 0-3 each, Cathal Compton, Conor Devaney, Fintan Cregg 0-1 each.

Scorers for Armagh: Rory Grugan (0-2f), Niall Grimley (0-3f, 0-1 ’45) 0-5 each, Andrew Murnin 0-4, Mark Shields 1-0, Aidan Forker, Jemar Hall, Ryan McShane, Stephen Sheridan, Gavin McParland 0-1 each.

Roscommon

1. Colm Lavin (Éire Óg)

4. Seán McDermott (Western Gaels)
3. Niall McInerney (St Brigid’s)
6. Peter Domican (St Brigid’s)

5. John McManus (Roscommon Gaels)
22. Niall Daly (Padraig Pearses)
2. David Murray (Padraig Pearses)

9. Tadgh O’Rourke (Tulsk Lord Edwards)
12. Enda Smith (Boyle)

10. Ciaráin Murtagh (St. Faithleach’s)
23. Niall Kilroy (Fuerty)
7. Conor Devaney (Kilbride – captain)

13. Donie Smith (Boyle)
15. Diarmuid Murtagh (St. Faithleach’s)
11. Cathal Cregg (Western Gaels)

Subs

20. Gary Patterson (Michael Glaveys) for Domican (45)
18. Finbar Cregg (Western Gaels) for Ciarán Murtagh (55)
8. Cathal Compton (Strokestown) for Donal Smith (58)
17. Conor Daly (Padraig Pearses) for McDermott (61)
19. Fintan Cregg (Elphin) for Kilroy (inj) (65)

Armagh

1. Blaine Hughes (Carrickcruppen)

2. Patrick Burns (Forkhill)
6. Brendan Donaghy (Clonmore)
4. Gregory McCabe (Sean O’Neills)

5. Mark Shields (White Cross)
26. Ryan Owens (Clann Éireann)
15. Stephen Sheridan (Forkhill)

8. Charlie Vernon (Armagh Harps)
9. Connaire Mackin (Sean O’Neills)

13. Ryan McShane (Armagh Harps)
11. Jemar Hall (Forkhill)
12. Niall Grimley (Madden)

10. Rory Grugan (Ballymacnab – captain)
14. Andrew Murnin (St Paul’s)
7. Aidan Forker (Maghery)

Subs

18. Joe McElroy (Armagh Harps) for McCabe (33)
25. Ross McQuillan (Cullyhanna) for Sheridan (42)
19. Niall Rowland for Donaghy (47)
21. Gavin McParland (Ballymacnab) for Mackin (52)

Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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