James Crombie/INPHO
Rossies Rule

Stunning late Murtagh goal hands Division 2 title to Roscommon

Galway were unable to complete their second-half comeback mission in Croke Park.

Roscommon 1-20

Galway 0-22

Cian O’Connell reports from Croke Park 

THIS WAS AN encouraging afternoon at GAA headquarters for Roscommon, who collected the Allianz Football League Division Two title.

Substitute Diarmuid Murtagh blasted the decisive goal in additional time as Roscommon eventually prevailed.

Galway had trailed by five in the second half before launching a comeback mission to nudge ahead with six minutes remaining.

damien-comer-with-niall-daly Evan Treacy / INPHO Evan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

Roscommon stayed cool with Murtagh rifling a blistering goal to earn silverware.

Both teams enjoyed some good moments during a first-half featuring splendid scores throughout.

At the turnaround, though, Roscommon and Galway were level at 0-9 each with the issue delicately poised.

Galway midfielder Paul Conroy was outstanding clipping five points from play before the break, but Roscommon crafted chances throughout too.

By the 20th minute Galway led 0-5 to 0-4, but Roscommon replied by reeling off three points on the spin courtesy of Donie Smith (free), Cian McKeon, and Ciaráin Murtagh.

Four of the next six points were struck by Galway ensuring the teams left at the interval deadlocked.

After the restart Roscommon, with Ciaráin Murtagh and Donie Smith sharp in attack, enjoyed another productive spell.

Anthony Cunningham’s charges edged 0-17 to 0-12 ahead by the 53rd minute as Galway were struggling to contain Roscommon’s lively forward unit.

Shane Walsh was summoned from the bench for Galway, who were restricted to three points from four attempts in the opening 20 minutes of the second half.

Then Galway rallied clipping six points in a row with a 64th minute Comer effort steering them 0-18 to 0-17 in front.

The Murtagh brothers, Ciaráin and Diarmuid, thumped over points as Roscommon took the lead. Rob Finnerty restored parity, but Diarmuid Murtagh subsequently supplied the goal that mattered deeply.

Scorers for Roscommon: Donie Smith (2fs) and Conor Cox (4fs) 0-5 each, Diarmuid Murtagh 1-1, Ciaráin Murtagh 0-4 (1f), Cian McKeon and Eddie Nolan (2 45s) 0-2 each, Keith Doyle 0-1.

Scorers for Galway: Paul Conroy 0-6, Damien Comer 0-4, Dessie Conneely (1f) and Rob Finnerty  (2fs) 0-3 each, Matthew Tierney 0-2, Seán Kelly, Johnny Heaney, Finnian Ó Laoi, and Shane Walsh 0-1 each.

Roscommon: Colm Lavin; David Murray, Brian Stack, Eoin McCormack; Niall Kilroy, Niall Daly, Ronan Daly; Ultan Harney, Eddie Nolan; Ciaráin Murtagh, Enda Smith, Cathal Heneghan; Cian McKeon, Donie Smith, Conor Cox.

Subs: Keith Doyle for McKeon (61), Diarmuid Murtagh for Cox (64), Andrew Glennon for D Smith (69), Conor Hussey for Heneghan (70).

Galway: Conor Flaherty; Liam Silke, Seán Fitzgerald, Jack Glynn; John Daly, Kieran Molloy, Johnny Heaney; Seán Kelly, Paul Conroy; Matthew Tierney, Niall Daly, Finnian Ó Laoi; Rob Finnerty, Damien Comer, Dessie Conneely.

Subs: Johnny McGrath for J Daly (47), Shane Walsh for Glynn (47), Connor Gleeson for Flaherty (52), James McLoughlin for N Daly (53), Tony Gill for Ó Laoi (65), Patrick Kelly for Finnerty (70).

Referee: Niall Cullen (Fermanagh).

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