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Roscommon hold off Leitrim fightback to set up Mayo semi-final

The Rossies early dominance paid off.

Darren Sweeney gets a show away despite the attention of Seanie McDermott.
Darren Sweeney gets a show away despite the attention of Seanie McDermott.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Roscommon 1-18

Leitrim 0-13

ROSCOMMON FENDED OFF a spirited Leitrim rally at Dr Hyde Park to book a June 8 Connacht Senior Football semi-final with Mayo.

John Evans’ charges ruled the opening period departing at the break armed with a significant 1-12 to 0-5 interval lead.

Ronan Stack’s palmed goal on the stroke of half-time ensured Ros went 10 points ahead as Leitrim failed to register a score from play in the first 35 minutes.

Emlyn Mulligan and Conor Beirne did kick five frees between them, but Roscommon were dominant as Kevin Higgins provided the midfield industry.

The early statistics confirmed that Roscommon were slick as they reeled off four points from as many chances inside five minutes.

Indeed by the end of the first quarter Roscommon had converted eight from 12 opportunities which meant Leitrim were in serious bother.

Leitrim were gritty with Mulligan supplying glimpses of his considerable ability as the deficit was trimmed to 0-9 to 0-5 by the 22nd minute.

But Roscommon were smart before the break hitting 1-3 without reply including Stack’s goal following a splendid move featuring Cathal Cregg, Ciaran Cafferkey, and the impressive Ciaran Murtagh.

When the action recommenced Leitrim were much improved, but crucially Roscommon still converted all three of their attempts in 18 minutes after the restart.

Mulligan continued to threaten for the visitors drilling over a string of fine points, but sufficient Roscommon damage had already been inflicted.

Scorers for Roscommon: Kevin Higgins 0-3, Senan Kilbride 0-3, Ronan Stack 1-0, Ciaran Murtagh 0-2, Niall Daly 0-2, Donie Shine 0-2 (1f), Diarmuid Murtagh 0-2 (1f), Cathal Cregg 0-1, Ciaran Cafferkey 0-1, Cathal Shine 0-1, Craig Burns 0-1.
Scorers for Leitrim: Emlyn Mulligan 0-8 (6fs), Conor Beirne 0-2 (2fs), Gary Reynolds 0-1, Wayne McKeon 0-1, Kevin Conlon 0-1 (f).

Roscommon: Darren O’Malley; Seanie McDermott, Niall Carty, Neil Collins; David Keenan, Niall Daly, Ciaran Cafferkey; Cathal Shine, Kevin Higgins; David O’Gara, Donie Shine, Ronan Stack; Senan Kilbride, Cathal Cregg, Ciaran Murtagh.

Subs: Enda Smith for C Shine (42 mins), Mark Nally for Cafferkey (42 mins), Diarmuid Murtagh for Kilbride (53 mins), Finbar Cregg for C Cregg (62 mins), Craig Burns for O’Gara (70 mins), Darragh Donnelly for Stack (70 mins).

Leitrim: Cathal McCrann; Barry McWeeney, Paddy Maguire, Paul Brennan; Gary Reynolds, Donal Wrynn, Barry Prior; Darren Sweeney, Damian Moran; Wayne McKeon, Emlyn Mulligan, Michael McWeeney; James Glancy, Conor Beirne, Kevin Conlon.

Subs: Robbie Lowe for M McWeeney (20 mins), Gerry Hickey for Sweeney (29 mins, black card), Sean McWeeney for Glancy (48 mins), A McLoughlin for Beirne (53 mins), Ray Cox for Brennan (63 mins).

Referee: Conor Lane (Cork).

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