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Dublin: 2°C Saturday 28 November 2020


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Hi, if you are a fan of painfully contrived live blog introductions and elite Gaelic football, then we have some very good news for you – check your watch as it is Super 8s o’clock. 

The quarter-final stage of the football championship get underway this weekend, and it all kicks off at 5pm today with the clash of Roscommon and Tyrone. 

The Rossies won another Connacht title amid mad jubilation last month, with fans flocking on to the field before the final whistle to hail the ending of a…[checks notes]…two-year famine. 

No county celebrates quite like Roscommon. Their Super 8s experience last year was miserable, beginning with a merciless 4-24 to 2-12 wallopping by Tyrone in Croke Park. 

The respective arrivals of Anthony Cunningham and Conor Cox along with home advantage give Roscommon fans reason to believe that there won’t be a repeat result this time around. 

Tyrone, meanwhile, have come through the qualifiers hinting usual ominous tidings, taking care of Longford, Kildare and Cavan with ease. 

The more attacking style we saw during the League was tempered following defeat by Donegal in Ulster, and their journey through the qualifiers has seen them revert to type somewhat, and once again find their classical hard edge. 

Whatever happens today, we are unlikely to see Tyrone’s Mr. Jekyll at the Hyde.

Get in touch with us – below the line, tweet @gcooney93 or email

Throw in is at 5pm. 

Here’s the Roscommon team named to play today. Murtagh, Cox, and Enda Smith is quite the full-forward line. 

And here’s the Tyrone team in the match programme. Peter Harte hasn’t been named in it, given it was submitted before his black card suspension was overturned. You can be pretty sure he will be included in the starting XV. 

We’ll let you know about any other changes. 

Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of throw-in, Mickey Harte says that Roscommon are a “stern” side under Anthony Cunningham, and is expecting them to flood their defence to an extent they didn’t in this clash last year, in which they conceded 4-24. 

Cunningham says today is a chance for his players to “set the record straight.”

This game is live on Sky Sports Arena, by the way. The build-up is hidden behind the red button, though, shunted there because of the ongoing live coverage of Fish-o’-Mania. 

Scoreboard assistant Conor Flahive awaits the start of the game.

Scoreboard assistant Conor Flahive awaits the start of the game Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

‘They love their football in Roscommon’ 

Tyrone are the bookies’ favourites for this game, and the spread is four points. 

Oh, and here’s Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud at a friendly game at Inchicore in Dublin saying Mayo For Sam. 

It’s a gorgeous day in Roscommon, with packed stands bathed in sunlight. It’s time for the Championship to get serious. 

Roscommon start as was selected yesterday.

Kieran McGeary drops out of the Tyrone team named to start by Mickey Harte, to make way for Peter Harte. 

David Coldrick is today’s referee. 

Teams are observing the national anthem, squinting through the sun at Hyde Park. It’s almost time! 


Frank Burns, shorn of options, tries an audacious shot from loing range that drifts wide, much to the glee of the Roscommon fans. Tyrone attacking the Gravey-sorry, Dead End in the first half. 


Roscommon then go up the other end, but Diarmuid Murtagh’s attempted point is sliced skyward, dropping well short and Tyrone clear. At the other end, Tyrone win a free so Niall Morgan is trotting up to take…


…off the ground, Morgan strikes it wide. That’s a second for Tyrone, as we await the first score of a very cagey game. 


An early yellow card for Hugh Pat McGeary of Tyrone. 


Roscommon 0-00 Tyrone 0-01

Six minutes in, we have the first score, and it falls Tyrone’s way. 


Roscommon 0-00 Tyrone 0-02

Ros go up the other end and crash an attempted point off the post, and RTyrone break with pace. Frank Burns slots over from open play. 


Roscommon 0-01 Tyrone 0-02

Fabulous point from play, off the right wing, by Niall Daly gets Roscommon off the mark. 


Off the post for Tyrone! Cathal McShane roasts the Sean Mullooly, but his fisted point comes off the post. Roscommon then concede a free-kick, so McShane should get his first point here…


Roscommon 0-01 Tyrone 0-03

Yep, McShane points his free.


Roscommon, having been caught on the break throughout this game so far, finally get a chance to do so to Tyrone – but their attack is foiled by a fine challenge by Rory Brennan on Diarmuid Murtagh. 


Conor Cox angles a high ball to the edge of the square for Murtagh, but Morgan comes out to claim it confidently. 


Roscommon 0-02 0-03 Tyrone

Lovely finish by Enda Smith. A Tyrone attack breaks down, and he drives directly through the centre. He was tackled by Conor Meyler and lost the ball, so he elected to kick the ball off the ground and over the bar. Lovely. 


Roscommmon 0-02 0-04 Tyrone 

Niall Sludden responds straight away for Tyrone. 


Great save by Morgan! A Ros attack ends with Cathal Cregg blasting a shot goalward, but it is blocked off Morgan’s legs. Big moment. 


Roscommon 0-03 Tyrone 0-04

Quiet thus far, Conor Cox explodes into life with a fantastic point in off the  right. 


Roscommon 0-03 Tyrone 0-05 

Aaaaand once again, Niall Sludden responds immediately for Tyrone. 


Bit of a concern for Ros so far is how much harder they are having to work for their scores than Tyrone have to. 


Patient play by Roscommon pays off, as they eke a bit of space to fist-pass to Cox. He is clumsily fouled by Colm Cavanagh, and a very scoreable free is coming up…


..eek Cox dropped the free short. That’s poor. 


Roscommon 0-03 Tyrone 0-06

Straight away, Tyrone go up the other end and Enda Smith fouls Mattie Donnelly. McShane, unlike Cox, makes no mistake. A three-point game; it should have been one. 


Darren O’Malley then flights an awful kick out straight to Michael Cassidy, but his shot drops short. A let-off, and Ros are making a litany of errors at the moment. 


Roscommon 0-04 Tyrone 0-06

Better from Roscommon. Foot-pass by Smith is caught beautifully in the air by Diarmuid Murtagh, who is fouled. He pops the free over from the 21-metre line. 


Roscommon 0-04 Tyrone 0-07

For a third time – Niall Sludden responds immediately with a point for Tyrone. Fisted over after being picked out nicely by Peter Harte. His late runs from deep are causing Roscommon a lot of bother. 


Roscommon 0-05 0-07 Tyrone

Cathal Cregg from play for Roscommon! Again, it owes much to great play by Enda Smith. Having been bottled up by four Tyrone defenders, he wriggled away from them by dropping the ball to the ground and chipping it into Cregg’s arms. 


And straight away, Hubert Darcy pulls down Donnelly for no real reason. Roscommon had numbers back, and Tyrone were going nowhere fast. Silly indiscipline. Peter Harte, however, drops the free-kick short from the 45. 


That’s it for Hubert Darcy – he is replaced by Brian Stack. 


Shane Killoran is on a heap on the ground, as he stooped low to collect the ball he was caught by the arm of Brian Kennedy. The Tyrone midfielder is booked. 


And that’s Kennedy’s last act – in comes Ben McDonnell. 


Kennedy went off because of injury, apparently. 


Roscommon 0-06 0-07 Tyrone

Welcome to the game Brian Stack! He is faced with a few Tyrone defenders, but he rolls around them to find space and knocks the ball over the bar.

Elsewhere, Tyrone bring on Kieran McGeary for Hugh Pat, who had been booked. 


Roscommon 0-06 0-08 Tyrone 

Another foul by the Roscommon defence, Enda Smith on Peter Harte. They are doing a lot right, but they can’t keep giving away these soft frees as it is totally undermining them. McShane points it. 


What a save by Niall Morgan! Enda Smith shows remarkable strength to power through a meaty Cavanagh challenge, and coming in along the endline, he blasts a shot goalward that is thwarted by Morgan. That’s twice he has denied Roscommon a goal. 


Whereas last year’s game was a double-scores washout win for Tyrone, this is a proper game. Roscommon are patient in attack and causing Tyrone problems.

Ben McDonnell, the substitute, is booked for a challenge on Enda Smith. 


Cathal Cregg, having been fouled by McDonnell, is okay to continue after treatment. We’ll have three additional minutes at the end of the half. 


Cregg is down in a heap again, this time he was fouled by Colm Cavanagh. It looked like a shoulder-to-shoulder hit, and Tyrone are mightily unimpressed with its award. Kieran McGgeary doth protest too much; he’s been booked. Having subbed the two players who were booked, Harte has now seen the two replacements booked. 


Oh good grief, Cox has missed the free. He’s dropped it short again! He hit that without any conviction. 


This has been tight, tense and occasionally cagey, but boy is this well-poised. Roscommon have probably been the better team, and have had no real issues with Tyrone’s populous defence.

They have been patient in working the ball from side-to-side, and in Smith and others they have the physicality to break tackles. They have been undermined, however, by poor finishing and the concession of soft frees. 

Niall Morgan has also made two big saves to deny Ros goals. 

Tyrone are in a game, here. Back in a few. 


Roscommon 0-07 Tyrone 0-08

What a start by Roscommon, a gorgeous point by Diarmuid Murtagh, played to him by Shane Killoran after he won the throw-in. 


Roscommon 0-07 Tyrone 0-09

Yet again, Roscommon immediately concede a soft fre straight away, again on Niall Sludden. McShane points, and it’s back to a two-point game. 


At the other end, Cregg finds space but sees his attempted point come off the post. 


7 scores from 17 shots so far for Roscommon, which isn’t good enough to a game like this. They have to improve on that. 


Roscommon 0-07 Tyrone 0-10

Great score by Darren McCurry for Tyrone, after the ball flew through a series of Tyrone hands. 


Then, Roscommon are penalised on the kick-out as it didn’t travel far enough. They win the throw-in though, and eventually win a free-kick right on the ‘D’ in front of Niall Morgan’s goal. 


Colm Cavanagh booked. 


Roscommon 0-08 Tyrone 0-10 

No mistake this time from Cox – he scores. 


Darren McCurry skews a shot wide, Tyrone’s third of the game. 


Oh, nice play by Tyrone ultimately comes to naught. Mattie Donnelly lobs a ball from the 45, over Mullooly and intended for McShane. The forward, however, tried to fist it goalward first time and it dribbled harmlessly to O’Malley. Tyrone are beginning to up the intensity…


Roscommon 0-08 0-11 Tyrone 

Cathal McShane from play. His fifth of the day, and it’s a beaut. 


Roscommon 0-09 0-11 Tyrone

Niall Daly wins a soft-looking free near the right touchline, and it hooked over by Diarmuid Murtagh. Lovely score, and he is motoring nicely since the resumption. 


Roscommon 0-10 0-11 Tyrone

One point game, a superb score from play by Killoran. 


Morgan is then collared for the same kick-out technicality as O’Malley was a few minutes ago. Ros concede a free from the throw-in though, and Tyrone motor away. 


Roscommon 0-10 0-12 Tyrone

Mattie Donnelly is pumping his fist – he has landed a cracking point from play for Tyrone. Roscommon have brought on Colin Compton (a forward) for Conor Hussey (a defender.)


Roscommon 0-10 0-13 Tyrone 

And Cathal McShane scores again, his sixth of the day. 


An off the ball entanglement means a yellow for both Enda Smith and Tyrone’s Conor Meyler. 


Roscommon 0-10 0-14 Tyrone

Huge let off for Roscommon! O’Mally knocks a short kick-out to Mullooly, on whom three Tyrone attackers pounce. McShane’s shot for goal is saved by the legs of O’Malley, but the move ends in a point for Tyrone. 


Ch-ch-ch-changes: Donie Smith on for Cathal Cregg for the Rossies; Padraig Hampsey and Richie Donnelly introduced for Ben McDonnell and Michael Cassidy. 

Elsewhere – Roscommon’s Shane Killoran has been booked. 


Ros haven’t scored in six minutes, and have lost three points in that time. They are beginning to struggle for air. 


Off the bar! Peter Harte’s shot from the 21-metre line crashes off the bar, which is still rattling after the ball is cleared. Outrageous effort; so unfortunate.


That was a ferocious shot by Harte, but it hasn’t quite caused a repeat of a previous incident involving Roscommon…

Source: KillianM2/YouTube


Roscommon 0-10 0-15 Tyrone

Mattie Donnelly swings a point over the bar. Tyrone dominant now. 


Killoran’s shot from the left drops wide of the far post. Ros need a bolt of inspiration from somewhere at this point. No sign of it anywhere yet… 


Roscommon just can’t find a way through Tyrone’s defensive wall, now. Killoran tries to run at them but ends up losing the ball and dumped out over the end line. No Ros score in 13 minutes. 


Roscommon 0-10 0-16 Tyrone

Oh dear, Niall Kilroy. Having done well to read an intercept a pass to McShane, he drives out with the ball, and handpasses to…nobody. With McCurry collecting the loose ball, he lunges and trips him to concede another soft free. McShane makes no mistake to stretch the lead to six points. 

Niall Sludden is off, Conor McAlliskey is on. Sludden tormented Roscommon, he was outstanding. 


We’re up to 17 minutes without a Roscommon score. Having cut the lead to a single point, they’ve conceded five in a row to leave them needing a miracle. 

Conor Cox, by the way, has made way for Andrew Glennon.


Roscommon 0-11 0-16 Tyrone 

Darren O’Malley clips over a long-range free to end that long run without a score. Have they left themselves too much to do? 


Roscommon 0-11 0-17 

Cathal McShane is in regal form; another point from play has re-asserted Tyrone’s six point lead. He reacted quickest to a loose ball around the 21. 


McShane is blatantly dragged down by Sean Mullooly. He has run them ragged today. Kyle Coney, however, leaves his free-kick short. 


Roscommon 0-12 0-17 Tyrone

Niall Daly drives at the Tyrone defence and wins a free; Murtagh converts. 


Tadhg O’Rourke booked for a foul, Cathal McShane takes the free…and puts it wide! A tiny, tiny blemish on a great day for him. 


We will have six additional minutes, but Tyrone look completely unhassled. 


Roscommon 0-13 0-17 Tyrone

Off the bar! Roscommon larrup a ball to the edge of the square, Morgan comes out to claim…but Glennon flicks it ahead of him and onto the bar! It goes over for a point, but that’s small consolation. 


McShane hoists a shot wide from play. 


…and McShane hits another wide. 


Roscommon have definitely improved on last year, but remain some way off Tyrone’s level. It was a tight game at half time, but ultimately last year’s finalists squeezed the life out of both the game and Roscommon to start with a pretty comfortable win. 

Cathal McShane and Mattie Donnelly were particularly impressive, and Tyrone can take a giant stride to the last four with a win against Cork next week. 

For Roscommon, they now have to head to Croke Park to face the Dubs, so life isn’t going to get any easier for them. 

Keep an eye on The42 for a full report and reaction from Dr. Hyde Park, and you can also follow our live coverage of Dublin against Cork at Croke Park. 

But that’s all from this blog, thanks for following. 


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Gavin Cooney


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