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Glory for the Rossies as John Evans side clinch promotion to Division 1 with Westmeath win

Goals from Conor Daly and Senan Kilbride were crucial today.

John Evans and Cathal Cregg will be celebrating tonight.
John Evans and Cathal Cregg will be celebrating tonight.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Roscommon 2-13
Westmeath 0-12

Declan Rooney reports from Cusack Park, Mullingar

ROSCOMMON WILL PLAY Division 1 football next year after second-half goals from Senan Kilbride and Conor Daly gave them victory and promotion over the now relegated Westmeath today.

The Rossies led by 0-6 to 0-5 at the break, but showed some flashed of real brilliance after the restart to power to a memorable victory at Cusack Park.

Three of last night’s U21 Connacht champions made a big impact for John Evans side, with Diarmuid Murtagh four points after the break and Ultan Harney and Enda Smith also scoring as Roscommon pulled clear in the fourth quarter.

After dominating the first-half for long stretches John Evans must have wondered how his side only led by a point at the break. At times Roscommon’s movement in the forward line seemed to bewilder Westmeath, but their half-time tally of ten wides meant they failed to pull clear of their hosts.

Senan Kilbride Roscommon's Senan Kilbride Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Senan Kilbride was proving a dominant figure at full-forward and after Ciaran Murtagh got the Rossies off the mark in the fourth minute, Kilbride was involved in the next three scores for Conor Daly, Ciaran Murtagh and Fintan Kelly as Roscommon opened out a 0-4 to 0-0 lead after 15 minutes.

But as Roscommon began to kick wide after wide, Westmeath slowly worked their way into the game. Playing at full-forward John Heslin got them off the mark in the 16th minutes, and skipper Ger Egan finished off a patient move to half Roscommon’s lead by the 19th minute.

The introduction of Shane Dempsey made a huge difference for Westmeath and he kicked a brilliant point in the 26th minute to put just a point between the sides.
Ciaran Murtagh added a quick fire brace to give Roscommon a 0-6 to 0-3 lead, but Westmeath finished the half the stronger, and Heslin and Dempsey landed points to put the minimum between the sides at the interval.

Conor Daly rattled the net three minutes after the restart to give Roscommon a comfortable lead, and with Diarmuid Murtagh and Senan Kilbride impressive up front Roscommon took control.

Westmeath had to rely on frees from John Heslin to keep in touch and once Kilbride goaled nine minutes form time there was no stopping their charge to the top flight.

Scorers for Roscommon: Diarmuid Murtagh 0-4 (0-1f), Conor Daly 1-1, Ciaran Murtagh 0-3 (0-2f), Senan Kilbride 1-0, Donie Smith, Ultan Harney, Fintan Kelly, Colin Compton (0-1f), Keith Higgins 0-1 each.

Scorers for Westmeath: John Heslin 0-7 (0-6f), Shane Dempsey 0-2, Dennis Glennon, Ronan Foley, Ger Egan 0-1 each.

Roscommon

1. Darren O’Malley (Michael Glaveys)

2. Sean McDermott (Western Gaels)
3. Niall Carty (Padraig Pearses)
4. Neil Collins (Castlerea St Kevin’s)

5. David Keenan (St Barry’s)
6. Niall Daly (Padraig Pearses)
7. Ciaran Cafferkey (Western Gaels)

8. Cathal Shine (Clann na nGeal)
22. Fintan Kelly (Castlerea St Kevin’s)

9. Conor Daly (Padraig Pearses)
11. Mark Healy (Roscommon Gaels)
12. Cathal Cregg (Western Gaels)

13. Donie Smith (Boyle)
14. Senan Kilbride (St Brigid’s)
15. Ciaran Murtagh (St Faithleach’s).

Subs
17. Matthew Murray (Padraig Pearses) for Collins (8-11 blood)
26. Diarmuid Murtagh (St Faithleach’s) for D Smith (26)
20. Kevin Higgins (Western Gaels) for C Murtagh (h-t)
25. Enda Smith (Boyle) for Kelly (h-t)
24. Ultan Harney (Clann na nGeal) for Healy (56)
19. Ronan Stack (St Brigid’s) for Cafferkey (58)
23. Colin Compton (Strokestown) for E Smith (66 BC)

Westmeath

16. Darren Quinn (Tyrrellspass)

2. Mark McCallon (Garrycastle)
3. Kevin Maguire (Caulry)
21. David Lynch (St Malachy’s)

7. John Egan (Athlone)
6. John Gilligan (Ballymore)
5. Killian Daly (Mullingar Shamrocks)

8. Paddy Holloway (Castledaly)
11. Ger Egan (c) (Tyrrellspass)

10. Paul Sharry (St Loman’s Mullingar)
14. Ray Connellan (Athlone)
12. Kieran Martin (Maryland)

13. John Stapleton (Athlone)
9. John Heslin (St Loman’s Mullingar)
26. John Connellan (Athlone)

Subs
24. Ronan Foley (Coralstown/Kinnegad) for Sharry (10 inj)
18. Shane Dempsey (St Loman’s Mullingar) for Stapleton (22)
19. Denis Glennon (Tyrrellspass) for J Connellan (h-t)
20. Brian Slevin (Tyrrellspass) for R Connellan (48)
15. Lorcan Smith (Mullingar Shamrocks) for Foley (64)

Referee: Fergal Kelly (Longford)

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About the author:

Declan Rooney

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