Hurling & Camogie

Donegal made to work hard for victory in Roscommon

The visitors blew an early lead before finishing strongly to take the points

Mickey McCann and his Donegal side are planning for a Division 2B final with Meath this weekend
Mickey McCann saw his Donegal side claim victory in Roscommon Mickey McCann

Allianz Hurling League Division 2B, round four

Roscommon 1-14 Donegal 0-24

A STRONG final quarter saw Donegal eventually dispose of a stubborn Roscommon resistance in a well contested affair in Hyde Park.

Points from Gerry Gilmore – who missed a few scorable frees as Donegal hit 12 wides over the hour –the outstanding Liam McKinney and excellent sub Daire O’Maoileidigh sealed the deal for Mickey McCann’s men.

The winners threatened a rout in the early stages when they sprinted into a 0-7 to 0-0 lead after just ten minutes.

But Roscommon rallied well and were on top for the next 20 minutes as, despite their early dominance, Donegal only led by 0-12 to 0-10 at the break.

And, they were hit with a sucker-punch goal five minutes into the second half when keeper Luke White was caught off his line and big Brendan Mulry flicked the ball overhead to the empty net.

A point from Cian Murray and suddenly Roscommon were leading by 1-13 to 0-12 and Donegal looked in danger.

But the home side could only manage one more point as Donegal finished strongly and O’Maoileididgh and Jack O’Loughlin made a big difference coming off the bench.

Donegal began smartly and marksman Gerry Gilmore pointed a free from 20 metres after Josh Cronolly McGe was fouled after just 20 seconds.

That set the pattern for early dominance as Ruairi Campbell, Oisin Grant, Gilmore, Conor Gartland and Brian MacIntyre reeled off five points in the space of seven minutes to lead by 0-6 to 0-0 by the ninth minute.

A sluggish Roscommon struggled to get into the game as the eager Grant put seven between the sides after just 10 minutes.

But all visions of a rout were firmly scotched as Roscommon gradually grew into the game and Donegal were stymied by some steady defending from the home side.

Rory Lyons opened their account from a free and this was added to by Adam Donnellan.

Donegal then hit two of their seven first-half wides as McKinney and MacIntyr made it 0-9 to 0-4.

The Rossies, who were minus the outstanding Sean Canning, were growing in confidence but it took a super double save from their keeper Brendan Quinn to deny point-blank shots from Conor O’Grady and Oisin Grant.

This was a turning point, as the excellent Conor Mulry made it 0-9 to 0-4 by the 17th minute. Gerry Gilmore added another and then exchanged scores with Mulry before Conor O’Grady got the last point for the visitors.

Roscommon threw on Paddy Fallon and he responded immediately with two well struck points.

Mulry and Brian Lawlor were also on target as the visitors lead was whittled down to just two at the break.

Donegal took their time coming out for the second half but were rocked by Mulry’s goal.

Roscommon jumped into a lead of 1-13 to 0-12 lead before Donegal hit back with points from Gilmore and McKinney to leave the home side leading by 1-13 to 0-15.

Donegal could have had a goal but Grant’s first-time effort cannoned off the post.

Gilmore levelled matters in the 50th minute but Donegal hit a total of 12 wides.

But the introduction of O’Loughlin and O’ Maoileidgh made a big difference to the winners who won quite comfortably in the end.

Scorers

Roscommon B Mulry 1-3; P Fallon 0-4 (0-3f); A Donnelly & B Lawlor 0-2; C Mulry, J Hardiman & R Lyons (f) 0-1 each

Donegal G Gilmore 0-7 (0-6f); L McKinney 0-4; O Grant 0-3; B MacIntyre & D O’Maoileidigh 0-2 each; R Campbell, L White (f), C O’Grady & J O’Loughlin 0-1