‘We still had the winning of the game in the second half - but fluffed our lines’ - Roscommon boss Davy Burke

‘Find another week in the calendar or change the All-Ireland format’

Roscommon manager Davy Burke (left) leads his side into a date with his native Kildare on Sunday
Roscommon manager Davy Burke (left)
All-Ireland Senior Football Championship quarer-final: Armagh 2-12 Roscommon 0-12

From Brendan Crossan at Croke Park

DESPITE a first half “horror script” that resulted in two Roscommon players suffering injury and Ruaidhrí Fallon’s red card dismissal, Davy Burke was convinced they would topple Armagh in the second half.

But once Conor Turbitt raised a green flag in the 52nd minute – Armagh’s second of the afternoon – the Rossies boss knew their aspirations of reaching an All-Ireland semi-final were gone.

Burke lamented the chances his forwards spurned too, especially in the first half, and also speculated that playing high intensity games three weeks running may have caught up with his players.

David Murray and Ultan Harney – two vital cogs in the Roscommon wheel – were forced out of Saturday’s All-Ireland quarter-final after just seven and 15 minutes, respectively.

“We knew Armagh were going to be more physical than us and we thought we’d play around them, and I think we did – we just didn’t execute it,” said Burke.

“If you gave that game back to Diarmuid Murtagh and Daire Cregg, Jeez, I’d say they’d kick six or seven.”

Despite Roscommon’s vaunted attack fluffing their lines in the opening 35 minutes and losing Fallon on the cusp of half-time, Burke was still optimistic about overturning Armagh’s two-point advantage.

“The red card was never going to make a difference in that type of game,” he said.

“We were never worried about 14 v 15. We got the first two scores of the second half and away we went. You wouldn’t believe how calm we were at half-time. We felt we were going to win the game at half-time – no doubt. Man down, didn’t matter.

“Our scoring efficiency was very high last week [against Tyrone] and very low, very, very poor this week. In fairness, our forwards have been very good all year, but we just didn’t click.

“Fair play to Conor Turbitt – brilliant finish. It turned the game. If we don’t concede that goal, it was going right to the absolute wire as we expected it to go, and then Armagh’s conditioning took over.”

Burke also felt Armagh’s experience of playing in three consecutive All-Ireland quarter-finals stood to them, as did the extra week’s rest.

“Dairmuid [Murtagh], Daire [Cregg] and Conor [Cox] were missing 21-yard shots at the top of the ‘D’ – that’s nothing to do with Armagh. Is it the legs catching up with them? The intensity? The emotion? It just didn’t go for them. Those three boys have been awesome.

“But we need to find a week somewhere to give us a chance,” Burke added.

“It’s only a week, to give the last 12 teams a chance – or do away with the last 12.”