Roscommon get off to a winning start against Tyrone.

February 1st, 2023

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Allianz Football League Division 1


By Ian Cooney at Dr. Hyde Park

Three second-half goals from Ciaráin Murtagh, Diarmuid Murtagh and Ben O’Carroll enabled Roscommon to shock Tyrone with a thoroughly deserved victory in front of 4,000 spectators at Dr. Hyde Park.

It may have been Davy Burke’s first league game in charge of the Rossies, but the Kildare native’s stamp was all over his new team as his players, for the most part, produced a controlled, measured display, with their bench making a huge impact to get the job done.

In their last three Division One League campaigns, Roscommon have only won twice, so one could sense the sweetness wafting through the cool Dr. Hyde Park air as the home side, who are many people’s favourites to be relegated, gave their Division One campaign an early turbo boost.

The opening quarter was cagey with neither side willing to give too much away. The home side made three changes before throw-in with Conor Carroll, Ben O’Carroll and Daire Cregg coming into the team, with Carroll and Cregg making their league debuts.

With a strong wind behind them, Roscommon gradually turned the screw with a couple of superb points from O’Carroll, Cregg, Diarmuid Murtagh, Niall Daly and Brian Stack setting the tone.

But, crucially, Tyrone eroded the deficit to just three points by the interval, courtesy of scores from David Mulgrew and Darragh Canavan, to leave the Rossies ahead by 0-8 to 0-5.

Tyrone had the home side’s lead wiped out within three minutes of the second half, with half-time substitute Darren McCurry announcing his arrival with a free and a point from play.

Twelve minutes into the second half, Tyrone struck a major blow when Niall Morgan’s free was flicked to the net by Kieran McGeary. A McCurry point in his side’s next attack left Tyrone 1-9 to 0-9 ahead and seemingly on the road to victory.

But Roscommon hadn’t read the script. A superb pass from substitute Enda Smith picked out another substitute, Ciaráin Murtagh, and the St. Faithleach’s forward drilled a low shot to the corner of the net.

It got better for Roscommon as Smith and Ben O’Carroll teed up Diarmuid Murtagh who palmed the ball into the corner of the net.

Tyrone, who lost Cormac Munroe to a black card, kept coming and points by Richard Donnelly and substitute Niall Sludden left just a point between them.

But Niall Daly’s third point as the game ticked into injury time was followed by the coup the grace as Roscommon maintained their composure after winning a crucial ball at midfield to allow Ben O’Carroll find the net.

Roscommon had thrown the cat among the pigeons.

Scorers for Roscommon: Ben O’Carroll 1-2, Ciaráin Murtagh 1-1, Diarmuid Murtagh 1-1, Niall Daly 0-3, Conor Cox 0-2 (0-2f), Daire Cregg 0-1, Brian Stack 0-1.

Scorers for Tyrone: Kieran McGeary 1-1, Darren McCurry 0-3 (0-1f), Darragh Canavan 0-2 (0-1f), Peter Harte 0-1 (0-1f), Niall Devlin 0-1, David Mulgrew 0-1, Niall Morgan 0-1 (0-1f), Richard Donnelly 0-1, Niall Sludden 0-1.

ROSCOMMON: Conor Carroll; Conor Hussey, Conor Daly, Eoin McCormack; Dylan Ruane, Brian Stack, Niall Daly; Tadhg O’Rourke, Keith Doyle; Robbie Dolan, Daire Cregg, Ciarán Lennon; Diarmuid Murtagh, Conor Cox, Ben O’Carroll. Subs: Enda Smith for Lennon 43, Ciaráin Murtagh for Cox 48, Richard Hughes for Ruane 48, David Murray for McCormack 53, Donie Smith for Diarmuid Murtagh 60.

TYRONE: Niall Morgan; Michael McKernan, Cormac Munroe, Padraig Hampsey; Cormac Quinn, Peter Harte, Niall Devlin; Brian Kennedy, Conn Kilpatrick; David Mulgrew, Kieran McGeary, Conor Meyler; Cathal McShane, Mattie Donnelly, Darragh Canavan. Subs: Darren McCurry for McShane h-t, Ryan Jones for Mattie Donnelly 51, Richard Donnelly for Mulgrew 58, Niall Sludden for McGeary 58.

Referee: David Coldrick (Meath)

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