By Kevin Egan
It wasn’t flamboyant or eye-catching, but from a coaching point of view, Roscommon intermediate ladies’ manager Michael Finneran was understandably delighted with several aspects of his team’s performance against Meath on Saturday afternoon — a showing that was sufficiently impressive to earn a crucial two points in the county’s first contest of the 2018 All-Ireland series.
“Workmanlike was the best way to describe the performance, we really worked hard to get that win,” summarised the St. Dominic’s clubman.
“Our tackling was excellent, it was really top notch. It was really disciplined, we weren’t diving in giving away silly frees. We stayed on our feet, our footwork was brilliant and we put the hand in at the right time.
“I thought Meath were very good at tackling as well, so it’s fine margins. We got the two goals, but I know that they hit the post in the second half. On another day that goes in, and things go another way. It was very tight between two good teams so we’re delighted to come out on the right end,” he continued.
Finneran wasn’t afraid to cite the importance of Helena Cummins’ goalkeeping prowess when it came to Saturday’s victory. The Michael Glavey’s player made two great saves, but also read the high ball accurately, and showed composure and presence of mind as she tried to lay the ball out of defence.
“It’s great to have a ‘keeper like that who exudes such confidence and calmness. We were under pressure towards the end and she was very calm with kickouts and when we had possession. The saves is one thing, but then to be so cool is another thing,” said Finneran of his custodian.
It looks on paper as if Roscommon will cruise through the next round against a Fermanagh side that appear to be in disarray, but Finneran isn’t ruling anything out from the game that’s due to be played in Mullahoran in Cavan on Sunday.
“We’ve to win to top the group,” he stated. “I know the form line would suggest we should win that game but any major upset have come from teams going in like that (being complacent), so we can’t fall into that. We have to keep driving on.
“We’ll put out a strong team and we’ll go to win the game, and that’s a challenge for the girls. They need to keep focused for what is an important game, where everyone will be telling us that we should be winning it. But we’ve to go out and do the job,” he highlighted.