Roscommon got a tougher examination from Offaly this afternoon than many people would have expected, but eventually they advanced to the semi-finals of the TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate championship thanks to a 5-10 to 4-4 win over the Faithful County in Kinnegad.
After edging out Wexford last week, Michael Finneran’s side needed a win or draw today to top their group and when Joanne Cregg fired in a stunning early goal, they looked to be in good shape.
At midfield, Jenny Higgins was extremely influential in her 100th appearance for the county and Roscommon got plenty of possession, but they struggled to make it count on the scoreboard while Offaly’s forwards caused them huge problems every time they got on the ball.
Ellee McEvoy, Marie Byrne and Kate Kenny all found the net as Offaly took a one point lead into the second half, 3-2 to 2-4, and even though Roscommon now had the wind at their backs, there was no indication of a sharp change in their fortunes during the early exchanges.
The Rossies crept in front but were rocked with another goal from Gráinne Egan, before the introduction of Lisa O’Rourke swung the game their way. Laura Fleming intercepted a weak Offaly kickout before setting up the Castlerea player for a crucial goal, while two more green flags from Sinéad Glennon in the final quarter put distance between the sides and set Roscommon on course for a semi-final clash with Westmeath in a fortnight’s time.