As the Roscommon senior footballers prepare to get their season underway next month, this day, 21 years ago, manager Gay Sheeran was masterminding a famous victory against Donegal, which procured the Rossies a place in the Division One League semi-final against Derry.
Roscommon didn’t look out of place among some of the best teams in the country in Division 1A, having emerged from Division 2A a year previously.
Victory against Dublin (1-10 to 0-6), thanks to a late Fergal O’Donnell goal, and a hard-fought 1-10 to 0-8 success against Armagh left Roscommon with their biggest league match in years — against Donegal in Dr. Hyde Park on April 9th, 2000.
Despite conceding a goal in the 51st minute, Roscommon reeled off the last five scores without reply to secure a famous 0-14 to 1-9 triumph, allowing them to edge out Dublin on scoring difference and reach the last four against Derry, where they subsequently suffered a 0-15 to 0-8 loss against a side inspired by Anthony Tohill in Clones.
Panel v Donegal: Derek Thompson; Denis Gavin, John Whyte, Ronan Owens; Basil Mannion, Brendan Bourke, Clifford McDonald; Fergal O’Donnell, Donal Casserly (0-1); Derek Duggan (0-5), Francie Grehan, Seán Casey (0-3); Gerry Lohan, Stephen Lohan (0-1), Frankie Dolan (0-2). Subs: Enda Daly, Enon Gavin, Damien Donlon, Mike Ryan, Alan Nolan, John Gillooly, Eddie Lohan (0-1), Conor Connelly (RIP), Nigel Dineen (0-1), Gary Cox, David Thompson.