Sunday, May 16, 2021

Allianz Football League Division One South




Kevin Egan at Dr. Hyde Park


Three penalties, two black cards, and the relentless accuracy of the Dublin attack proved too much for Roscommon to overcome in Dr. Hyde Park this afternoon as Anthony Cunningham’s side fell to a nine-point defeat to the All-Ireland champions.

The new GAA rule that allows for a penalty to be awarded in any instance where a defender is deemed to have committed a cynical foul where a potential goalscoring opportunity may arise proved to be a real bugbear for Roscommon, who were twice hit with that sanction by referee Derek O’Mahoney of Tipperary.

Brian Stack and Feargal Lennon were both sent to the sin bin for their infringements, Stack late in the first half and Lennon shortly after half-time, and while Cormac Costello scored the first penalty and rattled the foot of the post with the second, the real damage was done when Roscommon had to expend so much extra energy to keep Dublin at bay during those two ten-minute periods when they were short-handed.

In both instances, Roscommon did well to ensure that they didn’t concede a raft of scores each time, and as a result they were still well in contention with 15 minutes to play. A free from Ciaráin Murtagh – he and Donie Smith topped the scoring charts for the Rossies with six points each – made it 1-14 to 0-12, and a late surge couldn’t be ruled out.

Feeling they needed a goal, Roscommon pushed up to try and create a chance to test Dublin goalie Michael Shiel, but couldn’t quite break through, and breakaway scores started to follow at the other end. Costello, Kilkenny and Brian Fenton all posted points to widen the gap, and the prospect of Dublin’s first away league win by a double-figure margin since 2015 looked real when Niall Daly was penalised for a foot block deep into stoppage time, and Cormac Costello stood over his third penalty of the game.

Dublin didn’t need a second goal at that stage however, and Costello was happy just to fire it over and leave the final margin at nine – enough to suggest that the All-Ireland champions are in good shape in advance of what will be a momentous clash with Kerry next week, but also to ensure that Roscommon will feel that they have something positive to build on in advance of what will be an equally important contest against Galway in Salthill.

For a full report and reaction from Dr. Hyde Park, plus previews of next Sunday’s game in Salthill, see this Tuesday’s Roscommon Herald. 

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