Connacht SFC semi-final: Rossies make light work of Leitrim
18 June 2017
Roscommon's Donal Smith with Noel Plunkett of Leitrim
Roscommon are through to the Connacht final against Galway following a facile 2-23 to 1-9 dismantling of Leitrim at Dr Hyde Park.
Played in glorious sunshine, the game was done and dusted by the short whistle as a brace of Conor Devaney goals assured the winners of an unassailable 2-9 to 1-2 advantage at the break.
The Rossies landed the first four points through Ciaran Murtagh (free), Diarmuid Murtagh, Enda Smith and Donie Smith but the match momentarily exploded to life when Darragh Rooney netted for the underdogs in the sixth minute.
Fintan Cregg and Niall Kilroy added to the hosts’ tally and Devaney bagged his first goal in the 15th minute after Damien Moran had landed a Leitrim point. A Diarmuid Murtagh brace left seven between the sides with 15 minutes left in the first half.
Keith Beirne delivered the losers’ second point but Devaney pounced for his second major two minutes from the break, after Murtagh hit two more scores, leaving ten points between the teams as they turned around after a 44-minute first half.
Enda Smith (2) and Ciaran Murtagh (free) pointed for the Rossies upon the restart as they moved ominously towards the final. Cian Connolly made it 2-13 to 1-2 with 31 minutes left and Ciaran Murtagh tagged on another pointed free before drilling a 43rd-minute penalty over the bar to leave 16 points between the teams.
Fintan Cregg and Brendan Gallagher traded points and Beirne pulled back a converted free as the Rossies led by 2-15 to 1-4 at the three-quarters stage.
Ronan Kennedy and Brian Stack also swapped points and Stack and Shane Killoran piled on the misery after Rooney had pulled one back. Rooney, Diarmuid Murtagh, Kennedy and Devaney all pointed between the 62nd and 66th minutes.
Diarmuid Murtagh tagged on two more Rossies points either side of a Beirne consolation as the impressive Rossies eased into the provincial decider showdown with the holders, while Leitrim head for the Qualifiers.
Roscommon - C Lavin; G Patterson, J McManus, N McInerney; S McDermott, S Mullooly, C Devaney (2-1); E Smith (0-3), T O’Rourke; F Cregg (0-2), N Kilroy (0-1), B Stack (0-2); C Murtagh (0-4, 3f, 1pen), D Murtagh (0-7, 1f), D Smith (0-1). Subs: C Connolly (0-1) for D Smith (BC), C Compton for C Connolly, R Stack for N Kilroy, S Killoran (0-1) for G Patterson, B Murtagh for B Stack T Featherston for C Murtagh.
Leitrim - B Flynn; N Plunkett, D Wrynn, P Maguire; J Rooney, M McWeeney, O Madden; S Moran, D Moran (0-1); D McGovern, C Gaffney, R O’Rourke; K Beirne (0-3, 1f), B Gallagher (0-1), D Rooney (1-2). Subs: N McGovern for D Moran (BC), R Kennedy (0-2) for D McGovern, G Reynolds for M McWeeney (BC), C Cullen for R O’Rourke, R Gallagher for D Wrynn, G Plunkett for B Gallagher.
Referee - A Nolan.