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Roscommon players and manager Kevin McStay celebrating following a famous win in Salthill.
Roscommon players and manager Kevin McStay celebrating following a famous win in Salthill.

Kevin McStay thrilled with Roscommon triumph


By Cian O'Connell

Kevin McStay sat oustide the Roscommon dressing room, trying to make sense of it all.

Much can alter following a Championship match, but this satisfying success for Roscommon brought joy and relief.

When others doubted McStay remained cool and full of belief that a talented collection of Roscommon footballers could prosper.

Relegation from Division One of the Allianz Football League was a setback, but Roscommon were primed for the summer. "The funny thing about Championship, we are at it so long when we are looking in over the fence, I did it myself for years, you draw straight lines from games of no significance," McStay commented.

"Yet inside our group there was never any sense we were coming in here as huge underdogs. There wasn't. In a Championship dressing room, it can't be any other way. We got our different objectives right, we got a good start, I know to the outside world we weren't even to show up, I don't blame them for going down that way.

"The lads that are writing about it should know that in Championship if you're energised and get totally committed, a lot of daft stuff happens in 70 minutes."

McStay was adamant that Roscommon hit Salthill ready to deliver. "We took an awful lot of encouragement from the way they handled Mayo for the last two years," McStay stated.

"We knew if we could get the build up right, our fitness levels right, that we might be  able if they took their eye off the ball a little bit. I don't know if they did or they didn't, I certainly felt we arrived spot on."

Roscommon scored 1-6 to 0-1 after 14 minutes. It was a perfect start for the visitors. "Then we had four or five horrendous wides," McStay reflected.

"In fairness Galway had clipped a few, they hit the but of the post."

By the time the interval rolled around Roscommon led 1-7 to 0-3. Galway tried to launch a comeback, but Roscommon were still doing enough according to McStay.

"The few breaks we needed to get when we weren't pushing on, we got them," McStay commented.

"At this level playing against the wind is no big deal because carrying and hand passing goes on, but we definitely decided we weren't going to defend the lead.

"It might have looked like that way to you guys, but Galway were pushing on so hard we couldn't get out for a while. Then we got a point against the run of the play which got us going again."

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