Allianz HL D3A Final: Roscommon earn silverware
Allianz Hurling League Division 3A Final
ROSCOMMON 0-14 ARMAGH 0-11
By Dan Bannon at Páirc Tailteann
Roscommon deservedly claimed the National Hurling Division 3A league title with a well earned victory over Armagh in baltic Navan .
A third quarter surge and better handling of the patches of varying terrible weather conditions laid the foundations for the triumph.
Roscommon free taker Cathal Dolan was the catalyst for turning the showpiece in his sides favour. The Four Roads man landed nine points, seven free’s in total, on a day where scores from open play were at a premium.
Roscommon won corresponding fixture away to Armagh in the division and looked certain to do so again early on with Dolan accurate from the outset with a long range free.
The score seemed to settle Roscommon and Conor Mulry especially seemed to be enjoying the occasion with two quick fire points of high quality.
As Dolan landed his second, Armagh struggled either side of the snow blizzard that consumed the first half. Once the sleet swept across the Navan pitch, bizarrely the Orchard men grew into the game.
Armagh corner forward Danny Magee landed three free’s in row after Dean Gaffney’s fine effort to draw the sides level, the corner forward defied the conditions to pull his side back into the game with some chilling free’s to match the air.
A point between the sides at the break 7-6, after Dolan showed resolve himself to nail two free’s once the sun decided to come back out.
With the wind at their backs and majority of possession Armagh simply didn’t make use of the breeze after the break, spurning numerous opportunities.
Industrious Roscommon midfielder Shane Curley landed a 65 during this defining quarter while Dolan duly punished on the double to open up the match winning gap.
Magee it must be said, didn’t deserve to be on a losing side on the day, added to his tally before Dolan notched his final score, a beauty from play.
With the game almost out of sight, Armagh’s Nathan Curry withdrew from his sweeping duties to spark a comeback long with Magee (free) and Eoin McGuinness Armagh rattled off three points in a row to set up a grandstand finale leaving the game 0-12 to 0-11 with less than five minutes to play.
Despite the revival, Roscommon held out for victory with Pádraig Kelly rising above the attrition to see the game out in the fashion of champions, with two sparkling points of the highest quality.
Scorers for Roscommon: Cathal Dolan 0-9 (7fs) Conor Mulry and Pádraig Kelly 0-2 each, Shane Curley 0-1 (1 65).
Scorers for Armagh: Danny Magee 0-8 (6fs), Nathan Curry; Eoin McGuinness, and Dean Gaffney 0-1 each.
ROSCOMMON: Noel Fallon; Alan Moore, Pat Nolan, Paul Kenny; Conor Coyle, Eamon Flanagan, Hugh Rooney; Shane Curley, Darragh Heavey; Cathal Dolan, Cillian Egan, Pádraig Kelly; Gearóid Egan, Conor Mulry, Peter Kellehan.
ARMAGH: Simon Doherty; Patrick Quinn, Artie McGuinness, Caolan Rice; Davy Bridges, Ciarán Clifford, Tiarnan Nevin; Odhran Curry, Stephen Reneghan; Dean Gaffney, Eoin McGuinness, Shaun Toal; Danny Magee, Dylan McKenna, Nathan Curry.
Subs: Paddy McGrane for S Toal (47) Conleth Lavery for P Quinn (54); Liam Woods for D Gaffney (70).
REFEREE: Thomas Gleeson (Dublin).