Allianz FL D1: Roscommon stun Monaghan
Allianz Football League Division 1
ROSCOMMON 1-12 MONAGHAN 0-13
By Daragh Small
Debutant Conor Cox scored five frees as Roscommon got their first National Football League Division 1 victory of the season against Monaghan in a thriller at Dr Hyde Park.
Stephen O’Hanlon got a straight red two minutes into the six of added time, and even though Cox and Tadgh O’Rourke got black cards with less than ten minutes of normal time remaining, Roscommon finished with a one-man advantage.
Enda Smith’s penalty goal in the 69th minute was the vital score as Anthony Cunningham got his reign up and running in style with his first league win.
Monaghan stunned reigning All-Ireland champions Dublin in the opening round at Clones while Roscommon lost out to Mayo by the minimum at a windswept Castlebar.
Last week’s hero O’Hanlon and Conor McManus were both held in reserve for a Monaghan side that struggled in the first half.
They trailed by 0-6 to 0-4 at half-time in a half that was dominated by a strong Roscommon defence. Brothers Conor and Niall Daly were the standout players there but up front Roscommon also had issues. Roscommon tallied eight wides in the first half and they should have taken a bigger lead into the break.
Monaghan wing-back Dessie Ward scored first after two minutes and Enda Smith hit back. But it had taken the home side ten minutes to finally find their range.
Roscommon went in front after Cox scored with his second attempt from a free, and Niall Kilroy’s point arrived after poor kickout from Monaghan goalkeeper Rory Beggan.
Jack McCarron halved the deficit but Niall Daly’s point in the 21st minute was the score of the half. He struck a massive effort from outside the 45-metre line.
Beggan scored his first free before he got down to his right to save brilliantly from Roscommon corner-back Evan McGrath.
But Roscommon did score through goalkeeper Darren O’Malley with a 45 and Cox added another free either side of a precise free from Beggan.
The visitors were 0-6 to 0-4 in arrears after the opening half but still had O’Hanlon and Conor McManus to call upon.
The latter was brought on at half-time and with three minutes of his introduction he had his first point. McManus was through on goal but was pushed by Niall Daly, who got yellow, and after his shot was saved by O’Malley McManus scored the resultant free.
It was a turning point and Monaghan were back level. Conor McCarthy scored their first point of the half and after McManus scored Ward got his second.
Cox ended the Roscommon drought but McManus and Fintan Kelly fired back. Ultan Harney cut the gap in the 51st minute.
That Harney score sparked a revival for Roscommon and two quick-fire points from Cox and Kilroy had them back in front with 14 minutes remaining.
But Cox and O’Rourke went in quick succession as the game looked to have turned in Monaghan’s favour again.
McManus and then Dermot Malone gave Monaghan the lead again. However, Ultan Harney was fouled in the penalty area and Smith slotted the kick.
McCarron reduced the arrears but five minutes after his arrival on the field O’Hanlon was sent-off when he got involved with Evan McGrath off the ball.
There was still time for McManus to score again but Cox and Daly settled it.
Scorers for Roscommon: Conor Cox 0-5 (0-5f), Enda Smith 1-1 (1-0 pen), Niall Kilroy 0-2, Darren O’Malley 0-1 (0-1 45), Niall Daly 0-1, Ultan Harney 0-1, Ronan Daly 0-1.
Scorers for Monaghan: Conor McManus 0-4 (0-3f), Rory Beggan 0-2 (0-2f), Dessie Ward 0-2, Jack McCarron 0-2 (0-1f), Conor McCarthy 0-1 (0-1f), Fintan Kelly 0-1, Dermot Malone 0-1.
ROSCOMMON: Darren O’Malley; David Murray, Conor Daly, Evan McGrath; Conor Hussey, Niall Daly, Ronan Daly; Tadgh O’Rourke, Enda Smith; Shane Killoran, Ultan Harney, Niall Kilroy; Conor Cox, Colin Compton, Cathal Cregg. Subs: Ciaran Lennon for Compton (35), Conor Devaney (Kilbride) for Cregg (51), Hubert Darcy for Kilroy (61), Caoilean Fitzmaurice for Harney (69), Gary Patterson (Michael Glavey’s) for Devaney (77).
MONAGHAN: Rory Beggan; Ryan Wylie, Conor Boyle, Kieran Duffy; Dessie Ward, Barry Kerr, Colin Walshe; Darren Hughes, Fintan Kelly; Shane Carey, Jack McCarron, Gavin Doogan; Micheál Bannigan, Conor McCarthy, Dermot Malone. Subs: Stephen O’Hanlon for McCarthy (6, blood), McCarthy for O’Hanlon (11), Drew Wylie for Boyle (15), Conor McManus for Bannigan (35), Ryan McAnespie for Doogan (44), Karl O’Connell for Carey (54), O’Hanlon for McCarthy (67).
Referee: Seán Hurson (Tyrone).