Kevin Egan reports from Dr Hyde Park
A DOMINANT DISPLAY by the Smith brothers along the spine of the attack gave Roscommon a measure of leadership and penetration that was sorely lacking from their Cork opponents this afternoon in the Hyde, as the Rossies cruised to a victory that was far more comfortable than the six-point winning margin would suggest.
Roscommon’s Enda Smith and Cork’s Brian Hurley.
Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO
Enda and Donie combined to score 1-9 between them, with their Boyle club colleague Cian McKeon firing over three of the other four, but they were also representative of Roscommon’s control of all the key battles along the spine of the field.
Brian Stack never allowed Brian Hurley any penetration close to goal, Ultan Harney and Eddie Nolan offered a physical element to the midfield battle that Cork couldn’t match, and by the 65 th minute, Keith Ricken had used four substitutions – three of them to withdraw players that started at midfield, centre back and centre forward.
Cork could look back at their final tally of nine second-half wides and say that things could have been very different had they used the wind much better, but Roscommon’s control of the tackle and the turnover county meant that in many cases, Cork were reduced to taking pot shots from distance to try and bypass the Connacht county’s defence.
The inexperience and immaturity of this Rebel group will be cited but there were young players in action for Roscommon too, with Eoin McCormack, Richard Hughes and Cian McKeon all particularly impressive – albeit their job was made much easier by the performance of the established players around them.
Cork’s Colm O’Callaghan and Roscommon’s Colm Lavin.
The breeze appeared to freshen at half-time, which opened the window of opportunity ever so slightly, and when Tadhg Corkery dispossessed a Roscommon player to set up a score for Mark Cronin in the first minute, it seemed like the script might be flipped on its head ever so slightly.
Brian Hurley added the next to reduce the gap to five, but Cork were already adding to their wides tally at a ferociously quick rate, as their inability to break the tackle meant that they went for scores from some very difficult distances and angles. Hurley’s score – a free from 55 metres – demonstrated that the ‘scoring zone’ for the men in red was large, but far too many shots were taken and missed from that type of distance.
In the space of 20 minutes of play, just two points were added – both frees from Donie Smith – and all hopes of a Cork comeback were well and truly extinguished.
Roscommon’s Donie Smith and Cork’s Mark Cronin.
Scorers for Roscommon: Donie Smith 0-7 (0-5f), Enda Smith 1-2, Cian McKeon 0-3 (0-2f), Niall Kilroy (0-1).
Scorers for Cork: Brian Hurley 0-6 (0-4f, 0-1 ‘45), David Buckley, Matthew Taylor, John O’Rourke, Mark Cronin (0-1 each).
1. Colm Lavin (Éire Óg)
2. Fergal Lennon (Clann na nGael), 3. Brian Stack (St. Brigid’s), 4. Eoin McCormack (St. Dominic’s),
5. Dylan Ruane (Michael Glaveys), 6. Conor Hussey (Michael Glaveys), 7. Richard Hughes
8. Ultan Harney (Clann na nGael), 9. Eddie Nolan (St. Brigid’s),
10. Niall Kilroy (Fuerty), 11. Enda Smith (Boyle), 12. Diarmuid McGann (Strokestown),
20. Cathal Heneghan (Michael Glaveys), 14. Donie Smith (Boyle), 13. Cian McKeon (Boyle).
22. Ben O’Carroll (St. Brigid’s) for Heneghan (h-t)
18. Ciarán Lawless (Oran) for Ruane (50),
23. Shane Cunnane (St. Brigid’s) for McGuane (57)
21. Ciarán Sugrue (St. Brigid’s) for Harney (64),
17. Colin Walsh (Oran) for Lennon (67)
1. Michéal Martin (Nemo Rangers)
4. Tadhg Corkery (Cill na Martra) 17. Kevin Flahive (Douglas) 2. Sean Powter (Douglas)
5. Cian Kiely (Ballincollig), 6. John Cooper (Éire Óg), 7. Matthew Taylor (Mallow)
8. Joe Grimes, 20. Rory Maguire (Castlehaven)
12. David Buckley (Newcestown), 22. John O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers), 9. Colm O’Callaghan (Éire Óg)
13. Mark Cronin (Nemo Rangers), 14. Brian Hurley (Castlehaven), 15. Daniel Dineen (Cill na Martra)
23. Eoghan McSweeney (Knocknagree) for Grimes (27)
25. Kevin O’Donovan (Nemo Rangers) for Cooper (half-time)
26. Chris Óg Jones (Iveleary) for Buckley (48)
19. Paul Ring (Aghabullogue) for O’Rourke (64)
24. Mark Buckley (Dohenys) for Cronin (66)
Referee: Seamus Mulhare (Laois)
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