FL1: excellent Rossies bring Farney back to earth

February 03, 2019

Roscommon's Conor Cox and Monaghan's Conor Boyle. ©INPHO/Evan Logan.

Roscommon were full value for a wonderful 1-12 to 0-13 victory over Monaghan at Dr Hyde Park.

Enda Smith slotted the game’s only goal from a 68th-minute penalty as Anthony Cunningham’s men bounced back from their opening-round defeat to Mayo, bringing the Farney County back to earth with a resounding thud following their defeat of Dublin last weekend.

Conor McManus drew 14-man Monaghan level deep into added time but late points from Conor Cox (free) and Ronan Daly handed Roscommon the reward their efforts merited.

The victors bossed the first half and were full value for their 0-6 to 0-4 interval lead. Indeed, Malachy O’Rourke’s out-of-sorts charges could consider themselves very fortunate to be only two points adrift when the short whistle sounded.

Dessie Ward opened the scoring in the first minute but the Rossies were two clear by the 15th minute thanks to scores from Smith, debutant Cox (free) and Niall Kilroy. Jack McCarron snapped over the visitors’ third score at the midway stage in the first half but Niall Daly replied to make it double scores after 20 minutes, 0-4 to 0-2.

Beggan smacked over a trademark free for the visitors and then denied Rossies corner back Evan McGrath a goal before Darren O’Malley’s ‘45’ flew over. Beggan pointed his second free three minutes from the break but Cox replied to close the first-half scoring with a pointed free at the town end.

Conor McCarthy pointed after an inside mark in the first minute of the second half and half-time substitute McManus pointed a free before Ward tore through to give the visitors a 0-7 to 0-6 lead after 38 minutes.

Cox (free) and McManus swapped frees before Fintan Kelly got on the end of a good Monaghan move to make it 0-9 to 0-7.

But points from Ultan Harney and Cox (free) – his fourth – had the resilient Rossies level again with 15 minutes left and they were back in front when Kilroy opted to fist his point with the goal gaping. The sin-binnings of Cox and Tadhg O’Rourke saw the hosts reduced to 13 men and offered the visitors numerical superiority for the last ten minutes…

McManus swung over a 62nd-minute free to make it ten points apiece and – five minutes from the end – Dermot Malone restored Monaghan’s lead at the end of a counter-attack initiated by a timely Kelly tackle.

But the spirited 13 men were awarded a penalty on 67 minutes when Ultan Harney went down and captain Smith stepped forward to calmly fire his effort past Beggan to the bottom right corner at the graveyard end of Dr Hyde Park.

McCarron banged over a tricky free on the stroke of 70 minutes and the visitors were reduced to 14 men in the first of six additional minutes when substitute Stephen O’Hanlon was shown a straight red card, with the home team now back to 15.

All Star McManus equalised from a 44-metre free in the third additional minute but the returned Cox hammered over a sensational point for the Rossies 90 seconds later. Daly fisted the insurance point in the sixth minute of injury time as the hosts claimed a superb victory.

Roscommon - D O’Malley (0-1'45); D Murray, C Daly, E McGrath; C Hussey, N Daly (0-1), R Daly (0-1); T O’Rourke, E Smith (1-1, 1-0pen); S Killoran, U Harney (0-1), N Kilroy (0-2); C Cox (0-5f), C Compton, C Cregg. Subs: C Lennon for C Compton, C Devaney for C Cregg.

Monaghan - R Beggan (0-2f); K Duffy, C Boyle, R Wylie; D Ward (0-2), B Kerr, C Walshe; D Hughes, F Kelly (0-1); S Carey, J McCarron (0-2, 1f), G Doogan; C McCarthy (0-1m), D Malone (0-1), M Bannigan. Subs: D Wylie for C Boyle, C McManus (0-4, 3f) for M Bannigan, R McAnespie for G Doogan, K O’Connell for S Carey, S O'Hanlon for C McCarthy.

Referee - S Hurson.

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