Cavan edge Hastings battle

Dowd’s focus is on Galway

Hastings Cup (Round 3) Cavan 0-15 Roscommon 2-8

The stats will show that this match in Kiltoom last Saturday was a third defeat in a row for Roscommon in the Hastings Cup, but in terms of performance this was far more like it from a Roscommon point of view.

  Mark Dowd’s men were depleted once again but they put in an excellent afternoon’s work and indeed if Cathal Callinan had converted a 45th minute penalty, Roscommon could well have won the game.

  Either way it was a good performance from Roscommon and with a lot of the more established players to come back into the panel, the manager and his selectors have plenty of options to consider ahead of the opening round championship game against Galway on March 9th.

  This was a very entertaining game in which both sides enjoyed periods of supremacy at different stages. Cavan led by 0-4 to 0-2 after six minutes but in the 7th minute Aengus Lyons was fouled on his way towards goal and Cathal Callinan fired home the resultant spot-kick to give Roscommon the lead.

  Then Cavan assumed control and with Tom Hayes inspirational in attack they led by 0-10 to 1-4 coming up to the break. However, Roscommon went in level. A fantastic team move involving Cathal Callinan, Aengus Lyons and Hubert Darcy ended with Kevin Farrell blasting to the Cavan net. Half-time score: Cavan 0-10 Roscommon 2-4.

  Cavan were the better side in the third quarter and by the 44th minute they led by 0-15 to 2-5 and were looking good for a comfortable victory. But Roscommon rallied again. Hubert Darcy was upended in the large square in the 45th minute but Cathal Callinan’s spot-kick was saved by Fergal O’Rourke (after Joe O’Donoghue received a black card) and when the rebound came back to the Clann na nGael man he miskicked and the chance was gone.

  Even so Roscommon kicked three fine points without reply from Callinan, Davy Neary and John Gannon, to reduce the margin to the bare minimum, but Roscommon ran out of time and Cavan prevailed by a point.

  Best for a lively Roscommon on the day were Davy Neary, Evan McGrath, Keelan Beirne, Kevin Farrell, Aengus Lyons, John Gannon and Hubert Darcy.

  After the game the Roscommon manager Mark Dowd was happy with the way his side played.

  “There was nothing in it in the end. I was disappointed that we lost but I am a lot happier this week because we really worked hard in the second half today whereas we faded in our last two games in the second half. We have another game now next weekend and that’s good.”

  “This time last year we were fielding strong teams in the Hastings Cup – and did it prove much of a benefit to us later in the year? I’m not so sure. But this year we are in a much stronger position in that I have seen a lot more of the players on the panel as we prepare for the championship. I know that the results have not gone our way but it’s all about March the 9th to be honest,” he concluded.

Cavan: Joe O’Donoghue; Jason McMahon, Cormac Daly, Michael Devine; Caoimhin Carney (0-1), Benjamin Kelly (0-1), Niall Clerkin (0-1); Cian Monaghan, Brian McGee (0-1); Matt McKiernan, Liam Galligan (0-3, 2 frees), Pearse Smyth (0-2); Caoimhin O’Reilly (0-5, 3 frees), Tom Hayes (0-1), Sean Rutherford. Subs: Donal Monaghan for Kelly, Stuart Dunne for Rutherford, Fergal O’Rourke for O’Donoghue (Black Card), Dylan Raythorne for Devine (Black Card), Evan Doherty for Carney, Sean Tierney for O’Reilly.

Roscommon: Adam McManus; Davy Neary (0-1), Evan McGrath, Conor McNiece; Keelan Beirne (0-2), Shane Pettit, Jack Casey; Tom Butler, Senan Farrell; Aengus Lyons, Austin Kielty (0-2), Kevin Farrell (1-0); Cathal Callinan (1-2, 1 free), John Gannon (0-1), Hubert Darcy. Subs: Niall Connorton for Butler, John Donohue for Pettit.

Referee: Hugh O’Kane (Longford).

Note: Roscommon will play Leitrim in a shield game in Rathcline this Saturday (23rd) at 2 pm.