Early goals secure win for 13-man Roscommon

  Hastings Cup Roscommon 2-10 Westmeath 0-9 Despite having two men sent off in the second half of an eventful Hastings Cup game in Ballyforan last night (Wednesday), Roscommon U-21 footballers held on for an impressive victory over neighbours Westmeath.   This was Roscommon’s first competitive game of 2008 and new manager Mike Ryan will be delighted to see his charges make a winning start to their Hastings Cup campaign.   A brilliant nine-minute spell early in the first half set Mike Ryan’s charges up for victory as they overcame a bright start by Westmeath.   During that spell Roscommon scored 2-3 without reply with a cracking goal from Conor Devanney after thirteen minutes the highlight.   Westmeath, inspired by full-forward James Durkan, had started brightly and they led by 0-3 to no score after just six minutes of play.   However a great move involving James McKeague and Enda Kenny resulted in Conor Devanney netting a super goal on thirteen minutes and three minutes later Kilmore’s Paul Garvey also goaled when his attempt for a point ended up in the Westmeath net. Roscommon led by 2-6 to 0-6 after an entertaining first half.   The second half was a more physical affair and there was just one score in the first ten minutes, from Roscommon’s Paul Garvey.   Thirteen minutes into the half Conor Devanney got his marching orders and Roscommon were down to fourteen players.   Westmeath’s Durkan and Lynam (sub) and Roscommon’s Garvey and Cregg then exchanged scores. Then came a second major setback to Mike Ryan’s side as defender Oliver Harney was sent off with eight minutes remaining.   Thirteen-man Roscommon were now forced to fight a rearguard action and with substitute Brian O’Gara, Cathal Cregg and David Flynn all prominent, they managed to keep Westmeath at bay.   Yet another Durkan point for Westmeath reduced the deficit to six but an impressive Roscommon had the last say with a brilliant score. The home side worked the ball all the way up the field in the last minute and completed the move in style when Enda Kenny fired over from about thirty metres.     Roscommon: Mark Miley; Ronan Brady,   Michael King, Oliver Harney; Niall Carty, David Flynn, Niall Grehan; James McKeague, David Keenan; David O’Gara, Paul Garvey (1-3), Kevin Higgins; Conor Devanney (1-2), Enda Kenny (0-3), Cathal Cregg (0-2). Subs: Brian O’Gara for Keenan, Michael Killilea for Higgins, Donal Ward for Grehan.   Westmeath: Robbie Lynch; Fintan O’Reilly, Ciaran Gavin, Aaron Purcell; Ronan Curley, Andrew Whitney, Tommy Warburton; Jack Hogan, Denis Corroon; Conrad Reilly, David Deegan, Keith Scally (0-1); John Connellan (0-1), James Durkan (0-6), Tommy McCormack. * Substitute Lynam scored 0-1.   Referee: Michael Doherty (Longford).