It’s Carlow next after Roscommon win over Kildare

National Camogie League Division Four  Roscommon …………… 5-6  Kildare ………………….. 3-7  Roscommon’s Junior Camogie team were too strong for the Lily Whites as they beat a gallant Kildare at a windy Johnstown Bridge on Sunday last. Roscommon entered this game having encountered a win against Louth three  weeks previously and needed to secure an away win to have a chance to make the league play-offs. Roscommon entered the game not knowing what to expect from Kildare – only that they suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Meath the previous week.   It was Kildare however that took the game to Roscommon in the 1st half and with the breeze behind them, Kildare meant business, raising the first white flag of the day, a point from full-forward Susie O’Carroll. Almost immediately after a collecting a long delivery from goalkeeper Caroline Connaughton, Annette McGeeney pointed for Roscommon.    For the next 10 minutes, it was all Kildare as they attacked at every opportunity. A strong breeze aided their delivery of ball into the full forward line where the industrious Susie O’Carroll was making life difficult for the blue and gold. It was this same player who goaled for the Lily Whites from a 21-yard free. This was the score that Roscommon responded to as they began to stamp their authority on the game.    The industrious Annette McGeeney was again to the fore when she landed a high ball into the square that somehow evaded the goalkeeper and dropped into the back of the net. Game on at this stage.    Roscommon’s purple patch ensused as they continued to pressurise the defence and this hard work was rewarded with two further green flags from Four Roads’ Donna Kelly and Athleague’s Rachael Fallon. Still Kildare persisted and tagged on 4 points in the final 10 minutes of the 1st half.      Roscommon went in at the break leading by 5 points. On the resumption of the second half, Kildare were the quicker out of the blocks and had a point on the scoreboard before even the Roscommon team had taken their respective positions. After 40 minutes, the Roscommon management would have been pleased to have been ahead – however for the next 10 minutes their charges let their guard down and allowed the Kildare girls back into the game. First came a debateable goal for the Lily Whites. The Roscommon girls pleaded with the referee for a square ball but their efforts fell on deaf ears. Kildare were further rewarded when a ground shot took a deflection from a Roscommon hurley and rolled into the back of the net.    Roscommon needed to pull something from the bag and this came in the form of subs Elaine Daly and Clodagh Rogers who immediately made their presence felt with some neat point-taking. These were the scores that Roscommon badly sought. Tension was high as Roscommon were only one  point up with Rogers standing over a free from nearly 45 metres out near the sideline following a foul on Donna Kelly. True to her form, she dissected the posts with a sublime point. Roscommon were two up. Could they batten down the hatches and close down the Kildare attack?   In the final 5 minutes, Roscommon had a vice-like grip on the lead they held and were determined not to release it. This was heightened when they raised one further green flag when a Rogers free slipped into the top corner of the net and Roscommon held out for a five-point victory.  Roscommon gathered the points but the question is: will this performance be enough when they face stiffer and sterner tests in the future?. At times, Roscommon let the home team dominate for periods and allowed them to creep back into the game. They need to become a 60-minute team.   At times the back-line was hesitant in clearing their lines but allowing for all of these negatives the management can take some positives from the game. Pride has been restored in the Roscommon jersey and there is a feeling that Roscommon can make a League Final appearance if they continue on their winning ways. Some good scores were taken in this game with the midfield berth and forwards combining well at stages.    Roscommon now take on Carlow on Saturday, 15th March at a Roscommon venue. Victory in this game will see them well-placed to make a League final appearance. Roscommon: Caroline Connaughton; Emer Farrell, Niamh Connolly, Cathriona Morris; Carmel Killeen, Siobhan Coyle, Ciara Moran; Donna Kelly (1-0), Patricia Lennon; Clare Curley, Cathriona Regan (0-1), Kelly Hopkins; Annette McGeeney (1-1), Rachael Fallon (2-0), Fiona Connell. Subs used: Gertie Dowd fo Kelly Hopkins, Clodagh Rogers (1-3) for Fiona Connell, Elaine Daly (0-1) for Clare Curley, Sara Keaveney for Patricia Lennon. Subs not used: Audrey Delaney, Paula Daly, Clare Casey.