Kildare set benchmark in disappointing challenge


Senior Football Challenge: Kildare 1-16 Roscommon  1-9

It’s hard to know what either side got out of this very disappointing challenge game played at bitterly cold St. Conleth’s Park in Newbridge last Friday night. From a Roscommon point of view, the team competed well in the opening half but when the teams emptied their benches in the second half Kildare took over and won with a bit to spare in the end. Kevin McStay and his selectors brought on eight subs at half-time and three more half-way through the second half as every fit Roscommon player at the game got a run.

  On the positive side, Enda Smith and Tadgh O’Rourke did well at midfield, Fintan Cregg and Conor Devaney did well up front and Diarmuid Murtagh is showing welcome signs of returning to his best, although he blazed a penalty wide with ten minutes to go.

  On the negative side, Roscommon kicked 15 wides and their strength in depth was not as good as Kildare’s in that second half when the changes were made. Niall Kilroy played in a sweeping role in the opening half and Roscommon restricted the Kildare attack impressively. Fintan Cregg scored a fine goal for Roscommon after 25 minutes following a super pass from Conor Devaney, and at half-time Roscommon led by 1-4 to 0-5.

  But Kildare were by far the stronger side in the second half and midfielder Paschal Connell blasted home a goal in the 52nd minute to give his side a lead that they were not to lose. Ultan Harney went off after 33 minutes of the first half with a concussion injury and Ciaráin Murtagh and John McManus were not togged.

Roscommon: Colm Lavin; David Murray, Sean Mullooly, Niall McInerney; Ronan Stack, Ultan Harney, Seanie McDermott; Tadgh O’Rourke, Enda Smith; Fintan Cregg (1-2), Niall Kilroy, Conor Devaney (0-1); Diarmuid Murtagh (0-3), Colin Compton, Cian Connolly.

Subs: Fergal Lennon (first half), Donie Smith (0-2), Darren O’Malley, Thomas Fetherstone, Shane Killoran, Gary Patterson, Ciaran Cafferky, Kevin Higgins (0-1) – all at half-time, Thomas Corcoran, David Rooney and Brian Stack (all at 54 minutes).