Late Doyle goal wins it for Lilywhites

Shalom Senior Football Challenge: Kildare 1-16 Roscommon 1-13

Roscommon’s preparations for the new season continued in the bright winter sunshine at Kiltoom on Monday when a goal from Eoin Doyle two minutes from time proved decisive in what was a very enjoyable game for the good crowd who were present to support the Shalom charity.

  From a Roscommon point of view, the positives included good displays from David Murray, Seanie McDermott (who was started at centre half-back), Ultan Harney, Enda Smith and subs, Tadhg O’Rourke and Shane Killoran.

  In the search for a solid spine to the team, the selectors picked Colm Lavin in goal, Sean Mullooly at full-back, Seanie McDermott at centre-back. Ultan Harney and Kevin Higgins were started at midfield with Ciaráin Murtagh and Donie Smith filling the central roles in attack and they enjoyed varied amounts of success as the trial period continues ahead of the National League in a month’s time.

  It was nip and tuck in the first half with the sides kicking some fine points, although Kildare full-forward Daniel Flynn was causing havoc in the Roscommon defence and by half-time he had kicked five points from play as the visitors led by 0-9 to 0-7. Donie Smith, Ciaráin Murtagh and Enda Smith had kicked some good points for Roscommon.

  Early second half points for Kildare from Paul Cribbin and Neil Flynn saw the lead stretch to four but an excellent Enda Smith goal in the 39th minute saw the gap cut to the bare minimum. Roscommon caught Kildare in possession and Ciaráin Murtagh sent Enda Smith in on goal and he made no mistake from close range.

  It was close all the way after that and sub Gary Patterson levelled the scores at 1-9 to 0-12 in the 45th minute with a fine point. It was score for score until the Rossies took the lead in the 61st minute when another sub, Shane Killoran, was on target, and when Donie Smith pointed a free a minute later Roscommon were two ahead. But with six minutes to go, Neil Flynn’s free cut the gap to one and then in the 68th minute Fionn Dowling’s super pass found Eoin Doyle and he blasted home what was to be the winning score.

 Neil Flynn’s late free saw the visitors extend their lead to three and it was about a fair reflection on the balance of play.

  Roscommon now set their sights on the opening round of the FBD League on Sunday in Boyle at 2 pm when they take on Sligo IT.

Kildare: Mark Donnellan; Peter Kelly, David Hyland, Mark Hyland; Shea Ryan, Eoin Doyle (1-0), Johnny Byrne (0-1); Kevin Feely, Tommy Moolick (0-1); Con Kavanagh, Conor Hartley, Paul Cribbin (0-2); Neil Flynn (0-6, 4 frees), Daniel Flynn (0-6), David Slattery. Subs used: Fionn Dowling, Mick O’Grady, Ollie Lyons, Keith Cribbin, Darren Maguire, Shane McNamara, Pascal Connell, Eddie Heavy.

Roscommon: Colm Lavin; David Murray, Sean Mullooly, Niall McInerney; Niall Daly, Seanie McDermott, John McManus; Ultan Harney (0-1), Kevin Higgins (0-1); Fintan Cregg (0-1), Ciaráin Murtagh (0-2, 1 free), Enda Smith (1-2); Diarmuid Murtagh (0-1), Donie Smith (0-3, 1 free), Niall Kilroy. Subs: Gary Patterson (0-1) for McManus (h/t), Shane Killoran (0-1) for D Murtagh (h/t), Tadhg O’Rourke for Higgins (h/t), Andy Glennon for Kilroy (45), Thomas Corcoran for Harney (55), Tom Fetherston for Mullooly (57).

Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois)