Hodson Bay Hotel Roscommon SFC: Padraig Pearses 0-14 St Brigid’s 0-9 (Group A)

Padraig Pearses were full value for their five-point win in this opening round championship encounter played in glorious weather conditions at Pairc an Piarsaigh on Sunday last.

  This was the first time in many years that Pearses beat Brigid’s in the championship and it was an excellent start to the campaign for them.

  In contrast, Frankie Dolan’s first game in charge of St Brigid’s saw them struggle for long periods, notably up front, and without Senan and Ian Kilbride and Ronan Stack they will have to step up their performance considerably in the coming rounds of the championship if they want to make an impact.

  A strong breeze blew direct downfield and assisted Pearses in the opening half and with 25 minutes gone Brigid’s were coping well with the home side and the scores were locked at 0-3 apiece. Then Pearses came alive in the final five minutes of the half and knocked over four points without reply from Niall Daly (2), Hubert Darcy and Seanie Fahy to go in at the break 0-7 to 0-3 ahead.

  With Garvan Dolan having a great game at midfield, Brigid’s dominated the third quarter and by the 49th minute the gap was down to a point (0-9 to 0-8), with Dolan having scored three long-range points from play. But, with Davy Murray and Niall Daly outstanding, the home side finished by far the stronger. Points from Emmett Kelly (3), Hubert Darcy and Seanie Fahy saw Shane Curran’s men pull away to win easily in the end.

  It was a game that was fractious and bad-tempered at times, and county players Niall Carty (black card) and Cathal McHugh (red) were both sent to the line by referee Vivian Hardiman.

  Best for Pearses were Davy Murray, Eamon Donoghue, Niall Daly, Hubert Darcy and Emmet Kelly, while for Brigid’s, Brian Stack, Garvan Dolan and Karol Mannion were most prominent.

Padraig Pearses: A McManus; M Richardson, N Carty, A Butler; S Carty (0-1), D Murray (0-1), C Daly (0-1); N Daly (0-2), E Donoghue; T Butler, H Darcy (0-2), R Daly; E Kelly (0-3, 1 free), A Mannion, S Fahy (0-3, 1 free). Subs: C Kelly (0-1) for Carty (black card), Conor Payne for Mannion.

St Brigid’s: S Mannion; D Nestor, D Donnelly, J Murray; D Sheehy, D Dolan, N McInerney; G Dolan (0-3), M Daly; N Grehan, K Mannion, D Cunniffe; J McDonnell (0-1, free), C McHugh (0-4, 2 frees), B Stack. Subs: M Nolan for Nestor, E Sheehy (0-1) for D Sheehy, J Cunningham for Cunniffe, C McNiece for Donnelly. Referee: Vivian Hardiman.

Man of the Match: Davy Murray.

Boyle are best!

Hodson Bay Hotel Roscommon SFC: Boyle 1-12 Castlerea St Kevin’s 1-7 (Group A)

Boyle were far too strong for an understrength Castlerea side at Abbey Park on Sunday. The first half was a very poor affair and after 15 minutes only two points had been scored, both of them frees from Ger Heneghan. But once the home side found their rhythm they quickly equalised, through points from Colin Goldrick and a Donie Smith free. Two further points and a well-taken goal from Conor Flanagan in the 27th minute helped Boyle to a handsome 1-6 to 0-2 lead at half-time.

  A couple of early points for Castlerea suggested a comeback might be on the cards, but Boyle responded with points from Darren O’Connor, Tadhg Lowe and Jim Suffin, and by the three-quarters mark the home side were eight points ahead.

  Castlerea scored 1-2 in quick succession to put some respectability on the scoreboard. These scores came from frees from Chris Dineen and a converted penalty from Ger Heneghan (in the 50th minute). However, points from Michael Hanmore and a Donie Smith free ensured that Boyle opened their campaign with a good win.

  Best for Boyle were Tadhg McKenna, Donie Smith, Conor Gilmartin and Conor Flanagan, while for a disappointing Castlerea, Fintan Kelly, Chris Dineen and Ger Heneghan were most prominent.

Boyle: T Lowe (0-1, free); A Sharkey, K Cox, C Beirne; M Hanmore (0-1), C McGowan, T McKenna; Kieran Cox, J Suffin (0-1); C Flanagan (1-1), D Callaghan, G Gilmartin (0-1); C Goldrick (0-2, frees), D Smith (0-4, 2 frees), D O’Connor (0-1). Subs: R Hanmore for Suffin, M O’Connor for Kieran Cox (black card), C Beirne for Gilmartin.

Castlerea St Kevin’s: G Claffey; E Creighton, N Collins, G McElhone; D Creighton, D Quinn, N Connaughton; F Kelly, R Raftery; S Ryan, C Casey, J Henry; C Dineen (0-3, all frees), P O’Connor, G Heneghan (1-4, penalty, four frees). Subs: T Callaghan for Connaughton, E Kenny for Henry, J Keenan for Dineen, L O’Connell for O’Connor. Referee: Paul Daly.

Derek denies Strokestown

Hodson Bay Hotel Roscommon SFC: Western Gaels 1-13 Strokestown 0-8 (Group B)

Western Gaels got off to a great start with a fully-merited win against a disappointing Strokestown side in Elphin in poor weather conditions on Saturday night last. Western Gaels dominated the exchanges from the start and it laid the foundations for a deserved win.

  Strokestown led early on, but the Gaels soon assumed control, and with Seanie McDermott playing well in defence, the scores began to flow. Points from Niall Higgins (2), Seanie McDermott, Oisin Ward, Derek Moran (2) and Cathal Cregg helped the Frenchpark side to a 0-7 to 0-3 lead after 23 minutes.

  Strokestown points (2) from Colin Compton reduced the margin to two by the interval. Then Strokestown reduced the margin to a single point on the resumption when Colin Compton scored another free.

  The exchanges were close until the vital goal came in the 45th minute when Derek Moran finished off a fine team move and the game was over as a contest after that.

  Best for Western Gaels were Seanie McDermott, Derek Moran, Cathal Cregg and James McDonnell, while for Strokestown, Colin Compton, Sean Mullooly and Paddy Brogan were most prominent.

Western Gaels: P Cummins; S Conry, B Cafferky, C Casserly; A Dowd (0-1), S McDermott (0-1), O Ward; N Murray, J Duffy; J McDonnell (0-1), N Higgins (0-2), D Ward; D McGarry, C Cregg (0-4), D Moran (1-4).

Strokestown: J McHugh; I Rogers, S Mullooly, D Molloy; D Neary, K Beirne, R Molloy; S Collins, D Rogers; M Hagan, P Brogan, E Molloy; K Finn (0-2), C Compton (0-6, 4 frees), T Corcoran. Subs: L Kelly for I Rogers (black card), K Murphy for Molloy, R Molloy for Brogan (black card). Referee: Paddy Neilan.

Croan’s in a canter

Hodson Bay Hotel Roscommon SFC : St Croan’s 0-13 Michael Glavey’s 1-3 (Group B)

St Croan’s showed a clean pair of heels to intermediate champions Michael Glavey’s in this first-round game played in torrential rain and strong winds at O’Rourke Park on Saturday night last. There was only a point between the teams at half-time but Croan’s were far the better side after the break and they pulled away to win easily.

  Glavey’s struck for a fisted goal through Caoileann Fitzmaurice in the 5th minute and points from Andrew Glennon (one a sideline kick) gave them hope. Points for the home side from Kevin Smyth (2) and Cathal Connelly (2) saw them in touch at the break despite the fact that they missed a penalty in the 27th minute, when Keith Keenan blazed the spot-kick wide.

  Points in the second period from Cathal Connelly (2), Brian Mullin, Keith Muldoon (2) and Thomas Mockler saw Croan’s home with Glavey’s only managing one second-half point.

  James Connaughton, Cathal Connelly, Thomas Mockler and Robbie Keenan played well for Croan’s, while Andrew Glennon, Gerry Fagan and Gary Patterson were best for Glavey’s.

St Croan’s: V Egan; T Mockler (0-1), G Grogan, K Keenan; P Hynes, R Timothy, P Leech; J Connaughton, M Holland; G Connaughton, K Smyth (0-4, 2 frees), R Keenan; C Connelly (0-3), A Brogan, S Smyth. Subs: K Muldoon (0-4, 3 frees) for K Smyth, B Mullin (0-1) for S Smyth, A Hurley for Leech, R Thompson for Egan.

Michael Glavey’s: D O’Malley; N Morris, S Markham, D Freyne; L McDermott, G Patterson, J Brennan; J Finan, C Hussey; S Burke, C Fitzmaurice (1-0), S Comer; A Glennon (0-2, 1 free), G Fagan (0-1), S Fagan. Subs: S Burke for McDermott, T Murphy for S Fahan, T Keane for Fitzmaurice, C Ruane for Brennan. Referee: Ollie Kelly.

Murtaghs’ magic

Hodson Bay Hotel Roscommon SFC: St Faithleach’s 2-14 Elphin 0-12 (Group B)

St Faithleach’s were the impressive winners in this entertaining game played in brilliant sunshine and warm conditions at Kilglass. Powered by the Murtagh brothers, Faithleach’s scored two goals within a minute in the opening half and that sowed the seeds of a well-merited win.

  In the 13th minute Diarmuid Murtagh blasted home after a ball struck the upright and on the kick-out Diarmuid Murtagh passed to Darragh Hussey who made no mistake from close-range. By the 23rd minute, Faithleach’s led by a whopping eleven points.

  Elphin were better after the break and they missed a penalty in the 48th minute when Gerry Cregg’s effort struck a post and was cleared. Elphin scored some nice points and reduced the margin to six at one stage but Faithleach’s were too far ahead and they won comfortably in the end.

  Faithleach’s were best served by the three Murtaghs – Brian, Ciaran and Diarmuid – Darragh Hussey and Cathal Gunn, while for Elphin, Fintan Cregg, Jason Carney and John Collins were prominent.

St Faithleach’s: A Manning; B Scally, C Gunn (0-1), M Cox; D Nerney, H Kenny, D Harrison; B Murtagh (0-2), D Murray; K Farrell, C Murtagh (0-5, 3 frees), D Rooney (0-1, ’45); D Murtagh (1-3, 1 free), D Hussey (1-1), A Kenny. Subs: D Foley for A Kenny, J Hussey (0-1) for Cox.

Elphin: B Oates; J Carney, C Sweeney, D Cregg; R Beirne (0-1, free), C Brady, S Beirne (0-1, free); S Killoran (0-1), J Collins (0-2); C Fox, G Cregg (0-1), M McCaffrey; A Murray (0-2), F Cregg (0-3), P O’Connor. Subs: E Tiernan (0-1), for Sweeney, l Mollahan for Fox. Referee: Seamus Regan.