Pictured caption: From April 2015, All-Ireland U-21 semi-final, Roscommon v Tyrone: Mark Dowd leads his management team off the field at half-time. Picture: Andrew Fox.
12 YEARS AGO
Cork afloat – gallant Roscommon in danger of sinking
National Football League Division Two, Cork 1-14 Roscommon 0-15: The look of thunder on John Maughan’s face after Eugene Murtagh’s final whistle in Kiltoom last Sunday spoke volumes. The Roscommon manager’s bitter disappointment was justified, for he had just watched his team take a very significant step in the direction of relegation, having ‘almost’ battled evenly with a pumped up Cork team for seventy minutes in an engaging National League fixture.
“I don’t think that that was the way to lose a game. We had several opportunities in both halves where we should have taken our scores. We gave away a soft goal on a cheap turnover and we were punished. If you want to say that it was an experience then maybe it was, but I’m very disappointed” a morose Maughan told the media scrum that congregated around him at the end of the game.
He is right too. It wasn’t the way to lose a game. Roscommon played energetically and at times with great exuberance on Sunday but failed at the crucial stages of the game to cope with the determination of Cork’s will. The result leaves Roscommon with just one point after three league matches and, while the optimists among us will talk about what a great experience playing against last year’s All-Ireland finalists was for our young team, the reality is that Roscommon could have won or at least drawn this game. As it was, however, Cork’s ugly hoof-and-pedal-hard-after-it strategy secured the two vital points that were at stake. Roscommon will now spend the rest of the spring attempting to fight off relegation.
Roscommon: Geoffrey Claffey; Paddy O’Connor, Anthony McDermott, Adrian Murtagh; Seanie McDermott, Enda Kenny, David O’Gara; Karol Mannion, Mark O’Carroll; Gary Cox (0-2, 0-1f), Frankie Dolan (0-1), Cathal Cregg; Senan Kilbride (0-1), Jonathon Dunning (0-2), Ger Heneghan (0-7, 0-5 frees). Subs used: David Keenan for Murtagh (34 mins); Conor Devanney (0-2, frees) for Cox (59 mins); Michael Finneran for Cregg (66 mins).
(From 7 March 2008)
10 YEARS AGO
Early horror show ends fairytale for Roscommon
Cadbury’s All-Ireland U-21 Football Championship semi-final,
Roscommon 0-8 Dublin 2-10: There can be no complaints. Regrets maybe, but no serious complaints. Leaving Breffni Park as part of a disappointed but philosophical – and typically large – throng of Roscommon fans, you wondered was it that Roscommon had had an off-day, or just that they weren’t quite good enough. It was probably a bit of both.
With seventeen minutes to go, Roscommon had reduced a six-point deficit to three, had an extra man and had been enjoying clear territorial dominance. At that stage you could say they were on top, but behind – because their attack was fairly average and their defence had been caught napping twice in the opening four minutes – and punished on both occasions by Dublin goals. But in the last thirteen or fourteen minutes, when Roscommon ought to have clawed themselves further back into contention, Dublin instead finished the job impressively. Before that, Dublin had been nothing special. So perhaps they had an extra gear all along. Certainly they deserved the win in the end.
Roscommon’s performance was very frustrating. The players were gallant and at times played quite impressively. After a disastrous start, they refused to panic, and that was a sign of growing maturity. They have had a good championship and there are some positives to be taken from this luckless outing.
Roscommon: Darren O’Malley; Paul O’Grady, Neil Collins, Michael Higgins; James McKeague, Niall Daly, Eamon Bannon; Niall Carthy (0-1), Kevin Higgins (0-1); Paul Garvey, Cathal Shine, Brian Murtagh; Niall Kilroy (0-1), Donie Shine (0-4, all frees), Darren McDermott (0-1). Subs: A O’Hara for C Shine, E Kenny for Murtagh, E Sheehy for Collins, L O’Connor for Garvey.
(From 23 April 2010)
5 YEARS AGO
Lee-thal Brennan sends Roscommon crashing out
Eirgrid All-Ireland U-21 FC semi-final,
Tyrone 0-17 Roscommon 0-12: Roscommon U-21 manager Mark Dowd was left reeling by Tyrone’s lightning-fast start to Saturday’s All-Ireland U-21 semi-final in which favourites Roscommon were defeated by the Ulster champions.
Roscommon’s dreams of All-Ireland U-21 football championship glory came crashing down at sunny Markievicz Park when they were outgunned by a slick and very well prepared Tyrone side.
Opening the scoring after just 15 seconds, Tyrone were 0-4 to no score in front by the 7th minute – and that meant Mark Dowd’s worst fears were being realised.
Dowd told People Sport: “We knew that Tyrone always start good in games and they usually win when they start well too, so we were trying to get a good start – but it just didn’t happen for us”.
(From 24 April 2015)
From Seamus Duke column: A mediocre Premier League season
The Premier League is petering out with a whimper and by this weekend all the issues could be decided if Hull are relegated, as looks likely now.
It has been a very mediocre season in terms of great games and excitement. Of course that will not matter to Chelsea and Jose Mourinho who were by far the best team (and manager) in the division over the course of the season. But there are a lot of poor sides in the Premier League.
Arsenal are probably the best team after Chelsea, but the rest are poor. Manchester City have great players but they are earning so much money that they don’t seem to care enough about the club. Manchester United are also very poor at the moment. Readers will know that I am not a Louis van Gaal fan but I suppose I will have to admit that getting his team into the Champions League is an achievement for the Dutchman. But United have so much improving to do to return to former glory.
Liverpool have been lost this season without Luis Suarez, while Spurs are so inconsistent. (From 15 May 2015)