The other Enda Kenny outpolls his Roscommon colleagues!

FBD League Sligo IT                    1-15 Roscommon            0-13 John Maughan’s Roscommon team made a losing start to 2008 when they went down by five points to a lively Sligo IT outfit (who are the defending champions) in this opening round FBD League game played in bitterly cold weather conditions at Ballinode last Sunday.   Despite the defeat there is nothing to be too alarmed about for the blue and gold supporters because of the huge amount of Roscommon players that were on duty for Third Level colleges in the various competitions, not alone in Connacht but also in Leinster and other provinces.   Last week here in The People we alluded to at least 15 players on the Roscommon panel who would not be available to play for John Maughan in the FBD League and when you add in the fact that Seamus O’Neill, Frankie Dolan and Paddy O’Connor all had to cry off the Roscommon panel for this game because of sickness or flu, it wasn’t a bad effort from those who did play.   There was good and bad news for the Roscommon selectors as far as the game itself went. The Roscommon full-back line looked porous throughout, which is a worry -however the good news is that the man who did most damage for Sligo IT was Castlerea St. Kevin’s’ own Enda Kenny, who was the best player on view and who laid down a marker to the selectors, suggesting it will be difficult for them to leave him off the starting fifteen when it comes to the forthcoming NFL.   Doing well for Roscommon were David Hoey, who had a great game at centre half-back, Martin Reynolds of St. Faithleachs, who made some very good catches in the middle of the field on his debut, Mark O’Carroll, who came on as sub and played well and Conor Devanney, who kicked a couple of fine points under pressure.   The pitch in Ballinode was in good condition and Sligo IT started with great purpose. Roscommon did lead by 0-3 to 0-2 after 13 minutes with points from Conor Devanney, Enda Kenny and Karol Mannion,  but Kenny was causing all sorts of trouble for the Roscommon full-back line and he added to an earlier point with the equaliser after 15 minutes.   Christy Murran and another Rossie – Rory O’ Connor (Strokestown) – extended the Sligo lead before Kenny struck for an excellent goal  in the 21st minute, beating Mark Miley with a precision strike from 15 yards that went in off the post.   It was a lead that Sligo IT were never to lose and the sides shared four points before the break to leave the half-time score at  Sligo IT 1-7 Roscommon 0-5. Roscommon’s wide count of eight in that first period added to their woes.   The pattern continued after the break with Kenny leading the way for the Sligo students at full-forward while further out the field, Mayo man Tom Parsons was having a good game at midfield.   By the 12th minute of the second half Sligo led by 1-11 to 0-7 but in fairness to Roscommon they enjoyed their best period after that. Conor Devanney kicked a very smart point from play in the 14th minute and a minute later Jonathan Dunning missed a great goal chance after good work from Karol Mannion and David Hoey.   Dervanney and sub John Collins narrowed the gap to four with points by the 17th minute but Sligo IT were always able to get a vital point and that’s the way it proved after that.   Christy Murren kicked the point of the game for Sligo in the 22nd minute and when full-back Gary Reynolds burst forward for another Sligo point suddenly it was back to a six-point margin again. Sub John Collins kicked two good frees in the final ten minutes but Sligo were always able to reply and although Karol Mannion and Johnny Dunning did score points in the final five minutes, Alan Costello kicked two good scores for Sligo IT to keep them ahead at the finish.   Roscommon’s next game will be against NUIG at Dangan in Galway City next Sunday at 2 pm. Sligo IT: Alvin McCallig (Mayo); Eunan Hegarty (Donegal), Gary Reynolds (Leitrim, 0-1), Cillian Bann (Galway); Shane Molloy (Donegal), Colm Boyle (Mayo, 0-1), Michael Killilea (Roscommon); Rory O’Connor (Roscommon, 0-1), Tom Parsons (Mayo, 0-1);  Jamie Murphy (Galway), Francis Quine (Sligo), Alan Costello (Mayo, 0-2); Aidan McTighe (Mayo, 0-3), Enda Kenny (Roscommon, 1-4), Christy Murren (Donegal, 0-2). Subs: Mark Gordon (Sligo), Alan O’Hara (Roscommon), Shane Boyle (Donegal). Roscommon: Mark Miley; Stephen Ormsby, Anthony McDermott, Robbie Kelly; John Tiernan (0-1), David Hoey, Richard Dooner; Michael Finneran, Martin Reynolds; David O’ Gara, Karol Mannion (0-3), Ross Nolan; Conor Devanney (0-3, 1 free), Senan Kilbride, Johnny Dunning (0-3, 1 free). Subs: Mark O’Carroll for Nolan, John Collins (0-3, all frees) for O’Gara, John Rogers for Ormsby. Rreferee: R McBrien (Leitrim).  At a glance