Unbeaten Roscommon now look to league final

Lidl NFL Division Three:
Roscommon 4-6 Antrim 1-14

Table-toppers Roscommon were made to fight all the way by Antrim at Lamh Dhearg in last Sunday’s Lidl NFL Division Three contest.

Roscommon’s win propels them into the Division Three final for the second time in three years, when they will hope to regain the title they won in 2022 against Wexford.

Antrim knew that only a win would do for them against Roscommon, as they were under threat of relegation.

The home team started in whirlwind fashion and found themselves 0-4 to 0-2 ahead after 14 minutes.

Roscommon responded with a goal. Sinead Farrell looked to be shooting for a point, but instead laid off to Shauna Walsh who fisted the ball to the back of the net.

From there on Antrim started to take control of the half and began attacking Roscommon in waves. Helena Cummins was called into action, saving a goal-bound shot from Lara Dahunsi.

Then came another timely Roscommon goal, Sinead Farrell chipping the Antrim goalkeeper five minutes before half-time. It kept Roscommon in touch, Antrim 1-9 to 2-3 ahead at the break.

Roscommon, who had been rotating players following their promotion the previous weekend, made six half-time substitutions. Lauren Shanagher and Aoife Gavin kicked early second-half scores for the visitors, Roscommon now awakened from their slumber.

Still, the hosts moved 1-12 to 2-6 ahead in what was turning into an absorbing contest. Roscommon responded with an Aisling Hanly goal, after she was set up by Lisa O’Rourke.

Antrim went ahead again before Roscommon struck with a late, late goal, the game’s decisive score. Rachel Fitzmaurice finished to the net on the stroke of full-time.

Roscommon’s win – by the narrowest of margins – meant they finish the league campaign unbeaten. They will now face Clare in the divisional final on Saturday, April 6th. Despite their very gallant effort last weekend, Antrim are relegated back to Division Four.

Roscommon: H Cummins; A McGrath; E Irwin, A McAuliffe; E Hagan, A McGrath, M McKeon; L O’Rourke, S Fleming; S Walsh (1-0), A O’Connor (0-3, two frees), S Farrell (1-0); A Gavin (0-2), N Fleming, A Shanagher. Subs: E Thompson, A Hanly (1-0), J  McDermott, K Nolan, R Fitzmaurice (1-0), S Wynne, L Shanagher (0-1), C Cregg.

Antrim scorers: E Murphy (1-1), L Dahunsi (0-3), A Taggart (0-4, 3 frees), C Taggart (0-2, 1 free), T Mellon (0-2), B Ní Cahail (0-1), C Logan (0-1).

Referee: Brendan Rice.