Dublin were forced to accept a point from the opening group stages of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship when drawing with Roscommon at Croke Park on Sunday afternoon.
The Dubs trailed by four points at half-time but a John Small goal early in the second-half looked to have provided the catalyst for an opening victory before Roscommon bounced back with two points in injury time to claim a deserved share of the spoils.
It was Roscommon who served early notice of their intentions as they retained possession patiently for two minutes before Ciarán Lennon found the required space to pop over from close range.
Lennon was on target two minutes later to double his team’s advantage before Dublin finally opened their own account in the 6th minute with a well-executed point from Cormac Costello.
The game was being played on Roscommon’s terms however and Dublin were indebted to Stephen Cluxton for racing smartly off his line to block a Ciaráin Murtagh effort with Diarmuid Murtagh popping over a free from the resultant scramble for possession.
Con O’Callaghan replied for Dublin in the 10th minute with a scoreless eight-minute period ensuing before Ciaráin Murtagh converted a free with Michael Fitzsimons receiving a black card for the challenge.
Dublin did reasonably well to minimise the damage from their numerical disadvantage despite scores from Enda Smith and Diarmuid Murtagh with Costello and O’Callaghan bringing their personal tallies to two points apiece in quick succession.
These points proved a false dawn for the hosts as their opponents monopolised possession towards the end of the half with Ciaráin Murtagh adding two excellent points from play to extend Roscommon’s lead to 0-9 to 0-5 by the interval.
Dublin’s intensity was noticeably higher after the break with Sean Bugler pointing within a minute of the restart but an excellent Niall Daly effort at the opposite end restored Roscommon’s four-point advantage.
However, that margin was significantly reduced within four minutes as Niall Scully made an excellent interception and after O’Callaghan found James McCarthy, Small was on hand to bundle home from his Ballymun club mate’s pass.
A Costello free brought the sides level and Dublin were ahead for the first time in the game by the 48th minute as the impressive Costello split the posts with a tidy point on the turn.
Another lengthy barren spell in terms of scoring followed before Ciaráin Murtagh and Costello exchanged points prior to the former restoring parity with a free in the 63rd minute.
Successive points from Costello (free) and Bugler look to have sealed the win for Dublin with substitute Tom Lahiff denied a goal as his low shot was turned around his post by Conor Carroll.
That save seemed to galvanise Roscommon as Cox and Smith converted frees in the dying stages to ensure an equitable conclusion to matters.
Scorers – Dublin: C Costello 0-7 (2f, 2 ‘45’), J Small 1-0, C O’Callaghan, S Bugler 0-2 apiece. Roscommon: C Murtagh 0-5 (2f), D Murtagh 0-3 (2f), C Lennon 0-2, N Daly, E Smith, C Cox (f), D Smith (f) 0-1 apiece.
Dublin: S Cluxton; D Newcombe, D Byrne, M Fitzsimons; B Howard, J Small, L Gannon; B Fenton, J McCarthy; N Scully, S Bugler, C Kilkenny; P Mannion, C O’Callaghan, C Costello. Subs: C Murphy for Byrne (8), C Basquel for Mannion (53), L O’Dell for Scully (60), D Rock for Kilkenny (63), T Lahiff for McCarthy (69).
Roscommon: C Carroll; C Hussey, B Stack, D Murray; N Daly, E McCormack, D Ruane; E Nolan, E Smith; C Murtagh, C Lennon, C McKeon; D Murtagh, D Smith, B O’Carroll. Subs: K Doyle for Lennon (46), C Daly for Ruane (48), C Connolly for O’Carroll (51), C Cox for McKeon (64), R Fallon for Nolan (64).
Referee: Barry Cassidy (Derry).