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Senior Footballers open their All Ireland series with a win over Roscommon

Senior Footballers open their All Ireland series with a win over Roscommon

Sat, 25th May 2024

Image Courtesy Niall O'Connell

DUBLIN 2-19 


Dublin made a winning start to the group stages of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship when overcoming Roscommon by twelve points at Croke Park on Saturday afternoon.

Dublin led by 0-10 to 0-9 at the break with Brian Fenton, Ross McGarry, Paul Mannion and Con O’Callaghan all scoring two points apiece but Roscommon’s inside-forward line looked equally sharp as they accounted for all of their team’s scores.

The contest remained relatively tight in the second-half but late goals from substitute Colm Basquel and O’Callaghan added further gloss to the scoreline by the final whistle.

The Dubs looked in fine fettle from the first whistle with some early, patient probing leading to a well-worked point from Fenton in the 2nd minute.

Another solid build-up involving Cormac Costello and Brian Howard allowed late replacement McGarry the chance to double Dublin’s lead in the 5th minute and from the resultant kick-out, Mannion popped over a third home point off his right foot.

The visitors finally spent some time in their opponents’ half and were rewarded for their efforts through successive points by Conor Cox (mark) and Daire Cregg.

An excellent Howard pass handed Niall Scully the chance to convert from a ‘mark’ in the 12th minute and Mannion added a customary booming score soon after to translate Dublin’s early dominance onto the scoreboard.

That this buffer was required was down to the quality of the Roscommon shooting with Cregg, Diarmuid Murtagh and Cox all landing classy points as the half evolved.

Fenton and O’Callaghan did likewise at the opposite end and the latter fired over the crossbar in the 22nd minute after a breathtaking counter-attack to leave three points between the sides.

Dublin’s lead was a precarious one however as Roscommon continued to cause a threat with Murtagh and Cox adding to their personal tallies in what was a hugely open and entertaining opening-half.

McGarry and Murphy responded for the hosts with Roscommon’s Eoin McCormack receiving a black card in the 31st minute for a foul on Eoin Murchan in the build-up to Murphy’s score.

Far from proving an immediate disadvantage, it was Roscommon that kicked the next two points as Murtagh converted a brace of frees to narrow Dublin’s lead to the bare minimum by half-time.

Dublin resumed play in a dominant manner as they added to their lead through points from John Small and the lively Scully but Cox was afforded too much space at the opposite end as he kicked his fourth point of the game by the 40th minute.

A Tom Lahiff point preceded Roscommon getting back to their full complement and a free of the soft variety, converted by Cregg, help add further momentum to the visitors’ play.

A fine solo score by Murtagh in the 49th minute brought Roscommon to within a point but Dublin were doing just enough at this stage to keep them at arm’s length as Costello (free) and Seán Bugler added important scores.

Bugler’s impact from the bench was all too evident as he kicked another smart score in the 55th minute and a fisted effort by O’Callaghan, temporarily restored as captain in the absence of the injured James McCarthy, edged the hosts further clear.

Roscommon’s threat up front began to gradually dissipate the longer the contest developed and they were made to pay in the 65th minute as Basquel received a pass from Fenton, shipped a tackle and buried a low shot into the bottom right-hand corner of Conor Carroll’s goal.

Dublin’s second goal was a lightning counter-attack that involved both Bugler and Paddy Small, with Jack McCaffrey’s unselfish pass allowing O’Callaghan to palm home at the back post.

Scorers – Dublin: C O’Callaghan 1-4; C Basquel 1-0; P Mannion, B Fenton, C Costello (2f), R McGarry, N Scully (1 mark), S Bugler 0-2 each; C Murphy, J Small, T Lahiff 0-1 apiece. Roscommon: D Murtagh 0-5 (3f); C Cox (1 mark), D Cregg (1f) 0-4 each.

Dublin: S Cluxton; S MacMahon, E Murchan, M Fitzsimons; B Howard, C Murphy, J Small; B Fenton, T Lahiff; R McGarry, C Costello, C Kilkenny; P Mannion, C O’Callaghan, N Scully. Subs: S Bugler for Mannion (45), J McCaffrey for Lahiff (48), C Basquel for Scully (53), P Small for McGarry (53), T Clancy for Murphy (63).

Roscommon: C Carroll; D Murray, B Stack, N Higgins; N Daly, R Dolan, E McCormack; E Smith, T O’Rourke; C Lennon, D Smith, D Ruane; D Murtagh, C Cox, D Cregg. Subs: S Cunnane for D Smith (43), U Harney for O’Rourke (43), R Fallon for Daly (51), B O’Carroll for Ruane (55), K Doyle for Cox (70).

Referee: Derek O’Mahoney (Tipperary).

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