Roscommon this afternoon eased into their second consecutive Connacht SFC final after a facile win against a very poor Leitrim side at a rain swept Carrick-on-Shannon by a scorline of 2-12 to 0-06 in a game where forward Donie Shine stood out for Roscommon.
With the wind at their backs in the first half Roscommon started much the brighter and where first on the scoreboard with a good opening score from Shine. Leitrim, who came into the game high on confidence after their surprise win against Sligo in the last round started the game quite slowly and seemed to let their nerves get the better of them in the opening exchanges.
Along with Shine, Seanan Kilbride was also lively in the first half and his well taken score allowed Roscommon to gain a comfortable foothold in the game. On the 19th minute mark the game swung hugley in the favour of Roscommon when after some good play from the Rossies midfield the ball made its way to Shine who turned his marker effortlessly and drilled the ball passed a helpless Cathal McCrann.
Although Connor Byrne scored a point for Leitrim right after the goal it would prove to be one of the only highlights in the first half for Leitrim as Roscommon hassled and harried them off the ball. Leitrim were not hepled by some less than choice decision making by some of their players which stemmed their momentum. Their influential midfielder Danny Lowe suffered an injury midway through the first half which didn’t help their cause as they went in at half time 1-07 to 0-02 down.
In the second half and having the wind with the them Leitrim still failed to make any inroads into Roscommon’s lead. Kevin Higgins got on the score sheet with an excellent score on the 39th minute mark which set the tone for the second half.
Leitrim were lucky not to be out of site in the opening few minutes of the second half as their keeper McCrann kept them in the game with two well struck shots to deny Kilbride and Shine. But Roscommon kept pouring forward and extended their lead to ten points on the 49 min mark when Kilbride, who had a standout game, notched up another point for his side.
To their credit Leitrim tried to mount a comeback and did get three unanswered points halfway through the second half but Roscommon simply moved up an extra gear and lead by Shine began to draw further away from Leitrim.
The game was over as a contest on 65 mins when Connor Devanny sidestepped the Leitrim keeper and got Roscommon’s second goal. That strike snuffed out any hope Leitrim had and they couldn’t have had any complaints with the final score. Roscommon move forward to their second Connacht final in a row while Leitrim will have a lot of soul searching to do after this afternoons’ game.
Roscommon: G Claffey; S McDermott, P Domican, N Carty; S Ormsby, D Keenan, D Ward; M Finneran, K Mannion (0-01); S O’Grady (0-01), K Higgins (0-02), C Gregg (0-01); C Devaney (1-01), S Kilbride (0-05, 2f), D Shine (1-01).
Subs: S Purcell for Ward (52), E Kenny for Mannion (58), G Heneghan for C Devaney (67), I Kilbride for S O’Grady (70).
Leitrim: C McCrann; D Reynolds, R Gallagher (0-01), P Maguire; B Prior, G Reynolds, W McKeon; T Beirne, D Lowe; P Brennan, E Mulligan (0-02), R Lowe; A Croal (0-01), C Beirne (0-02, 2f), J Glancy.
Subs: D Sweeney for D Lowe (37), J McKeon for Brenna (43), B McDonald for T Beirne (47), C Clarke for R Lowe (62).
Referee: Pat McEnaney (Monaghan).