Roscommon made the long journey to the Gaelic Grounds, Armagh on Saturday last for the 3rd round of the Nancy Murray Cup and came away with a stunning win on the scoreline of 4-13 to 3-11.
Armagh made a great start to this game and they had the ball in the back of the Roscommon net after 50 seconds from full-forward Collette McSorley. Collette was on target once again after a minute and 50 seconds when she put Armagh further ahead with a fine point from play.
Roscommon had their opening score of the half in the 5th minute, when Annette McGeeney raced through after a fine pass from Cait Kenny and hand-passed the ball to the back of the net. From the puck-out Roscommon gained possession in the half-forward line and Kelly Hopkins brought the teams level. Armagh went ahead again in the 7th minute when Collette McSorley had another point.
In the 8th minute Roscommon went ahead again when as with the first goal exchanges between Annette McGeeney who on this occasion passed to Cait Kenny who blasted the ball to the back of the net. However, Armagh hit back in determined fashion and scored l-5 without reply from the 9th to the 20th minute.
Roscommon stopped the rot in the 20th minute when Kelly Hopkins sent over a point from a free. Roscommon were awarded a penalty in the 21st minute after Annette McGeeney was fouled. Annette had in fact scored a goal but the advantage was not allowed and the penalty was awarded. Kelly Hopkins took the penalty but sent the ball over the bar. Armagh replied once again with a point from play from Collette McSorley in the 23rd minute. Annette McGeeney then got another point back for Roscommon but once again Collette McSorley replied with a point from a free on the 45 metre line.
Roscommon centre-fielder, Patricia Lennon scored a fine point in the 26th minute but the final score of the first half came in the 28th minute from Collette McSorley to leave the half-time score Armagh 2-10 Roscommon 2-5.
Straight from the throw-in for the second half Niamh Coyle gained possession and passed to Annette McGeeney who raced through the Armagh defence but Annette was brought down by the Armagh full-back Ann McGuigan who was booked for the offence. Annette got up, dusted herself down and took the penalty but the low shot was saved by the Armagh goalkeeper.
Caitriona Regan gained possession for Roscommon but she was fouled on the 45-metre line. Kelly Hopkins once again stepped up to take the free and her high shot just dropped in over the goalkeeper’s hurl to the back of the net to leave just two points between the team.
In the 8th minute of the half Annette McGeeney scored a point from play and the teams drew level in the 9th minute when Kelly Hopkins sent over a fine point from play. From this to the end of the game Roscommon took complete control and in fact Armagh did not register their first score of the half until the 24th minute when right full-forward Paula Mallon sent over their first point.
Between the 9th and 23rd minute Roscommon had points from play from Claire Curley, Niamh Coyle, Annette McGeeney and Kelly Hopkins whilst Kelly Hopkins had a point from a free also. Annette McGeeney put eight points between the teams in the 23rd minute when she scored a fine goal after a fine pass from Sinead O’Brien. Roscommon introduced Fiona Connell for Sinead O’Brien and Audrey Morris for Claire Curley in the 26th minute of the half. In the 27th minute of the half Sharon Finneran replaced goalkeeper Caroline Connaughton who had only returned to the team on the day after breaking her wrist a number of weeks ago. Sharon’s first task was to bring off a fine save from the Armagh full-forward Collette McSorley but in the 29th minute Collette was on hand to score a goal for Armagh to leave just five points between the teams. During the five minutes of injury-time no more scores ensued.
On the day Roscommon put up a marvellous display against a team who played at a higher division than them in the league and all 18 players who played on the day have ensured that a place in the semi-final stages of the competition is that bit closer. The team’s next game is on Saturday next at a home venue at a time and venue to be decided against Westmeath.
Roscommon: Caroline Connaughton; Marie Glennon-Kelly, Niamh Connolly, Caitriona Morris; Grainne Egan, Donna Kelly (captain), Catherine Rogerson; Patricia Lennon (0-1), Niamh Coyle (0-1); Kelly Hopkins (1-6), Annette McGeeney (2-4), Caitriona Regan; Claire Curley (0-1), Cait Kenny (l-0), Sinead O’Brien. Subs: Fiona Connell for Sinead O’Brien, Audrey Morris for Claire Curley, Sharon Finneran for Caroline Connaughton, Carmel Killeen, Gertie Dowd, Noeleen McCormack and Nicola Crean.
* The girls play Westmeath on Saturday next at 5 pm in Roscommon – venue to be confirmed. We urge people to come out and support the girls as they try and gain revenge on Westmeath for an earlier defeat in the League.