Visitors ‘caught short’ as Rossies progress

Oscar Traynor Cup Last 16 – Roscommon & District League 3 Cavan/Monaghan League 0: 

Roscommon advanced to the last eight of the Oscar Traynor Cup when they easily accounted for Cavan/Monaghan in a bizarre game played at Lecarrow last Saturday night, in which the visitors ended up with only eight players.

The Cavan/Monaghan side had three players sent off, one in the strangest of circumstances by referee Eugene Deering, who also showed five yellow cards to the Cavan/Monaghan side and two to the Roscommon team.

The visiting side lost their discipline in the second half but it must be pointed out that Roscommon were by far the better team overall and they deserved their win. Enda Concannon’s team now face a long trip to Donegal to play the Inishowen league in the quarter-finals in a few weeks’ time.

Played on a bitterly cold but dry night, it was Cavan/Monaghan who looked more dangerous in the first ten minutes but after that Roscommon took over. The visitors had a few half chances before the home side stamped their dominance on the game with Enda Kenny and Joe Woods strong at the back, Darragh Concannon pulling the strings in midfield and Gregory Grogan outstanding in attack.

Having missed a couple of chances, Roscommon went ahead in the 39th minute. A lovely exchange of passes between Darragh Concannon and Peter Farrell set up Gregory Grogan at the far post and he made no mistake from 12 yards. Roscommon went in at half-time deservedly leading by that well taken goal.

The second half was well contested for a while until Cavan/Monaghan lost their discipline. In the 53rd minute, Cavan/Monaghan’s captain Enda Hession was shown a second yellow and the exchanges became fractious and tetchy after that. Then in the 67th minute we saw a second sending off in truly bizarre circumstances. During a break in play, Cavan/Monaghan player Gar Hession went behind the goals to relieve himself. It was spotted by the linesman who reported it to referee Deering, who promptly showed a straight red card. After checking afterwards, the player should have asked the referee’s permission and what he did is actually a straight red card offence in the rules!

With Cavan/Monaghan now down to nine men, Roscommon had even more space and they made the visitors pay. In the 74th minute, Peter Farrell set up Gary Canavan who scored at his second attempt, and as he wheeled away to celebrate he clashed with the Cavan/Monaghan goalkeeper Jamie Smith who was shown a straight red and now his side were down to eight players.

The rest of the tie was a non-event as Cavan/Monaghan tried to keep Roscommon at bay and they succeeded until deep into injury-time when Peter Farrell poked the ball home from close-range. It was a comprehensive win for Roscommon but the couple of hundred people present had never seen anything like the circumstances of that second Cavan/Monaghan sending off.

After the game, the Roscommon manager Enda Concannon reflected on a good win for his side and a place in the last eight.

“I thought we were by far the better team. After the first ten minutes when we started playing like we can we were by far the more superior team. The three red cards they got made it easier no doubt but sometimes teams get complacent when the opposition lose players but it was very important that we kept our discipline.

“When you have extra men it is important to get the ball down and pass it. I was a bit wary for a while because the play was up and down the field but once it settled down we were well in control.

“We have a tough game in prospect now (away against Inishowen) but there will be no easy games at this stage of the competition. The eight teams left are all good sides and we will prepare properly for it. We are improving every game and we will go up there and give it a real go,” he concluded.

Roscommon: Noel Fallon, Jack Higgins, John Connaughton, Enda Kenny, Joe Woods, Domnic Bligh, Gregory Grogan, Gary Canavan, Peter Farrell, Darragh Concannon, Ronan Curran. Subs: Andy Higgins for Curran (72), Cormac Clogher for Canavan (80), Joe Hunt for Bligh (83), Thomas Hurley for Grogan (86).

Cavan/Monaghan: Jamie Smith, Sarto Quigley, Enda Hession, John McAree, Mark Thornton, Simon Douglas, Mark Mulligan,  Bryan Dolan, David McEntee, Dean Connolly, Gary Hession, Mark Smyth. Subs: Kevin Loughan for Dolan (54), Ronan Stirratt for Mulligan (67), Corey Smith for Connolly (75).

Referee: Eugene Deering.