All-Ireland Senior F’ball Championship: dubs reeled in by late smith point in opening stalemate

by Aaron Dunne
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Dublin 1-11

Roscommon 0-14

Dessie Farrell attributed Dublin’s below-par display against Roscommon to them plying their trade in Division 2 of the Allianz Football League this spring.

The Rossies were the first Division 1 opposition the long-time Leinster champions have faced in this year’s Championship and they left Croke Park with a deserved share of the spoils thanks to late points from Conor Cox and Donie Smith.

“No disrespect to the teams because there’s some very good teams in that division (Division 2), but you’re not getting that consistency of challenge week in week out that this phase of the competition is going to bring you,” the Dublin manager said in an interview with RTÉ.

“As I say, I’m happy to have encountered a challenge like that. We’ll definitely take a lot from it. It was a really competitive game. I’m probably disappointed we didn’t see it out at the end, but I’d have taken a draw at half-time. We got to regroup at half-time and presented a different Dublin opposition in the second half. Maybe overall it was a fair result.

“I’m very happy with the challenge. It was the first Division 1 team we’ve played all season. It was always going to be a step-up in quality. Roscomon have some really good players – well organised, well drilled, very good system.

“I think we’ll learn a lot from that.”

Donie Smith’s free in the fourth minute of injury-time saw Roscommon claim a share of the spoils at Croke Park.

The script looked like being shredded in this first round All-Ireland SFC round-robin encounter when Davy Burke’s men deservedly led by 0-11 to 0-7 at the halfway stage.

However, John Small’s goal eight minutes into the second-half turned things around for the Leinster champions and they’d hit the front with back-to-back points from Cormac Costello.

28 May 2023; Diarmuid Murtagh of Roscommon in action against Con O’Callaghan of Dublin during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Round 1 match between Dublin and Roscommon at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Ciaráin Murtagh sailed over a sorely needed scores in response for the Rossies and he’d cancel out another from Costello to keep it even heading down the home stretch.

Farrell’s (inset) side converted chances from Costello (free) and Sean Bugler in the closing five minutes that looked to have been enough. However, in the sixth minutes added on, the Connacht side were able to square things up.

Diarmuid Murtagh of Roscommon in action against Dublin’s Con O’Callaghan at Croke Park last Sunday. Pic: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

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