Allianz Football League Division One
Roscommon 0-9 Galway 0-9
By Ian Cooney at Dr Hyde Park
Roscommon and Galway had to settle for a share of the spoils at a windswept Dr. Hyde Park.
Neither side made full use of the elements in their favour and a draw was probably a fair result to give both sides their first league points of the season.
Donie Smith saw red for Roscommon after an altercation with Paul Conroy with nine minutes remaining, but Galway substitute, Jack McCabe, was shown a black card soon afterwards by referee Conor Lane to ensure that both teams finished the game with 14 players.
For the bulk of the opening 35 minutes, Galway coped admirably against the strong wind that was blowing straight down the field towards the Graveyard end of the Hyde, and their strong running threatened to open up the home side on a few occasions.
With John Maher and the excellent Paul Conroy laying a platform at midfield, the Tribesmen opened the scoring through a Robert Finnerty free after Cathal Sweeney flashed a goal chance wide.
Conor Cox, who was introduced for the injured Ciarán Lennon inside the first 10 minutes, opened Roscommon’s account but Cillian Ó Curraoin finished off a good move with the game’s first point from play to edge his side in front once more.
Cox restored parity from a 17th minute free before a long-range effort from Daire Cregg nudged Roscommon ahead for the first time.
A beautifully-struck free off the ground from Matthew Tierney into the teeth of the breeze restored parity in the 22nd minute. Then Ruaidhrí Fallon and Ó Curraoin (free) swapped scores to leave it 0-4 apiece after 28 minutes.
The introduction of Brian Stack coincided with Roscommon finally gaining some traction with a hat-trick of points from Cox, including his first of the afternoon from play, to leave his side 0-7 to 0-4 in front at half time.
But the advantage was precarious, given the strength of the breeze.
Galway never managed to get ahead in the second half as Roscommon’s resilience, epitomised by Eoin McCormack and Ben O’Carroll, kept them alive.
Early frees from Finnerty and Ó Curraoin suggested that it wouldn’t take Galway long to reel in their opponents, but Roscommon’s workrate all over the pitch improved and points from O’Carroll and Diarmuid Murtagh (free) restored their three-point advantage by the three-quarter stage.
But Galway kept chipping away with points from play by Kieran Molloy and Matthew Tierney, leaving the bare minimum between them before Paul Conroy brought the teams level from a free with seven minutes remaining.
Smith saw red, but Galway were soon down to 14 men when McCabe was shown a black card moments after his introduction.
Both sides eyed up a winner but Keith Doyle was off target for the hosts, while Liam Ó Conghaile and Kieran Molloy missed chances for Galway.
In the end, both managers, Davy Burke and Pádraic Joyce, had to settle for a draw alongside plenty of food for thought ahead of the next round in two weeks’ time.
Scorers for Roscommon: Conor Cox 0-5 (4fs), Daire Cregg 0-1, Ruaidhrí Fallon 0-1, Ben O’Carroll 0-1, Diarmuid Murtagh 0-1 (0-1f).
Scorers for Galway: Cillian Ó Curraoin 0-3 (2fs), Robert Finnerty 0-2 (2fs), Matthew Tierney 0-2 (1f), Kieran Molloy 0-1, Paul Conroy 0-1 (f).
Roscommon: Conor Carroll; David Murray, Niall Higgins, Robbie Dolan; Niall Daly, Ruaidhrí Fallon, Eoin McCormack; Enda Smith, Dylan Ruane; Cian Connolly, Donie Smith, Daire Cregg; Diarmuid Murtagh, Ciarán Lennon, Ben O’Carroll.
Subs: Conor Cox for Lennon 9, Brian Stack for Connolly 29, Keith Doyle for Ruane 43, James Fitzpatrick for Cregg 64, Evan Flynn for Dolan 70, Andrew Glennon for Murtagh 70.
Galway: Connor Gleeson; Johnny McGrath, Seán Fitzgerald, Eoghan Kelly; Dylan McHugh, John Daly, Seán Mulkerrin; Paul Conroy, John Maher; Kieran Molloy, Matthew Tierney, Cathal Sweeney; Liam Ó Conghaile, Robert Finnerty, Cillian Ó Curraoin.
Subs: Johnny Heaney for Kelly 38, Céin Darcy for Ó Curraoin 55, Jack McCabe for Finnerty 61, Patrick Egan for Mulkerrin 70.
Referee: Conor Lane (Cork).