FL2: Smith points the way for Rossies

March 11, 2018

Roscommon's Donie Smith.
©INPHO/Tom Beary.

Roscommon 2-19

Clare 2-12

Donie Smith was in terrific scoring form as Roscommon maintained their promotion challenge with a seven-point win over 14-man Clare in Ennis.

The corner forward hit 0-9, including 0-7 from play, as the Rossies recovered from a slow start to join Tipperary in joint-second place in Division 2 with two rounds remaining. Veteran Clare attacker David Turbidy raised the game's first green flag after only three minutes, but the visitors replied with a goal from Diarmuid Murtagh to take a 1-9 to 1-7 lead into the break.

The Banner, who registered their only win of the campaign against Down last time out, were dealt a double blowafter the restart when Ciaran Russell was sent off and sub Cathal Cregg bagged the visitors' second goal. Gary Brennan pulled back a goal, but it was a case of too little, too late for the home side as the Connacht champions prevailed.

Tubridy gave Clare a dream start with a sweet finish after midfielders Brennan and Cathal O'Connor had combined to set him up. Points from Conor Devaney and Donie Smith settled Roscommon before Eoin Cleary made it 1-1 to 0-2 in Clare's favour after 10 minutes.

But the Rossies were level by the 19th minute thanks to a trio of points from Ciarain Murtagh, which Keelan Sextonreplied to for Clare. However, the visitors then hit a quick 1-2 to take the lead for the first time, with Diarmuid Murtagh rattling the net in the 21st minute.

The Rossies had opened up a five-point lead before Sexton, Pearse Lillis, Tubridy and Sean O'Donoghue shotpoints to keep Clare in contention at the short whistle.

Eoin Cleary leftthe minimum in it early in the second half, but the game took a decisive turn in the winners' favour when Russell was red-carded following a 43rd minute off-the-ball incident.

Cregg's goal, following a Donie Smith pass, put Kevin McStay's men out of sight with nine minutes to go before Gary Brennan scored a consolation goal for the Banner late on.

Roscommon - J Featherston; S McDermott, J McManus, P Domican; R Daly, D Murray, N Daly; T O'Rourke, Cathal Compton; C Murtagh (0-6, 5f), N Kilroy, C Devaney (0-2); D Smith (0-9, 2f), C Lennon, D Murtagh (1-1, 0-1f). Subs: F Lennon for J McManus, E Smith for N Daly, B Stack for D Murray, C Cregg (1-1) for C Lennon, I Kilbride for T O'Rourke, S Killoran for D Murtagh.

Clare - K Roche; C O'Dea, C Brennan, E Collins; C Russell, A Fitzgerald, P Lillis (0-1); G Brennan (1-0), C O'Connor; K Malone, E Cleary (0-5, 3f), S Collins; S O'Donoghue (0-1), K Sexton (0-2), D Tubridy (1-3, 0-3f). Subs: G O'Brien for E Collins, C Finucane for D Tubridy, S Malone for P Lillis, D Bohannon for K Sexton, C O hAinifein for S Collins.

Referee - N Cullen.

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