by Daragh Small
Roscommon captain Enda Smith believes they have uncovered a nugget in former Kerry player Conor Cox.
Cox kicked five frees on his debut to guide Roscommon to a surprise 1-12 to 0-13 win over Monaghan on Sunday.
And Smith is hopeful that Cox can be one of their missing links as they bid for glory in 2019.
“Conor hit a massive point from the sideline to put us ahead and we got the insurance point then,” said Smith.
“He was outstanding. He was itching to get playing for the last while. There has been hassle with the transfer there. But he has been going well at training.
The former Kerry All-Ireland junior winner completed his transfer to Roscommon club Eire Óg this year and after a late black card he scored a stunning free on his return.
“I wasn’t surprised he nailed it he was super,” added Smith.
The win was the perfect response to the opening loss away to neighbours Mayo and now Anthony Cunningham’s men are preparing to host Tyrone on Sunday.
It was Smith’s late penalty which helped them to victory at the weekend and now the 24-year-old Boyle midfielder knows the significance of backing up that win with the defeat of the All-Ireland finalists next Sunday in Hyde Park.
“We were in a good position at half-time against Monaghan, similar to last week against Mayo, but we didn’t really kick on in that one,” said Smith.
“It is kind of déjà vu again. Monaghan went a point up within five minutes. They totally slashed our good work in the first half.
“But good character from the lads. There were lads who hadn’t had many minutes before. Conor Cox, Hubert Darcy, Ronan Daly and Niall Daly really drove us on.
“It is a massive couple of weeks. The Tyrone game now is huge. We all know what they did to us last year. They really put us to the sword.
“We are looking forward to them, setting up well and hopefully giving a good account of ourselves again next week,” added the 2017 All-Star nominee.