Roscommon Gaels 0-8 -
St. Brigid's 5-18
Roscommon Gaels offered little resistance at Dr. Hyde Park on Saturday evening as St. Brigid’s strolled to a 25-point victory. It was nothing more than a training session for the reigning county champions.
That the Gaels had already qualified for the semi-final and had nothing to play for can be offered as an excuse for them lacking motivation. But it doesn’t explain the full picture, which was a clear lack of interest from a host of Gaels players.
St. Brigid’s did as they pleased. There are few better when it comes to racking up big scores when they are allowed to dictate the play.
St. Brigid’s had to win this game, and hope that St. Faithleach’s did them a favour against Western Gaels to have any hope of qualifying directly for the last four.
As for Roscommon Gaels, they may as well not have turned up. Even before the ball was thrown in, their body language was obvious. A betting man would have fancied St. Brigid’s to win — and quite a few most certainly went with their gut feeling.
With Brian Stack, Cathal McHugh and Senan Kilbride on form in the forward line, St. Brigid’s quickly raced clear. By the eighth minute they were five points in front. Kieran Kilcline, one of the few Gaels players that looked interested, opened his side’s account after 16 minutes after taking a good score on the run. The Gaels added one more score before the break, another Kilcline effort.
Brigid’s had the wind at their backs, but they didn’t need it. Leading 0-9 to 0-1 after 20 minutes, Padraig Kelly misdirected a fisted effort for a decent goal chance. Moments later, a half chance fell to Cillian Egan at the other end. Before the break, Senan Kilbride had lofted over two scores, the second a typical “technique-perfect” style kick from the full-forward.
The scoreboard read 0-13 to 0-2 at half-time. The game had already become somewhat farcical.
Ollie Hannon, Richard Hughes (free) and Egan tagged on points for the Gaels in the third quarter, but their strong wind advantage was not a factor as the game maintained its pattern. Brigid’s raised a gear every few moments, quickly running the ball through fast hands to effortlessly create space for the shooter.
Ronan Stack fisted a Kelly pass to the net in the 39th minute. Four minutes later, Kilbride took a quick free to the unmarked Darren Dolan and he slotted home his side’s second. Dolan had found himself in loads of space despite the initial free having been within scoring range.
Dolan was brave to fist home Brigid’s third goal in the 49th minute. By now, the game had become so one-sided, it was embarrassing.
Mark Nally did find the target twice for the Gaels in the final quarter but Brigid’s kept the scoreboard ticking over too. In the final few minutes they hit two more goals from Gavin Byrne and Ronan Stack.
Both teams are now in the semi-final. How the Gaels will have benefitted from taking it easy in this contest with one eye on the last four will only be truly known when they play their semi-final.
St. Brigid’s got it way too handy. Suddenly, they’re very much the team to beat in Roscommon once more.
ST. BRIGID’S: S. Mannion; D. Sheehy, N. McInerney, C. MacNiece; G. O’Hara (0-1), I. Kilbride, P. Domican; E. Nolan, G. Dolan; R. Stack (2-0), D. Dolan (2-2), P. Kelly (0-2); B. Stack (0-3), S. Kilbride (0-4, one free), C. McHugh (0-5, two frees). Subs used: D. Cunniffe for McHugh (half-time), N. Grehan for O’Hara (44 mins), S. Furey for MacNiece (45 mins), J. McDonnell for D. Dolan (50 mins), J. Murray (0-1) for Nolan (51 mins), G. Byrne (1-0) for G. Dolan (53 mins)
ROSCOMMON GAELS: J. Featherston; Kevin Kilcline, L. McNeela, R. Gleeson; J. O’Gara, C. Dineen, P. Gleeson; J. McManus, K. Kilcline (0-3, 1 free); C. Connolly, A. Duignan, M. Nally (0-2); O. Hannon (0-1), R. Hughes (0-1, a free), C. Egan (0-1). Subs used: T. Mullen for Connolly (19 mins), D. O’Gara for Kevin Kilcline (38 mins), Kevin Kilcline for R. Gleeson (44 mins)
Wides: Roscommon Gaels – 7; St. Brigid’s – 7
Yellow Cards: St. Brigid’s – I. Kilbride (52 mins); Roscommon Gaels – J. McManus (23 mins), C. Dineen (43 mins).
Black Cards: St. Brigid’s – none; Roscommon Gaels – none.
Red Cards: St. Brigid’s – none; Roscommon Gaels – none.
Referee: G. Carmody.
Player of the Match: Darren Dolan (St. Brigid’s). Dolan gets the verdict ahead of about ten St. Brigid’s player that performed very well.
Kieran Kilcline was the only Roscommon Gaels player to stand out from start to finish.