Roscommon 1-10 Antrim 1-06
Antrim slumped to their first defeat in Division 3 of the NFL as they lost by four points to Roscommon at Hyde Park.
Although Paddy Cunningham had a 59th minute penalty saved by Roscommon keeper Geoffrey Claffey, the final scoreline flattered Antrim who were outplayed for most of the match by the home team who shot 12 wides.
Antrim manager Liam Bradley didn’t offer any excuses, describing his team’s forward-play as ‘inept’ and accusing his players of believing the hype generated as they won their first three games.
They got off to a dream start when Michael Magill scored a goal after just 50 seconds. Paddy Cunningham exchanged points with Darren McDermott inside the opening four minutes but Antrim would score just 0-2 in the rest of the half as Roscommon took over.
Roscommon manager Des Newton dropped star forward Donie Shine and Cathal Cregg and David Keenan took over the leadership roles in attack.
Following points from Cregg and Ger Heneghan, the centre-forward set up Conor Devaney for a well-taken goal in the 12th minute. Two minutes later Claffey made a brilliant one-handed save from Magill. Further points followed from McDermott (two), Kevin Higgins and Ian Kilbride while Cunningham and Michael McCann replied for Antrim.
The pace dropped in a scrappy second-half. Points from McDermott and Cathal Dineen stretched the lead to six by the 52nd minute. Cunningham converted a 55th minute free but missed from the spot four minutes later after Magill was brought down.
Ger Heneghan and Cunningham swapped points as Roscommon closed out a comfortable victory. Antrim must now win next Sunday’s meeting with table-toppers Longford to stay in the promotion race.
ROSCOMMON: G Claffey; S McDermott, N Collins, C Dineen (0-1); I Kilbride (0-1), N Daly, S Purcell; M Finneran, K Higgins (0-1); D Keenan, C Cregg (0-1), N Kilroy; C Devaney (1-0), G Heneghan (0-2, one 45), D McDermott (0-4, two frees). Subs: K Mannion for Higgins (47 mins), S Kilbride for Devaney (53 mins), C Compton for Cregg (61 mins), D Rogers for Dineen (65 mins).
ANTRIM: C Kerr; P Gallagher, D O’Hagan, S Finch; T Scullion, J Crozier, J Loughrey; M McCann (0-1), C Kelly; T McCann (0-1), M Magill (1-0), M Armstrong; B Neeson, M Sweeney, P Cunningham (0-4, three frees). Subs: A Gallagher for Kelly (32 mins), K O’Boyle for Gallagher (half-time), M Johnson for O’Hagan (half-time), C Murray for Armstrong (47 mins)
Referee: D Corcoran (Mayo).