Ciarain Murtagh pointed Roscommon to victory as they continued their recent dominance over Cavan with a crucial 0-15 to 0-13 win at Dr Hyde Park in Division 2 of the NFL.

The hosts held a 0-09 to 0-06 half-time lead despite a dismal opening to the game. But they fell away after half-time and required a late rally, including three points from Ciaran Murtagh.

Roscommon claimed a 1-13 to 1-10 win over Cavan in the final round of the league last year before both of these sides were relegated to Division 2.

But it was Cavan who had the perfect start when Adrian Cole, a late replacement for Niall Clerkin, fisted a point inside the opening minute. Diarmuid Murtagh tied things up with a well taken effort off his left in the following minute.

However Cavan kicked four points in-a-row, including an inspirational effort from blood substitute Cian Mackey, before he left the field again moments later.

Roscommon finally doubled their tally in the 13th minute when Ciarain Murtagh landed an impressive effort from distance, wind aided.

But Cavan had complete control at this stage and they forced Roscommon deep into their own territory, where their defence was flooded with centre forward Niall Kilroy back in his usual sweeper role.

Fergal Lennon and Gearoid McKiernan traded scores before they was a lull and Roscommon took off. They were awesome just before half-time and scored six points in-a-row.

Cian Mackey was on target for Cavan

Donie Smith began the fightback, Diarmuid Murtagh levelled things up in the 31st minute when he scored his first free, and when Ciarain Murtagh did likewise Roscommon had an unlikely 0-09 to 0-06 half-time lead.

But the game came to life in the second-half and Cavan benefited to draw level within eight minutes of the resumption. Two O’Reilly points an effort from Ciaran Brady drew them level.

Roscommon could have found the net in the 49th minute, but for a brilliant save from Raymond Galligan when it looked like Donie Smith had looped a ball past him.

McKiernan scored twice to give Cavan a 0-11 to 0-09 advantage and they could have led by more were it not for the heroics of Enda Smith; he cleared a Dara McVeety ball off his own line in the 54th minute.

Cavan were one point ahead at that stage and although Galligan pointed a 45 Roscommon gained the initiative with substitutes Enda Smith and Cathal Cregg scoring.

And Ciarain Murtagh scored three points after the 66th minute to ease his side to an important win.

Roscommon: James Featherston; David Murray, Peter Domican, Fergal Lennon (0-01); Ronan Daly, Brian Stack, Niall Daly; Tadhg O’Rourke, Cathal Compton; Ciarain Murtagh (0-05, 0-03f), Niall Kilroy, Conor Devaney (0-01); Donie Smith (0-02), Ciaran Lennon (0-01), Diarmuid Murtagh (0-03, 0-01f).

Subs: Enda Smith (0-01) for O’Rourke (44), Conor Daly for R Daly (44), Cathal Cregg (0-01) for C Lennon (53), Ultan Harney for C Daly (63), Fintan Cregg for D Murtagh (65).

Cavan: Raymond Galligan (0-01, 0-01 45); Jason McLoughlin, Padraig Faulkner, Conor Bradley; Martin Reilly (0-01), Ciaran Brady (0-02), Enda Flanagan; Killian Clarke, Bryan Magee; Dara McVeety, Conor Moynagh, Oisin Kiernan; Adrian Cole (0-01), Gearoid McKiernan (0-03), Caoimhin O’Reilly (0-03, 0-03f).

Subs: Cian Mackey (0-01) for McKiernan (7 mins), McKiernan for Mackey (9), Mackey for Moynagh (26), David Brady for Cole (46), Sean Johnston (0-01) for O’Reilly (59), Niall Clerkin for Bradley (65), Stephen Murray for Magee (72).

Referee: Cormac Reilly (Meath).



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