Armagh 0-15 Roscommon 3-10
This was an evening to forget for Armagh as they missed out on a huge chance to gain promotion.
Of course they’re still in the running, but last nights loss just makes it that bit more difficult.
For long periods, the home side looked well in control, but two second half goals in a matter of minutes turned the tide for Roscommon.
The teams engaged in some early shadow boxing with both sides retreating into their defensive systems.
Armagh seemed to frustrate their opponents for long periods, restricting them to just one point from play in the opening half.
The visitors were admittedly wasteful in front of the posts, hitting six wides throughout the first period.
Armagh looked more fluid in attack as well, the O’Neill brothers really showing their quality to hit two points each.
It was the younger of the two, Rian, who got the game up and running with a pointed free after Conor Turbitt had been brought to the ground.
Callum Cumiskey doubled his sides lead with a pointed mark before Roscommon fought back through Cian McKeon.
Oisin O’Neill hammered over their second mark, both assisted by Aidan Forker, before firing one over from play.
Oisin turned provider in the next move to play through Turbitt, and his point gave the Orchard County a four-point advantage.
McKeon grabbed his second, followed closely by a Conor Cox free, before Roscommon took the lead for the first time in the game, 34 minutes in.
Cox had been bundled to the ground and up stepped Enda Smith who blasted home from the penalty spot.
Armagh replied emphatically, with Rory Grugan (2) and Rian O’Neill firing their side ahead at the break, leading 0-8 to 1-3.
The pair opened the scoring for the second period with a point apiece as Armagh looked to carrying on from where they left off.
But disaster struck. Roscommon were once again awarded a penalty and Enda Smith coolly dispatched the ball to the corner.
Conor Daly raided forward from full back and got on the end of a strong run from Conor Cox, to blast the ball to the roof of the net.
Suddenly Armagh found themselves two behind, and the Rossie’s doubled that margin with points from McKeon and Cox.
The sides traded scores with the O’Neill’s and Clarke seeing their scores cancelled out as the hosts began to run out of time.
Rian O’Neill saw red for a second bookable offence as Armagh’s night kept going from bad to worse.
Roscommon saw out a four-point win to all but guarantee entrance into the top division while Armagh still have a fighting chance.
It was a tough night after such a long layoff and Kieran McGeeney will be able to take some positives from the performance.
All heads will now turn to Clare next weekend and if Armagh are to keep their promotion hopes alive, a win is a must.
Armagh Scorers: Rian O’Neill 0-5, Oisin O’Neill 0-4, Rory Grugan 0-3, Jamie Clarke 0-1, Conor Turbitt 0-1, Callum Cumiskey.
Roscommon Scorers: Enda Smith 2-0, Conor Cox 0-5, Conor Daly 1-0, Cian McKeon 0-3, Ronan Daly 0-1, Cathal Cregg 0-1.