Mixed emotions for Roscommon manager John Evans after Connacht first round win over Leitrim

Updated: Sunday, 18 May 2014 22:14 | Comments

John Evans' side now face Mayo at Hyde Park on 8 June
John Evans' side now face Mayo at Hyde Park on 8 June


For the first time in three years, Roscommon savoured a win in the Connacht Championship after a 1-18 to 0-13 success over Leitrim at Dr Hyde Park.

For their manager John Evans it also marked a maiden championship victory with his adopted county.

And while the second half performance did not entirely please the Kerry native, he was, nevertheless, happy to have cleared this particular hurdle.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport, he said: “It’s my first championship win with Roscommon and I’m delighted. I’m happy for the lads. They’ve had a great run in the league but to win a championship game is the acid test.

"It’s what you’re looking for in terms of being physically and mentally right to compete at the top level.”

Roscommon were 1-12 to 0-05 clear at the break against their neighbours and Evans was clearly impressed by what his charges produced in that period.

He added: “All our scores in the first half, bar one, came from play. You would have to be happy with that – to hit 13 scores. What I liked was the spread of scorers. You had wing-backs, wing-forwards contributing. It wasn’t just one or two guys.”

Whether it was a case of Roscommon taking the foot off the gas in the second period or Leitrim throwing caution to the wind, Evans was none too impressed with the second period and went on to say that his side have much to work on ahead of their provincial semi-final clash with Mayo.

"As for our second half showing, we’ll have to work on that. We weren’t as slick; we were sluggish," he revealed.

"Let’s give a small bit of credit to Leitrim and to the likes of Emlyn Mulligan, insofar that they upped their game and decided they weren’t going to lie down.

"I don’t know whether it is an ideal position to be in ahead of the Mayo game.

"Mayo are a fantastic team. They gave us a right dusting last year. What I’d be looking for is that we do a small bit better than last year. They beat us by ten or 12 points then, but we’ll be hoping that we can improve enough to close that gap."

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