Roscommon and Sligo must meet again next Saturday night in the Bank of Ireland Connacht SFC after their game finished 1-10 to 0-13 at Hyde Park with top-scorer Frankie Dolan failing to win the match with a last-ditch effort at Hyde Park.
Dolan, who contributed 0-06, screwed a pointable free wide in the final seconds of a see-saw battle. However, credit is due to Sligo who kept their hosts to just two points in the second half and saw ace midfielder Sean Davey crown a strong display with the levelling point in the final minute.
The 15,000-plus crowd was treated to a frenetic start as Michael McNamara scored a point after 11 seconds and then Dolan swept over two frees for Roscommon to lead after three minutes. With the visitors' half-backs turned, Gary Cox fed Karl Mannion in the eighth minute and he turned to shoot well beyond Philip Greene's outstretched arm for a well-taken goal.
Dolan cancelled out Sligo corner-forward Gerry McGowan's first point with two more of his own, and a neat lob by midfielder Seamus O'Neill had Roscommon 1-05 to 0-02 in front by the quarter hour.
The redeployment of Eamon O'Hara, named at half-forward, into centre field saw Sligo regain a stranglehold on possession and an upping in the game's physicality with O'Hara and Brendan Philips both receiving yellow cards before the interval.
McGowan's second point, added to Mark Brehony's 27th minute effort and a brace of Dessie Sloyan placed balls, saw Sligo 0-06 to 1-08 down at half-time, with Dolan (0-05), Mannion and Nigel Dineen rounding off the home tally.
A fluid opening to the second half ensued, with McGowan and Sloyan putting over points in the first five minutes before Mannion and Dolan struck in the 42nd and 44th minutes.
Indeed, Dolan's left wing score was to be the final white flag of their afternoon as the remaining 26 minutes saw them sail wide after wide past Greene.
The Sligo 'keeper did have to be alert to stop at the feet of Mannion, but points from Davey, Sloyan and Brehony saw the Yeats men two points down by the 51st minute.
Six minutes later, a third Sloyan free cut it down to a single point, and a draw looked to be a fair result as Davey put over the equaliser.
Afterwards Roscommon boss Tommy Carr said: "Sligo were far more economical especially in the second half. We hit 14/15 wides whereas they were nowhere near that total."
Carr will hope to have half-back David Casey back for the replay after he was forced off with a head injury on 25 minutes.
Scorers - Roscommon: F Dolan 0-06, K Mannion 1-02, S O'Neill, N Dineen 0-01 each. Sligo: D Sloyan 0-05, G McGowan 0-03, S Davey 0-02, M Brehony 0-02, M McNamara 0-01.
Roscommon: S Curran; J Nolan, M Ryan, J Whyte; D Casey, F Grehan, J Rogers; S O'Neill, S Lohan; Derek Connellan, N Dineen, G Cox; G Heneghan, K Mannion, F Dolan. Subs: P Noone for Casey (25 mins), J Tiernan for Connellan (49 mins), J Egan for Heneghan (60 mins), B Higgins for Lohan (64 mins).
Sligo: P Greene; N Maguire, P Naughton, B Phillips; J Merton, M Langan, P Gallagher; S Davey, G Maye; K Quinn, M Brehony, E O'Hara; D Sloyan, M McNamara, G McGowan. Subs: P Doohan for Gallagher (31 mins), B Curran for Quinn (47 mins), J Davey for McGowan (71 mins)
Filed by Aidan O'Doherty