Kerry 1-10 Roscommon 0-14
Roscommon recorded their first ever Allianz Football League win on Kerry soil with a 0-14 to 1-10 victory at Fitzgerald Stadium this afternoon.
Roscommon recovered from the disappointing last-minute nature of their defeat to Monaghan last Sunday, while Kerry suffered another setback after their loss to Dublin in Croke Park.
This is the third time in their four league campaigns under Eamonn Fitzmaurice that the Kingdom have failed to win either of their opening two games, and they are facing an uphill battle to stay in the top flight after another lifeless display on a wet and windy day in Killarney.
Kerry faded in the latter stages and allowed a very fired-up Roscommon team to profit, albeit by a mere point, and the Kingdom will be kicking themselves for a second-half litany of wides, including a close-in free.
Roscommon, however, played very well and Kevin McStay could yet work the oracle with the newcomers to the top flight.
A strange first-half saw Kerry start positively and score the opening three points in the first eight minutes before going a total of 19 minutes until registering their next score.
A Johnny Buckley effort from play and two Barry John Keane frees gave the hosts the early lead before Roscommon started to use the breeze to their advantage and registered eight consecutive points.
Midfielder Enda Smith got the Connacht side on the scoreboard in the 10th minute before Cathal Cregg had the visitors level in the 17th minute from a counter-attack after Donnachadh Walsh had struck the post at the other end.
Both Cregg and his opposite corner-forward, Ciaran Murtagh, tormented the Kerry defence with some well-taken points as a rebounded effort from Cian Connolly in the 25th minute had the visitors ahead by 0-8 to 0-3 with 10 minutes of the first-half left.
A third free from Keane in the 27th minute ended Kerry's scoring drought, followed by a point from Tommy Walsh, before Kerry drew level on the scoreboard with three minutes of the first-half left.
Darran O’Sullivan fed the ball to Stephen O’Brien, who went on a 35-metre run, cutting in from the stand side of the pitch. Even though his effort only trickled over the line it still raised the green flag and tied the teams up.
Buckley finished the first-half scoring to give Kerry a 1-6 to 0-8 lead at the break.
Two further Barry John Keane points (one from a free and another from play) sandwiched in between a second point for Enda Smith had Kerry two in front after 43 minutes but, bar a 49th minute point from O’Brien, the Kingdom would only score once more in the dying stages with an effective consolation free from substitute Conor Cox.
A second Conor Devaney point and a brace from Cathal Cregg had the visitors level by the 53rd minute and a free from Murtagh four minutes later put them 0-13 to 1-9 ahead.
Not even a black card for Cregg derailed Roscommon and Smith’s third point in the 68th minute proved an insurance score.
Kerry: B Kelly, B Ó Beaglaoich, M Griffin, S Enright, P Murphy, A O’Mahony, K Young, D Moran, J Buckley (0-2), J Lyne, D O’Sullivan, D Walsh, BJ Keane (0-5, 4 frees), T Walsh (0-1), S O’Brien (1-1)
Subs: T O’Sullivan for Lyne (12 min) A Fitzgerald for D Walsh (49 min), C Cox (0-1, 1 free) for Keane (57 min), F Fitzgerald for Enright (58 min), Barry O’Sullivan for Buckley (63 min) and Brendan O’Sullivan for T Walsh (68 min)
Roscommon: D O’Malley, S McDermott, N Collins, N McInerney, D Murray, N Daly, R Stack, E Smith (0-3), I Kilbride, F Cregg (0-2, 2 frees), C Daly, C Devanney (0-2), C Murtagh (0-2, 1 free), C Connolly (0-1), C Cregg (0-4)
Subs: C Shine for Kilbride (54 min), S Purcell for C Daly (57 min), R Daly for C Cregg (Black Card, 58 min) and C McHugh for Connolly (63 min)
Referee: Fergal Kelly (Longford)
Watch highlights of this weekend's games on League Sunday at 7.30pm on RTÉ2