Roscommon made light of their absent players to make an encouraging start to their Allianz Football League 2 campaign by beating Cork in tough conditions at Dr Hyde Park.

Minus their Pádraig Pearses and St. Faithleach's players who were involved in All-Ireland club semi-final action on Saturday, the Rossies lost Conor Cox before throw-in as a result of a muscle injury picked up in training during the week.

Cork were a huge disappointment, underlining the task new manager Keith Ricken has to turn around his side’s fortunes.

Roscommon made the most of the strong wind and driving rain at their backs during the opening half.

Points by David Buckley, wing back Matthew Taylor and Brian Hurley (free) gave the visitors a 0-03 to 0-02 advantage after 11 minutes before the home side hit a purple patch, hitting 1-07 without reply.

A free from Donie Smith restored parity before Player of the Match Enda Smith’s 14th minute shot at goal slipped from the grasp of Cork goalkeeper Mícheál Martin and rolled into the net.

With Cork being overturned regularly, Roscommon prospered with a number of swift counter attacks as Niall Kilroy, Smith (two frees and two from play) and Cian McKeon pushed Anthony Cunningham’s side 1-09 to 0-03.

Cork mustered a hat-trick of points from Hurley (2), John O’Rourke to stop the rot but a point from Cian McKeon handed Roscommon a 1-10 to 0-6 lead at the interval.

The expected Cork revival never materialised in the second half as the Rebels ended up ten wides.

The Roscommon defence easily coped with anything Cork threw at them, with full-back Brian Stack and Richard Hughes impressive for the hosts.

Mark Cronin and Brian Hurley added points within the opening 12 minutes of the new half, but another 20-minute scoring drought finished the visitors’ challenge.

Roscommon kept the scoreboard ticking over with a brace of Donie Smith points from frees — the Boyle player ending up with 0-07 overall.

Enda Smith and Hurley swapped points in injury time, but Roscommon had done more than enough to prevail in what was their first league win since being promoted from Division 2 in October 2020.

Roscommon: Colm Lavin; Feargal Lennon, Brian Stack, Eoin McCormack; Dylan Ruane, Conor Hussey, Richard Hughes; Ultan Harney, Eddie Nolan; Niall Kilroy (0-01), Enda Smith (1-02), Diarmuid McGann; Cian McKeon (0-03, 0-02f) Donie Smith (0-07, 0-05f) Cathal Heneghan.

Subs used: Ben O’Carroll for Heneghan (half time), Ciarán Lawless for Ruane (50), Shane Cunnane for McGann (57), Ciarán Sugrue for Harney (65), Colin Walsh for Lennon (67).

Cork: Míchéal Martin; Seán Powter, Kevin Flahive, Tadhg Corkery; Cian Kiely, John Cooper, Matthew Taylor (0-01); Joe Grimes, Rory Maguire; Colm O’Callaghan, John O’Rourke (0-01), David Buckley (0-01); Mark Cronin (0-01), Brian Hurley (0-06, 0-04f, 0-01 ’45) Daniel Dineen.

Subs used: Eoghan McSweeney for Grimes (25), Kevin O’Donovan for Cooper (half time), Chris Óg Jones for D Buckley (48), Paul King for O’Rourke (65), Mark Buckley for Cronin (67).

Referee: Seamus Mulhare (Laois).