Donal Wrynn gets his hand to the throw-in at the Leitrim GAA Centre of Excellence. Photo Leitrim GAA
An impressive Roscommon continued right where they left off with Leitrim last year when they crushed the Green & Gold challenge in the first round of the FBD Insurance Connacht League at the Leitrim GAA Centre of Excellence in Annaduff on Wednesday evening.
A new look Leitrim saw their neighbours inflict a 14 point defeat on them in a sombre opening to the year as Brendan Guckian handed out six debuts in his starting line-up with another two off the bench with more to come in the games against Sligo, Mayo and Galway over the next 11 days.
Melvin Gaels' Liam Ryan, Leitrim Gaels duo Colm Moreton and Aidan Flynn, Carrigallen's Eoin Ward, Ballinamore Sean O'Heslin's Donal Feely and Cloone's Darren Carberry all made their debuts while Annaduff's Conor Reynolds and Mohill's James Mitchell also came on off the bench.
With seven of the team who inflicted a record defeat on Leitrim in the Summer lining out, Roscommon looked every inch the Connacht Champions they are as they were much more clinical and restricted Leitrim's attack to a huge degree.
Roscommon set out their stall early and led 0-3 to 0-1 after nine minutes, Leitrim's point from Darren Carberry but Kevin McStay's team took control with a well worked goal from Finbarr Cregg. And it got worse on the stroke of halftime when Diarmuid Murtagh fisted the ball to the Leitrim net to leave them 2-6 to 0-2 ahead at the break.
With both sides making a lot of changes in the second half, the action was not as free-flowing but Roscommon scored an unanswered six points before Leitrim got their first score of the game, a penalty from Brendan Gallagher on 61 minutes. A free from Keith Beirne completed Leitrim's scoring.
SEE WWW.LEITRIMOBSERVER.IE ON THURSDAY FOR FULL REPORT AND PICTURES FROM THE FIRST GAME OF THE FBD INSURANCE CONNACHT LEAGUE.