Roscommon' Ciaráin Murtagh tries to evade Dublin's Cormac Costello. Photo:

Rossies draw with Dublin in group stage opener

All-Ireland SFC Group 3, Round 1: Dublin 1-11 Roscommon 0-14

Roscommon battled back with two stoppage time points to earn a draw with Dublin in their All-Ireland SFC Group 3 opener at Croke Park today (Sunday).

The result means Roscommon are still waiting for a first Championship win at Croke Park since 1980, but the Rossies will surely take encouragement from many aspects of their performance.

Indeed, Roscommon had threatened to pull off a notable victory over the serial Leinster champions, having led by 0-9 to 0-5 at half-time.

Davy Burke's charges frustrated Dublin for long spells with their ability to hold possession.

The inclusion of Eddie Nolan of St Brigid's, in place of Keith Doyle, was a late change to the Roscommon starting line-up.

Nolan started at midfield alongside key man Enda Smith with Clann na nGael's Ciaran Lennon moved into the attack. On a day when the Murtagh brothers (Ciaráin and Diarmuid) scored eight points between them, Lennon raised two white flags of his own.

With Roscommon enjoying a four-point lead at the interval, linesman Brendan Cawley took over as referee for the second half as Barry Cassidy was unable to continue.

It wasn't until John Small bundled the ball to the net for a 45th-minute goal that Dublin really ate into Roscommon's half-time lead. And although the Dubs went ahead in the 48th minute, they weren't able to shake off the Rossies.

Conor Cox was introduced as a late substitute by Roscommon and the Kerry native made his presence felt, reducing Dublin's lead from a free, before earning the free from which Donie Smith kicked the equaliser.

Roscommon's next outing is a home game against Connacht rivals and Division 4 league champions Sligo next Sunday.

Scorers - Roscommon: C Murtagh 0-5 (2f); D Murtagh 0-3 (2f); C Lennon 0-2; E Smith, N Daly, C Cox (f) and D Smith (f) 0-1 each. Dublin: C Costello 0-7 (2f, 2 45); J Small 1-0; C O'Callaghan and S Bugler 0-2 each.

Roscommon: Conor Carroll; Conor Hussey, Brian Stack, David Murray; Niall Daly, Eoin McCormack, Dylan Ruane; Eddie Nolan, Enda Smith; Ciaráin Murtagh, Ciaran Lennon, Cian McKeon; Diarmuid Murtagh, Donie Smith, Ben O'Carroll. Subs: Keith Doyle for Lennon (46 mins), Conor Daly for Ruane (48), Cian Connolly for O'Carroll (51), Conor Cox for McKeon (64), Ruaidhrí Fallon for Nolan (64).

Dublin: Stephen Cluxton; Daire Newcombe, Michael Fitzsimons, David Byrne; Brian Howard, John Small, Lee Gannon; Brian Fenton, James McCarthy; Niall Scully, Sean Bugler, Ciaran Kilkenny; Paul Mannion, Con O'Callaghan, Cormac Costello. Subs: Cian Murphy for Byrne (inj., 9 mins), Colm Basquel for Mannion (52), Lorcan O'Dell for Scully (60), Dean Rock for Kilkenny (63), Tom Lahiff for McCarthy (69).

Referee: Barry Cassidy (Derry) - replaced during the game by Brendan Cawley (Kildare).