There was never any sign of a shock at Pairc Sean MacDiarmada on Saturday evening as Roscommon cruised to an emphatic 0-24 to 0-10 win over Leitrim.
Kevin McStay's team were always in control, accumulating a 0-10 to 0-2 lead by the interval. With the Murtagh brothers, Ciarain and Diarmuid, in decent scoring form, Roscommon introduced Cathal Cregg, who notched four second half points.
"I can say the exact same thing that I said this time last year, we have an ocean of work to do," McStay reflected. "This is the game of our lives to see if we can do a two in a row and retain our title. That is the one thing we want to do. That's where our energies are right now. We had no injuries which was good. And we did give a lot of lads game-time. The first half was very pedestrian from our point of view. Our forwards were well off the mark in the first half."
After the restart, Roscommon probed and were rewarded with a flurry of points for the Connacht standard bearers, who will face the winners of Sunday's Pearse Stadium tussle between Galway and Sligo. Leitrim manager Brendan Guckian is now preparing for a Round Two Qualifier on June 23.
"The fact that we're in the second round of the qualifiers, it's going to be a difficult opposition that we're going to face but we just have to regroup, focus on ourselves and plan accordingly," Guckian admitted. "I don't think there's going to be any weaker teams after the first round. I think regardless of who we get it will be a challenge and we will use it to see how we're progressing."