Mayo started off the match on the right footing, putting over the first two scores of the game within five minutes. James Horan, however, was left to rue his side’s wastefulness in front of the posts as they could easily have been five points to the good at that early stage.
This wastefulness was punished in the fifth minute as Cathal Cregg finished a great run with a goal to match. Mayo responded well, putting two scores on the board to edge ahead by 0-04 to 1-00, but disaster struck again after eleven minutes. A poor kick-out from Rob Hennelly was turned over by the Rossies and finished into the back of the net, leaving the scoreline at 2-01 to 0-04.
Shortly after this the goal seemed to open up for Mayo as Evan Regan supplied a defence splitting pass. However, Diarmuid O’Connor’s effort was high and wide.
Mayo’s shooting inefficiencies continued to hamper their progress, as five wides in a ten minute period which produced only two points left them trailing by a scoreline of 2-05 to 0-06.
Things could have gotten worse for Horan’s men as Mayo were caught napping from a hop-ball high up the pitch. Only for a quick reaction save from keeper Hennelly the Rossies would have plundered a third goal.
Nearing the conclusion of the half controversy struck, as a Roscommon player appeared to strike out at an opponent. This caused a full-scale melee which spilled over onto the sideline. This was to be the final action of the half as the players went from the sideline straight down the tunnel. As the sides headed in at the interval, Mayo would have been ruing missed opportunities with eleven wides to Roscommon’s two.
As the players emerged the referee called four players over regarding the fracas which concluded the first half. All four players, including Lee Keegan and Patrick Durcan of Mayo, were booked for their involvement.
As play resumed, the game continued to be even and fiercely contested by both sides. Roscommon took the game to Mayo ten minutes in with a long range score to make it a three-point game. Mayo replied, however, with four quick-fire points.
A great score from Fergal Boland edged the Mayo men in front on a scoreline of 0-17 to 2-10. The match continued on an even keel, but Mayo looked to have gained an advantage in the final minute of normal time when the Rossies were reduced to fourteen men by a black card.
As the match entered the five minute stoppage period, the possibility of extra-time looked very much on the cards. Despite the loss of Andy Moran to a black card, Mayo had the better of the scoring opportunities.
The first was a free to edge ahead with a couple of minutes left to play, which was taken short and squandered. Another was a free to level it at the death which was put wide by Kevin McLoughlin with the last minute of the game.
The crucial score, however, came from Roscommon substitute Fintan Cregg going into the final minute of injury time. Mayo will live to rue their inefficiencies, but it will matter little to Roscommon who edged it in a fiercely competitive game. Roscommon will now progress to face Galway in the Connacht final, whereas Mayo face another long haul through the qualifiers.
Mayo: Robbie Hennelly; Chris Barrett, Brendan Harrison, Keith Higgins; Paddy Durcan (0-2), Michael Plunkett, Lee Keegan (0-1); Matthew Ruane (0-2), Aidan O’Shea; Fergal Boland (0-2), Jason Doherty (0-1, a free), Diarmuid O’Connor; Evan Regan (0-3, two frees), Darren Coen (0-5), Kevin McLoughlin. Subs: Andy Moran (0-1) for Coen, Conor Diskin for Regan, Conor Loftus for Doherty, Ciarán Treacy for Moran (black card).
Who was our MOTM against Roscommon? Pick your top three performers
- Darren Coen (41%, 553 Votes)
- Aidan O'Shea (18%, 242 Votes)
- Fergal Boland (10%, 142 Votes)
- Paddy Durcan (7%, 98 Votes)
- Matthew Ruane (7%, 97 Votes)
- Robbie Hennelly (6%, 86 Votes)
- Lee Keegan (3%, 36 Votes)
- Evan Regan (3%, 36 Votes)
- Kevin McLoughlin (1%, 18 Votes)
- Brendan Harrison (1%, 13 Votes)
- Keith Higgins (1%, 12 Votes)
- Chris Barrett (1%, 10 Votes)
- Michael Plunkett (1%, 9 Votes)
- Jason Doherty (1%, 8 Votes)
- Diarmuid O'Connor (0%, 5 Votes)
Total Voters: 845