Allianz FL D1: Impressive Mayo resist late Roscommon revival
ALLIANZ FL DIVISION 1
MAYO 1-11 ROSCOMMON 1-7
By Declan Rooney at Hyde Park
Cillian O’Connor made a shock return from injury and kicked the insurance free in injury-time as Mayo fought off a late Roscommon revival to boost their hopes of avoiding relegation.
Evan Regan’s goal straight after half-time helped Mayo to a significant nine-point cushion with just 12 minutes remaining, but Diarmuid Murtagh fired 1-1 after his introduction to lift Roscommon.
But O’Connor put Mayo four points clear in the 72nd minute and they easily closed out the game and dented the home side’s semi-final hopes at Hyde Park.
Truth be told, Mayo should have have been streets ahead by half-time, but their ten first-half wides and a couple of fine stops from Geoffrey Claffey means they were only 0-6 to 0-4 ahead at the interval.
The first quarter was total dominance from Mayo. Points from Regan and Conor O’Shea, a free from Alan Freeman, and a 45 from Robert Hennelly gave Stephen Rochford’s side a 0-4 to 0-0 lead by the 22ndminute, but it should have been far more.
Conor Devaney finally got Roscommon on the scoreboard with a 23rd minute point, but after Hennelly’s second 45 Mayo were in control again.
But Roscommon finished the half brightly and three points from Ciaran Murtagh meant they were a a lot closer to Mayo than they deserved.
But Mayo struck a couple of decisive blows straight after half-time. Firstly, Freeman pointed a free, before Regan cracked a brilliant goal in the 38th minute.
When Regan added two frees and Paddy Durcan pointed on the run, the nine-point lead worked by Mayo seemed to be plenty for victory.
But there was a big kick in Roscommon. After his introduction Diarmuid Murtagh hit the net nine minutes from time and quickly added a good point from play, which put three points between the sides, but Cillian O’Connor made sure of the win with his injury-time free.
Mayo still need to beat Down to be sure of retaining their top flight status, but this victory over their neighbours was a huge step in the right direction.
Scorers for Mayo: E Regan 1-3 (2f), A Freeman 0-3 (3f), R Hennelly 0-2 (2’45), C O’Shea 0-1, P Durcan 0-1, C O’Connor 0-1 (1f).
Scorers for Roscommon: D Murtagh 1-1, C Murtagh 0-3 (2f), C Devaney 0-2, F Cregg 0-1 (1f)
Mayo: R Hennelly; B Harrison, G Cafferkey, C Barrett; C Boyle, L Keegan, D Vaughan; T Parsons, S O’Shea; D O’Connor, A O’Shea, J Doherty; E Regan, A Freeman, C O’Shea.
Subs: P Durcan for Vaughan (h-t), S Coen for Cafferky (45), C O’Connor for C O’Shea (52), A Dillon for Freeman (57 BC), D Drake for D O’Connor (61), J Gibbons for Doherty (63).
Roscommon: G Claffey; S McDermott, N Collins, N McInerney; N McManus, S Purcell, D Murray; F Cregg, I Kilbride; C Daly, C Murtagh, C Devaney; N Kilroy, E Smith, C Cregg.
Subs: S Mollooley for McManus (57), D Murtagh for C Daly (59), R Daly for Devaney (63), J McDermott for Smith (66).
Referee: M Deegan (Laois).