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Connacht SFC: Mayo march on

The impressive Paddy Durcan bursts forward for Mayo at Dr Hyde Park.

The impressive Paddy Durcan bursts forward for Mayo at Dr Hyde Park.

Connacht SFC Semi-Final


By Cian O'Connell at Dr Hyde Park

This proved to be a thoroughly satisfying afternoon at the Hyde for Mayo, who advanced to a first Connacht SFC decider since 2015.

Roscommon and Galway have shared the last four provincial crowns, winning two each, but Mayo bossed this match throughout.

There was so much to admire in the manner James Horan’s established and emerging players delivered to set up an intriguing final against Galway next Sunday.

Having gained control in the first half, Mayo were never in any serious danger in the closing stages as they closed the deal in confident fashion.

The opening period illustrated Mayo’s potential, but with Horan seeking constant improvement areas of concern existed too.

Considering Mayo’s supremacy the fact that only 1-8 was posted from 19 attempts brought a slight sense of worry considering the green and red were just six ahead at the turnaround.

That scarcely reflected Mayo’s dominance, and while Roscommon squandered opportunities initially too, the visitors’ were dictating the agenda.

Eoghan McLaughlin and Paddy Durcan repeatedly made dashing darts into attack and Roscommon were struggling to contain Horan’s evolving team.

Following an interesting start Mayo lead by 0-3 to 0-2 after nine minutes, but then they enjoyed a splendid burst.

Mayo struck 1-4 in that burst of class with Diarmuid O’Connor, Kevin McLoughlin, and Cillian O’Connor all landing points.

Then Eoghan McLaughlin supplied the assist to release Diarmuid O’Connor, who planted a delightful goal prior to the water break.

Aidan O’Shea subsequently rifled over a gorgeous point extending Mayo’s advantage to 1-7 to 0-2 in the 24th minute.

Under duress Roscommon, with Donie Smith prominent, did summon a response clipping three of the next four points, but Mayo’s 1-8 to 0-5 cushion was decent.

Any hopes of Roscommon launching a daring comeback extinguished when Mayo reeled off three points on the spin courtesy of Cillian O’Connor.

Roscommon did reply narrowing the gap to six by the 51st minute, but Mayo were far from perturbed as a flurry of scores followed.

Inevitably Durcan was involved, Cillian O’Connor stayed relevant, and Conor Loftus decorated another neat showing with a point.

In the dying embers Roscommon substitute Diarmuid Murtagh mined a couple of scores, but sufficient Mayo damage had been inflicted.

Scorers for Mayo: Cillian O’Connor 0-9 (6fs), Diarmuid O’Connor 1-1, Paddy Durcan 0-2, Conor Loftus, Aidan O’Shea, Kevin McLoughlin, and Tommy Conroy 0-1 each.

Scorers for Roscommon: Donie Smith (1f), Cian McKeon (2fs) and Conor Cox (2fs, 1m) 0-3 each, Diarmuid Murtagh 0-2, Tadhg O’Rourke and Niall Daly 0-1 each.

MAYO: David Clarke; Lee Keegan, Chris Barrett, Oisin Mullin; Eoghan McLaughlin, Stephen Coen, Paddy Durcan; Mattie Ruane, Conor Loftus; Kevin McLoughlin, Ryan O’Donoghue, Diarmuid O’Connor; Tommy Conroy, Aidan O’Shea, Cillian O’Connor.

Subs: Jordan Flynn for Loftus (41-45), Mark Moran for O’Donoghue (46), Jordan Flynn for D O’Connor (60), Rory Brickenden for Ruane (66), James Carr for Conroy (67), Michael Plunkett for Coen (70).

ROSCOMMON: Colm Lavin; Conor Daly, Sean Mullooly, David Murray; Niall Daly, Brian Stack, Ronan Daly; Cathal Compton, Tadhg O’Rourke; Niall Kilroy, Enda Smith, Cian McKeon; Donie Smith, Conor Cox, Cathal Cregg.

Subs: Conor Devaney for Cregg (41), Conor Hussey for O’Rourke (50), Ciaran Lennon for Cox (59), Eddie Nolan for Compton (61), Diarmuid Murtagh for Smith (64).

REFEREE: David Gough (Meath).