Sport Gaelic Football

Saturday 21 October 2017

Irwin seals Mayo glory as Rossies rally falls short

Mayo 3-7 Roscommon 1-10

Mayo's Liam Irwin
Mayo's Liam Irwin

Mayo scuppered Roscommon's three-in-a-row provincial ambitions when they hit them for three goals at MacHale Park in Castlebar.

Mayo scuppered Roscommon's three-in-a-row provincial ambitions when they hit them for three goals at MacHale Park in Castlebar.

After 10 minutes of action Mayo led 2-0, the goals coming in the space of two minutes.

Roscommon might have survived conceding two early goals but kicked 14 wides and were hit by a third goal early in the second half, which left them with a nine-point mountain to scale.

To their credit they battled back gamely and were rewarded with a penalty three minutes from time to cut the deficit to two points but it was a case of too little, too late for the defending champions.

Liam Irwin (right) steadied the ship for Mayo with a free but the crossbar denied Roscommon a late dramatic draw.

Although Roscommon enjoyed the greater share of possession in the first half, Mayo got the better return from limited ball, with both goals coming very much against the run of play.

The first came on five minutes when Darragh Doherty took a long delivery from Sean Conlon and fired a rocket to the net from 25 yards.

And that was bettered two minutes later when Irwin sold two dummies to two defenders before sending a rocket to the roof of the net from 15 yards.

Roscommon regrouped and came back to within three with good scores from Diarmuid McGann and Diarmuid Murtagh, but Mayo hit back with points from Irwin (free) and Tommy Conroy to lead 2-4 to 0-5 at half-time.

Mayo got the boost of that third goal two minutes after the restart when the initial effort from Cian Hanley was saved by the goalkeeper but Conor Loftus was first in to finish the rebound to the net and give the home side a nine-point lead.

Roscommon took control for the next 15 minutes but failed abysmally in the finishing department.

Mayo were always able to dig out a score on the counter-attack and the goal Roscommon so badly needed came just a shade too late as the men in green and red finally regained the title after a three-year wait.

Scorers – Mayo: L Irwin 1-3 (0-2fs), C Doherty, C Loftus 1-0 each, T Conroy, S Burke, S Coen, V Roughneen (f) 0-1 each. Roscommon: D Murtagh 1-3 (1-0 pen, 0-2fs), D McGann 0-4 (2fs), R Daly, C Compton, S Farrell 0-1 each.

Mayo – M Mulligan, E Doran, S Conlon, D Kenny, R Finn, S Coen (0-1), M Hall, V Roughneen, D O'Connor, C Loftus, S Burke, C Hanley, D Doherty, L Irwin, T Conroy. Subs: C Byrne for Doherty (45), M Plunkett for Roughneen (49),

Roscommon – S Mannion, D Neary, S Mallory, M Flannery, R Daly, E McGrath, S Petit, C Compton, T 0'Rourke, N Connaughton, U Harney, J Earley, E Fallon, D McGann, D Murtagh. Subs: H Walsh for Connaughton (45), S Farrell for Petit (47), J Gannon for Earley (50), M Murtagh for McGrath (52).

REF – M McBrien (Leitrim)

Irish Independent

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