Murphy holds nerve on Mayo debut to grab share of spoils
Published 21/01/2013 | 05:00
Both of these teams were out of the competition, but neither held back in front of a huge crowd at Ballyhaunis.
Roscommon manager John Evans walked away the happier, despite being held to a draw in a game his side should have won given their dominance, particularly in the second half when they ran through Mayo – who started nine of the side that lost to Donegal in the All-Ireland final.
The Rossies were fired up for the second half, but their poor finishing once more let them down, and Mayo salvaged two late frees from debutant Alan Murphy to snatch a draw.
The Connacht champions stormed into the game with early points from the O'Shea brothers, Aidan and Seamus, with Jason Doherty also on target and they looked the better team by a distance for the first 20 minutes,
But Roscommon, despite losing Donie Shine through injury, hit back with a goal from Cathal Cregg to lead 1-4 to 0-6 at the break.
Aidan O'Shea had matters all square with an early second-half point, but Roscommon moved up a level with Donie Smith and Michael Finneran firing them two ahead.
Donal Vaughan brought it back to a single-point game again, but Fintan Cregg scored what looked the likely match-winner as Roscommon led by two again.
However, Mayo clung in and two rash challenges by the Roscommon defence coughed up two needless frees which Ballinrobe man Murphy converted to earn Mayo an unlikely draw.
Scorers – Mayo: A Murphy 0-3f, S O'Shea, A O'Shea 0-2 each, K Higgins, J Doherty, D Vaughan 0-1 each. Roscommon: C Cregg 1-1 (1f), D Shine (0-3, 2f), D Smith, F Cregg, D Keane 0-1 each.
Mayo – D Clarke; G Cafferkey, S McHale, K Rogers; K Higgins, D Vaughan, C Boyle; A O'Shea, S O'Shea; K McLoughlin, R Feeney, L Keegan; A Murphy, A Freeman, J Doherty. Subs: C Barrett for McHale (27), B Moran for S O'Shea (45), B Gallagher for Keegan (45), M Conroy for Doherty (45), T Cunniffee for Cafferkey (54).
Roscommon – G Claffey; N Collins N Carty C Daly; C Devanney, N Daly, J McKeague; M Finneran, K. Higgins; C Dineen F Cregg, C Cregg; D Smith, D Shine, D Keane. Subs: S Oates for Shine (16, inj), D Keenan for Dineen (44), D Hoey for Keane (46).
Ref – R McBrien (Leitrim)