Five things we learned from Mayo's win over Roscommon - Fears over Super 8s grow
Mayo had 22 points to spare over Conacht champions Roscommon. Here's what we gleaned from the game.
1. Mayo answer their critics
“Everyone had written us off, as usual,” said man of the match Aidan O’Shea after this runaway victory. O’Shea own form dipped in the drawn game and a tame overall team performance fuelled speculation that Mayo were in decline.
They delivered a strong rebuttal of those claims, with O’Shea an inspirational figure, forcing Roscommon on to the backfoot from the throw-in. It was all the more impressive given that they had to line out without Lee Keegan, their best player a week earlier.
2. Mayo's power was too much to handle
“They went for the jugular early on,” said Roscommon manager Kevin McStay moments after their heavy defeat, which he said he did not see coming.
They were overwhelmed by Mayo’s superior strength and aerial power. Their own kickout was catastrophic, with Mayo pushing up, dominating the middle third and Roscommon getting a poor return whenever they tried to go short. Roscommon’s mainly young side suffered a brutal lesson.
Their wait for a first championship win in Croke Park since 1980 goes on.
3. Fears over Super 8 experiment grow
The Super 8 trial which starts next year with a round robin series replacing the current quarter final format is not inspiring confidence after a bank holiday weekend that saw three landslide wins.
Roscommon, Connacht champions, lost by 22 points, following a ten-point win for Dublin over Monaghan and Tyrone’s 18-point thrashing of Armagh. The gap between the top four contenders and the rest is gaping and no amount of structural tinkering will paper over those cracks.
4. He who laughs last...
Andy Moran, the target of mindless booing from a section of the Roscommon support in the drawn game, had the last laugh when scoring one of the Mayo goals that killed their rival’s hopes in the first half.
He took a pass from Keith Higgins and finished calmly from close range, the second Mayo goal in a minute after Kevin McLoughlin hit the net after a 60m run, although he got away with a double hop. Moran received a standing ovation from the Mayo support when he was taken off in the second half.
5. Mayo keep going to the well
This was Mayo’s seventh championship match and seventh successive qualification for the semi-finals. They now face Kerry on August 20 who they lost to at the same stage three years ago in a replay in Limerick. Mayo are certainly taking the scenic route this year. This was their fifth game in six weeks, two of those going to extra time.