Hot-shot Murtagh helps Rossies to retain crown
Roscommon 0-10 Mayo 0-8
Diarmuid Murtagh was the hero as Roscommon secured back-to-back provincial titles for the first time yesterday.
Murtagh's prowess -- he scored five points -- illuminated a poor contest at Dr Hyde Park during which Mayo kicked 12 wides.
Mayo captain Adam Gallagher kicked six of their points, but none of the visitors' starting forwards scored from play.
Roscommon started impressively and raced into a four-point lead with points from Ruaidhri McManus (2), Murtagh and Enda Smith. It could have been even better for Garreth Carroll's charges, but Mayo goalkeeper Conor O'Malley made a smart save from the in-form Murtagh.
Finally, Mayo gained a foothold around midfield and corner-back Kevin Lynch showed the forwards how it was done when he pointed from 40 metres.
Gallagher added the first of his frees but points from Smith and Kevin Finn left Roscommon 0-6 to 0-2 ahead after 19 minutes. Gallagher pulled back a free, but Roscommon remained in control at the break.
Mayo dominated the second half against the wind, but their shooting let them down.
Roscommon relied on Murtagh's excellence in front of goal to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Four points from Gallagher, including two from play, left two between the sides with four minutes left.
Then substitute James Quinn pointed as the Roscommon goalmouth lived a charmed life. Ryan Coleman had a chance to bring the sides level but he pulled his effort wide.
Mayo were made to pay for that miss when Man of the Match Murtagh bisected the posts with aplomb in injury-time.
SCORERS -- Roscommon: D Murtagh 0-5 (2f), E Smith, R McManus (1f) 0-2 each, K Finn 0-1. Mayo: A Gallagher 0-6 (5f), K Lynch, J Quinn 0-1 each.
ROSCOMMON -- S Mannion; P Neilan, D Barron, C Kenny; R Daly, C Hussey, N McInerney; U Harney, T Corcoran; C Compton, R McManus, E Smith; D Murtagh, K Finn, M Gunning. Subs: P Kenny for Gunning (9), K Kilcline for Compton (37), B Fannon for McManus (40), C Casserly for P Kenny (52).
MAYO -- C O'Malley; D McHale, S Moran, K Lynch; P Durcan, C Burke, M Plunkett; B Mullen, E Lavin; A Gallagher, S Coen, D O'Connor; C Byrne, S Hennelly, S Regan. Subs: D Duffy for Lavin (h-t), J Geraghty for McHale (38), J Quinn for Regan (52), R Coleman for Mullen (60).
REF -- S O hEithir (Galway).