Roscommon 0-14 Mayo 0-11
Roscommon reached the final for the fourth year in succession courtesy of a well-deserved three-point triumph against an experimental Mayo at Dr Hyde Park yesterday.
The final - fixed for next month - is against Galway, who they are due to play in a round-robin clash next weekend, but Rossies boss Kevin McStay has called for the fixture to be "doubled up" and the decider to be played this Friday night.
Despite being reduced to 14 men early in the second-half after the dismissal of Ian Kilbride for a second bookable offence, McStay's charges were able to keep the visitors at bay.
Mayo were winning the midfield battle through the aerial dominance of Stephen Coen and Danny Kirby, but Roscommon's attack looked dangerous, and points from Conor Daly, Niall Daly, Ciarán Murtagh (a free), Niall Kilroy and Seán Mullooly handed the home side a 0-6 to 0-2 lead after 15 minutes.
But Mayo, with the wind behind them, gained a foothold, led superbly by centre-back Paddy Durcan.
Jason Doherty (a free) and Ciarán Murtagh swapped points before Mayo reeled off three scores in a row to leave the sides all square at 0-6 apiece after 27 minutes.
Diarmuid Murtagh edged Roscommon in front, but Ciaran Treacy replied instantly, before a Diarmuid Murtagh free handed the hosts a 0-8 to 0-7 interval lead.
Mayo took the lead for the first time with points from McDonagh (a free) and Conor O'Shea as Roscommon lost Kilbride, but they made light of their numerical disadvantage to eke out the win.
SCORERS - Roscommon: D Murtagh 0-5 (3f), C Murtagh 0-3 (2f), C Daly 0-2, N Daly, N Kilroy, S Mullooly, E Smith 0-1 each. Mayo: F McDonagh 0-4 (2f), C Treacy 0-2, P Durcan, J Doherty (1f), D O'Connor, C O'Shea, N Douglas 0-1 each.
ROSCOMMON: C Lavin; N McInerney, J McManus, S Mullooly; C Daly, D Murray, F Lennon; E Smith, I Kilbride; N Daly, N Kilroy, C Devaney; C Murtagh, D Murtagh, F Cregg. Subs: S McDermott for C Murtagh (blood sub, 46), S McDermott for Cregg (55), R Daly for C Daly (55), D Smith for Devaney (61), C McKeon for D Murtagh (63), H Walsh for Kilroy (67), P Domican for Lennon (69).
MAYO: R Hennelly; E O'Donoghue, G Cafferkey, C Crowe; C Boyle, P Durcan, J Stretton; S Coen, D Kirby; F McDonagh, D O'Connor, C O'Shea; N Douglas, J Doherty, C Treacy. Subs: K McLoughlin for O'Connor (54), S Akram for O'Shea (61), J Gibbons for Boyle (61), P Naughton for McDonagh (64), J Oates for Crowe (68), J McCormack for Kirby (68).
REF - M Flaherty (Galway).