Tuesday 21 November 2017

'One team got their stuff together and the other team fell off a cliff' - Kevin McStay on Roscommon's implosion

Mayo 4-19 Roscommon 0-9

Roscommon manager Kevin McStay during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter Final replay match between Mayo and Roscommon at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Roscommon manager Kevin McStay during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter Final replay match between Mayo and Roscommon at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Frank Roche

Frank Roche

KEVIN McSTAY has likened the Croke Park collapse of his Roscommon team to "falling off a cliff".

Eight days after his Connacht champions had exploded from the traps with two early goals, this time it was Roscommon's turn to endure a torrid start, falling six points adrift in today's All-Ireland SFC quarter-final replay.

Only this time, in stark contrast to Mayo's drawn match fightback, it proceeded to get far, far worse for the Rossies.

Reflecting on Mayo's three-goal salvo in the second quarter, en route to a 22-point victory, McStay admitted: "One team got their stuff together and the other team fell off a cliff, I suppose.

"The pace and power we knew Mayo had, we thought was maybe waning a bit, but they brought it to the table from throw-in.

"A young team got steamrolled by an experienced team - it was one-way traffic and they were miles ahead of us."

McStay was not inclined to make excuses, or suggest it might have been different if Kevin McLoughlin's two hops had been spotted in the build-up to Mayo's opening goal.

"I was screaming at the linesman and I was a good bit away from the play, but that’s a small thing," McStay accepted." Momentum is a big thing around here and after that they were looking for goals every second chance they got - they were looking to kill it off.

"We can have no complaints and, if they continue to play like that, they’ll test their next opponent."

On the subject of Mayo's reversion to their old hard-running game, the Roscommon boss said:

"Colm Boyle and Keith Higgins made huge impacts from the sweeper position, or six position. They’d take a gamble that they’d win the ball, run off the shoulder and we couldn't cope. They pulled us apart.

"They had energy we hadn't seen from Mayo in a while and we couldn’t cope. They will be very competitive the next day."

Mayo will play Kerry in the first All-Ireland semi-final in Croke Park the Sunday after next.

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