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Inspired Kelly lifts Roscommon to title glory

An impressive second-half performance from Roscommon clinched promotion and the title following a hugely entertaining game played in ideal conditions at Pairc Sean MhicDiarmada, Carrick-on-Shannon yesterday.

In an evenly matched first quarter Mayo took an early two-point lead as Stephen Broderick and Roscommon's Gary Fallon emerged as their side's top free takers.

Excellent scores from play by Michael Kelly, Declan Nolan and Kevin Conneely gave Roscommon an edge going into the final minutes of the half, but with eight minutes remaining, Ronan Cullinane scored an opportunist goal following a rare goalkeeping error by Padraig Dolan.

Cullinane and Broderick then added further points to give Mayo a 1-8 to 0-9 lead at the break.

Two Fallon pointed frees within six minutes of the restart put the Rossies back on level terms however.

Then, led by a man-of-the-match performance by Michael Kelly at centre half-back, two further Fallon pointed frees and points from play by Peter Kellehan and Conneely, gave Roscommon a three-point advantage going into the final minutes.

A late surge by Mayo resulted in a further exchange of points, but with time running out, they failed to bridge the gap and Roscommon emerged deserving winners.

Man of the Match: M Kelly (Roscommon)

SCORERS -- Roscommon: G Fallon 0-8f, K Conneely 0-3, P Kellehan, D Nolan 0-2 each, M Kelly, M Keaveney 0-1 each. Mayo: S Broderick 0-6f, R Cullinane 1-1, C Freeman, N Murphy 0-2 each, E Madigan 0-1.

ROSCOMMON -- P Dolan7, S Curley (capt) 8, I Delaney8, B Donnelly 8, A Moore 7, M Kelly 9, P Kelly 7, J Moran 8, D Nolan 8, P Kellehan 9, K Conneely 9, G Fallon 9, J Lawlor 7, D Loughnane 7, J Coyne 7. Subs: M Keaveney 8 for D Loughnane, M McLoughlin 8 for I Delaney, E Kenny 8 for J Lawlor.

MAYO -- D O'Brien 8, S Connell 8, D McConn (capt) 9, G Henry 8, B Higgins 8, S Morley 8, M Morley 8, K Feeney 6, K Higgins 6, N Murphy 7, D McDonnell7, E Madigan 7, R Cullinane 8, S Broderick 8, D McTighe 7. Subs: B Hunt 7 for K Feeney, A Connolly7 for D McTighe.

REF -- P Greene (Galway).

Irish Independent