Friday 15 December 2017

Mayo edge war of attrition with brave Roscommon

Alan Freeman, Mayo, in action against Niall Carty
Alan Freeman, Mayo, in action against Niall Carty

Mayo's bid for four Connacht titles in a row survived a major scare as they narrowly beat a dogged Roscommon side by 0-13 to 1-9 at Dr Hyde Park.

Mayo 0-13 Roscommon 1-9

It wasn't a great spectacle but John Evans side led by three with eight minutes to go and could and maybe should have pulled off a famous win but substitute Andy Moran dragged Mayo back into the game and James Horan's men got out of jail.

A heavy downpour before the game made ground conditions very bad and the game struggled to find any structure.

Jason Doherty opened the scoring before Kevin Higgins and Cillian O'Connor exchanged points but in truth scores were hard to come by early on.

Remarkably there would only be another four scores in the half with O'Connor and Kevin McLoughlin scoring for the reigning Connacht champions and Senan Kilbride and Donie Shine splitting the uprights for the Rossies and Mayo led by 0-4 to 0-3.

The opening 35 minutes was blighted by poor shooting and poor handling.

Senan Kilbride levelled matters after giving Ger Cafferkey the slip and could easily have had a goal.

Mayo went back in front through Cillian O'Connor but Roscommon with responded with a goal as wing-back Ciaran Cafferkey drove through the Mayo defence and slammed the ball to the net.

Andy Moran was brought in by James Horan and frees from O'Connor and Kevin McLoughlin(2) had Mayo back in front but the lead didn't last long as substitute Diarmuid Murtagh hit to quickfire points for the Rossies.

Roscommon led by three after 62 minutes as Senan Kilbride floated over a free and Mark Nally scored.

Mayo responded and Andy Moran kicked two huge scores to get Mayo back to within a solitary point.

Seamus O'Shea kicked a huge point from distance to make it a draw game with four minutes to go.

Mark Nally fouled Donal Vaughan in the final minute of normal time and Cillian O'Connor put the reigning provincial champions in front.

Kevin McLoughlin and Diarmuid Murtagh swapped scores in injury time and despite Roscommon's best efforts the All-Ireland runners-up held on.

Mayo advance to a Connacht final meeting with either Galway or Sligo.

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