Mayo surge clear of Roscommon with strong second-half showing

Ryan O’Donoghue excelled to help extend 40 years of Roscommon hurt in Castlebar

National Football League Division One: Mayo 0-15 Roscommon 0-9

League champions Mayo got back to winning ways at a rain-soaked Hastings Insurance MacHale Park in Castlebar on Saturday evening.

Kevin McStay’s men had lost their last two matches on the road, but they made the most of home comforts to cruise to a convincing win in front of 9,160 spectators.

The result means that Roscommon’s long wait for a first National League win in Castlebar since 1984 goes on, and they are now in a relegation dogfight with just one victory from five matches.


But Mayo’s third win of a topsy-turvy campaign means that they remain in the hunt for a place in another league final at the end of the month.

The match-winning damage was done during a blistering third quarter when Mayo racked up seven points without reply against their shell-shocked visitors.

The fabulous Fergal Boland (who finished with three points) got the ball rolling before Ryan O’Donoghue (three points), Enda Hession (from a mark) and defender Donnacha McHugh (two from play) also hit the target.

Roscommon had to wait until the 22nd minute of the half to reply through Conor Cox, and they were unable to make much headway during the closing stages.

Mayo led at the end of an absorbing first half by 0-7 to 0-6 despite not scoring for the final 17 minutes of play.

The home side came flying out of the blocks and were four points clear at the end of the first quarter after a string of well-worked scores.

Playing with a far greater urgency than the visitors, Mayo cut through Roscommon’s defence with O’Donoghue shooting three points.

Fergal Boland, Aidan O’Shea and goalkeeper Colm Reape were also on target during this purple patch.

A couple of superb long-range efforts from Diarmuid Murtagh kept the Rossies in touch, and Donie Smith also chipped in with a neat score.

But an audacious point from Stephen Coen left Mayo ahead by 0-7 to 0-3 after 21 minutes and looking comfortable.

But they failed to score for the remainder of the half with the stylish Diarmuid Murtagh nailing another brace of brilliant points to haul Roscommon back into contention.

The gap had closed the gap to the bare minimum when goalkeeper Conor Carroll smacked over a 45.

Enda Smith was also unlucky to be denied a goal when his attempted lob was brilliantly saved by Reape.

Mayo: C Reape (0-1); J Coyne, R Brickenden, S Callinan; D McHugh (0-2), S Coen (0-1), E Hession (0-1, one mark); B Tuohy, J Carney; E McLaughlin, F Boland (0-2), J Flynn; A O’Shea (0-1), P Towey, R O’Donoghue (0-6, three frees).

Subs used: T Conroy for Towey (38); D McHale for Tuohy (51); C O’Connor (0-1) for O’Shea (50); M Ruane for Flynn (61); C Loftus for McLaughlin (67).

Roscommon: C Carroll (0-1, one f); D Murray, B Stack, N Higgins; T O’Rourke, E McMcCormack, D Ruane; E Smith, S Cunnane; R Dolan, D Murtagh (0-4, one free), R Fallon; D Smith (0-1), D Cregg, J Fitzpatrick.

Subs used: N Daly for Cunnane (21); C Cox (0-2, 1f) for Fitzpatrick (HT); A Glennon for D Smith (46); R Daly for Fallon (53); U Harney for O’Rourke (61);

Referee: J McQuillan (Cavan)