Ronaldson gives Mayo a cutting edge


CONNACHT FOOTBALL Mayo 1-9 Roscommon 0-8:MARK RONALDSON rolled over Roscommon to put Mayo into the FBD Connacht league final in a well-contested match yesterday at Ballinlough.

The former Irish schoolboys soccer international scored 1-6 in an impressive personal display, with his penalty goal after 37 minutes proving the decisive score.

Mayo never looked in danger after Ronaldson converted a penalty in the 37th minute. His goal put Mayo three points ahead and the home team couldn’t get closer than two points for the rest of the match which was good preparation for the forthcoming league.

Roscommon never stopped battling, but the lack of a scoring threat up front remains a problem.

A Roscommon point from a free by Ger Heneghan opened the scoring and Mayo shot five wides before Séamus O’Shea opened their account in the 15th minute with a point from play.

Captain Trevor Mortimer gave John O’Mahony’s team the lead in the 16th minute and they extended their advantage to three points by the 20th minute with two scores from frees by Ronaldson.

Heneghan pointed a free after 21 minutes, but Ronaldson responded with a punched point from play. Centre back Ian Kilbride scored a good point for Roscommon after 25 minutes and Gary Cox lofted over a point from a free on the right wing to leave just one point between the teams at half-time.

Fergal O’Donnell’s team began the second-half impressively. Heneghan scored from play within 20 seconds of the resumption and Enda Kenny set up Cox for a point in the 32nd minute.

Ronaldson equalised quickly and the corner forward then struck for the decisive score. A high ball was knocked down by Aidan O’Shea to Enda Varley who was fouled and Ronaldson fired a low spot-kick to the net.

After an exchange of points from frees between John Rogers and Ronaldson, Rogers slotted a point from a 35-metre free.

However, Mayo closed out the game with late pointed frees from Ronaldson and Andy Moran.

MAYO: D Clarke; L O’Malley, G Cafferkey, D Vaughan; P Gardiner, T Howley, K Higgins; S O’Shea (0-1), T Parsons; A Moran (0-1, free), B Kelly, T Mortimer (0-1); E Varley, A O’Shea, M Ronaldson (1-6, 1-0 pen, five frees). Subs: R McGarrity for Kelly, S Nally for O’Malley (both half-time); N Douglas for Mortimer (52 mins).

ROSCOMMON: G Claffey; S McDermott, M Killilea, S Ormsby; N Carty, I Kilbride (0-1), J Rogers (0-2, frees); M O’Carroll, M Finneran; S Purcell, C McHugh, B Higgins; T Kelly, E Kenny, G Heneghan (0-3, two frees). Subs: K Higgins for B Higgins (10 mins); G Cox (0-2, one free)for Kelly, P Freeman for McHugh (52 mins).

Referee: Michael Duffy(Sligo).