Roscommon .... 0-13
MAYO’S first defeat under new manager Stephen Rochford was not unexpected as they went down to a better prepared and clearly fitter Roscommon side in the FBD Connaught League at Elverys MacHale Park, Castlebar, today, which drew a crowd of nearly 4,000.
But what is a worry for the new manager is an knee injury to Keith Higgins who had to be replaced after just three minutes, and may now miss the opening round of the national league against Cork in two weeks' time.
The win was a big boost for new Roscommon manager, Kevin McStay, who praised the effort his team had put in.
"It is nice to win in Castlebar and hopefully that will continue but I thought, given the effort the players put in, we deserved it," said a delighted McStay.
Roscommon were full value for the their 0-6 to 0-4 interval lead having bossed the first half, three of their points coming from their top man Cathal Cregg, while Fintan Cregg, Diarmuid Murtagh and Neil Collins ensured all of the Roscommon scores came from play.
Mayo did create one or two goal chances, but the final pass usually let them down against a Roscommon defence which was well on top in the opening 20 minutes before Mark Ronaldson and Keith Ruttledge hit the target, Conor Loftus coming in with two frees as both Keith Higgins and Kevin Keane were early Mayo injury casualties.
Points from Jason Gibbons Conor Loftus (free) kept Mayo in the game but Roscommon opened their shoulders with a string of points as they began to open up the Mayo defence and book their place in the final against Galway next Sunday.
Roscommon: G. Claffey, N. McInerney, R. Stack, N. Collins (0-1), S. McDermott, N. Daly (0-1), C. Daly, E. Smith (0-1), I. Kilbride, F. Cregg (0-1), C. Murtagh (0-3f), R. Daly, S. Kilbride (0-1), C. Cregg (0-3), D. Murtagh (0-2, 1f).
Subs used: B. Murtagh for N. Daly (50), S. Oates for D. Murtagh (55), K. Kilcline for F. Cregg (55), G. Patterson for R. Stack (57).
Mayo: R. Hennelly, G. Cafferkey, K. Keane, P. O’Hora, K. Higgins, C. Crowe, C. Boyle, T. Parsons, J. Gibbons (0-1), D. Vaughan, M. Ronaldson (0-1), D. McHale, K. Ruttledge (0-1), J. Doherty (0-2f), C. Loftus (0-5, 4f).
Subs used: L. Keegan for K. Higgins (4, inj), S. Nally for K. Keane (16, inj), D. O’Connor for K. Ruttledge (42), S. Nally for C. Boyle (50), B. Harrison for O’Hora (53), B. Reape for C. Loftus (55).
Referee: J. Gilmartin (Sligo).