IT may have been only Mayo’s second win in the national league but this victory in Roscommon’s water-logged Hyde Park has literally saved Mayo’s hide.
A win over Down on Sunday is a must, but Monaghan, who lost to Kerry, can now only finish on the same points as Mayo (6), which secures the division I status for Stephen’s Rochford’s side.
Mayo made hard work of a game they totally dominated and 10 first half wides had their huge travelling support in a crowd of up on 13,000 more than worried having played with a gale in the first half.
But Mayo’s saviour turned out to be Evan Regan, who scored a brilliant goal just two minus into the second half to fire to his team 1-7 to 0-04 clear and really the Connaught champions never looked back after that as they extended their half-time lead of 0-6 to 0-4 to 1-7 to 0-4.
Roscommon did come with a late rally and were rewarded with a fine goal of their own from Diarmuid Murtagh to leave just three points between the sides as the last five minutes approached.
But Mayo never pressed the panic button, using their experience and guile to good effect as Rochford ran his bench, Patrick Durcan clearly recovered after his experience with Castleabr in the All-Ireland Club final, while Alan Dillon and Cillian O’Connor, who scored a late free to leave four between the sides, made a return to active duty after a long absence.
A win that will boost Mayo's confidence ahead of the championship but you sense Roscommon it won’t have a major affect on Kevin McStay team whose place in the top four qualifers is guaranteed despite having to meet league leaders Dublin in their last game.
Mayo must not take their eye off the ball despite facing pointless Down in the final game in MacHale Park where a win will see them remain in the top flight for another season.
Mayo: R. Hennelly (0-02, 0-02f); B. Harrison, G. Cafferkey, C. Barrett; C. Boyle, L. Keegan, D. Vaughan; T. Parsons, S. O’Shea; D. O’Connor, A. O’Shea, J. Doherty; E. Regan (1-03, 0-02f), A. Freeman (0-03, 0-03f), C. O’Shea (0-01).
Subs: P. Durcan (0-01) for Vaughan (h-t), S. Coen for Cafferky (45), C. O’Connor (0-01) for C. O’Shea (52), A. Dillon for Freeman (57 BC), D. Drake for D. O’Connor (61), J. Gibbons for Doherty (63).
Roscommon: G. Claffey; S. McDermott, N. Collins, N. McInerney; N. McManus, S. Purcell, D. Murray; F. Cregg (0-01, 0-01f), I. Kilbride; C. Daly, C. Murtagh (0-03, 0-02f), C. Devaney (0-02); N. Kilroy, E. Smith, C. Cregg.
Subs:S. Mollooley for McManus (57), D. Murtagh (1-01) for C. Daly (59), R. Daly for Devaney (63), J. McDermott for Smith (66).
Referee: M. Deegan (Laois).