THREE late goals, two of which came deep into injury time and scored by substitute Andy Moran, turned what looked very much a heafty defeat for Mayo into a one-point victory over arch rivals Roscommon in their final group game of the Connaught FBD League in Kiltoom on Sunday.
However, despite Mayo's victory it is Roscommon who advance to the final against Galway next Sunday on account of having a better score difference than both Mayo and NUIG, as they all finished with two wins each.
Stephen Rochford who fielded a side that included seven of the side that were defeated by Dublin in the All-Ireland final replay, along with a number of players who have been given their opportunity to stake a claim for a place in the national league panel in this Connaught FBD League, will have been encouraged by a lot of Mayo's play in this game, as he now looks forward to their opening national league game against Monaghan in Elverys MacHale Park, Castlebar, on Saturday evening week.
Despite bowing out of the FBD League, the Mayo manager has been left with plenty of food for thought, as he, and his selectors, settle down over the next few weeks deciding on their league panel, as a number of new players given a run to show their talent, haven't done themselves any harm.
The likes of Danny Kirby, Fergal Boland, Liam Irwin and Michael Plunkett have certainly put themselves very much in the frame after the four impressed again against Rocommon.
Although Mayo kicked three early points from Conor O'Shea, Danny Kirby (a wonderful effort from over on the right sideline) and Liam Irwin, they still found themselves found four points down with just 10 minutes gone. By that time the home side had kicked four points and a goal from Enda Smith.
However, they got back into the game after a greart goal by Irwin which came in the 14th minute following a good passing movement involving Kevin McLoughlin and Cillian O'Connor.
For the remainder of the half Mayo mainly dominated, and only for some bad wides (six in all) they would have been much further in front than their one-point lead at the interval, 1-9 to 1-8.
Although Cillian O'Connor pointed two frees in the first 11 minutes of the second half, Mayo would go the next 20 minutes without raising a flag. By that time Roscommon had opened up an eight-point lead. It was the two Smith's who were causing Mayo most problems with Enda scoring 1-3 and Donie 0-3.
But Mayo who were reduced to 14 players after Conor O'Shea got his marching orders after picking up a second yellow, and having the very effective Patrick Durcan black-carded, refused to thrown in the towel.
In the 65th minute they were given a lifeline after Cillian O'Connor dispatched a penalty, given following a foul on Jason Gibbons.
After this score Mayo pilled on the pressure and as the game went into added on time Andy Moran pounced for his first goal following a great pass from O'Connor.
Now just two points down they continued to drive at Roscommon and with one final throw of the dice, Moran came up trumps a second time to crash a thundering shot to the roof of the Roscommon net and claim a dramatic victory for Mayo.
Mayo: R. Hennelly, D. Newcombe, R. O’Malley, P. Durcan 0-1, M. Plunkett, S. Coen, D. Drake, J. Gibbons, D. Kirby (0-1), F. Boland 0-2, K. McLoughlin, J. Doherty, L. Irwin (1-1), C. O’Connor (1-5), C. O’Shea (0-1).
Subs: E. Regan for (Irwin), K. Higgins for (O’Malley), T. Parsons for (Kirby), S. Nally for (Durcan), A. Moran (2-0) for (Boland), C. Carolan for (Gibbons),
Roscommon: C. Lavin, D. Murray, T. Featherston, N. McInerney, R. Stack, U. Harney, C. McManus, T. O’Rourke (0-1), K. Higgins (0-2), F. Cregg, C. Murtagh (0-2), E. Smith (2-3), C. Connolly (0-3), T. Corcoran, D. Smith (0-4).
Subs: N. Kilroy (0-1) for (C. Murtagh), G. Paterson for Harney 45, S. Killoran for (Cregg) H. Walsh for (Connolly), B. Murtagh for (Stack), C. Shine for (D. Smith).
Referee: J. Gilmartin (Sligo).