Rossies crash Mayo party to end 33 year wait

Story by John Melvin

Saturday, 25th May, 2019 10:55pm

Rossies crash Mayo party to end 33 year wait

Diarmuid O'Connor of Mayo reacts after his shot on goal went wide during the Connacht GAA Football Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Mayo and Roscommon at Elverys MacHale Park in Castlebar, Mayo. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Mayo’s quest for their first Connacht title since 2015 will continue for another year at least after Roscommon pulled off a stunning win before a crowd of 21,000 at Elvery’s MacHale Park to night.

It finished Roscommon 2-12 Mayo 0-17 and hero of the night was substitute Fintan Cregg who kicked the winner two minutes into five of injury time.

But it looked as if this one was going to go to extra-time when Kevin McLoughlin shaped up to a pressure free which would normally be well within his ambit.

As it sailed inches wide the Roscommon supporters were already celebrating their first win over Mayo at the MacHale Park in 33 years.

It was hard to begrudge them their day in the sun, or in the mist as it turned out which descended on MacHale Park, but it was nothing like the gloom which was etched on the faces of Mayo supporters who were planning a long summer this year.

That may still happen but now the route gets more difficult and really Mayo can only blame themselves, 15 wides proving fatal on a night when Roscommon dug deep trenches bring their physical game to the table which Mayo struggled to come to terms with at times.

Goals in the first half from Cathal Cregg who fired a bullet past Robbie Hennelly and the second from Ultan Harney, who flicked the ball to the net after Hennelly’s kickout was intercepted.

This gave Roscommon a platform of 2-6 to 0-10 as Mayo closed the half with some fine scores from Lee Keegan and Matthew Ruane.

It was looking good for Mayo when Fergal Boland scored back-to-back points to put them up by one heading towards home but a superb free from Conor Cox - a huge presence in that second half - had matters tied before Cregg nailed the winner in injury-time to send Mayo once again through the back door and Roscommon now rubbing their hands ahead of another Connacht final meeting with Galway.

Mayo: R. Hennelly, C. Barrett, B. Harrison, K. Higgins, P. Durcan (0-2), M. Plunkett, L. Keegan (0-1), M. Ruane (0-2), A. O’Shea, F. Boland (0-2), J. Doherty( 0-1, 1f) D. O’Connor, E. Regan (0-3, 2f), D. Coen (0-5), K. McLoughlin.

Subs: A. Moran (0-1) for Regan (57), C. Diskin for Coen (63), C. Loftus for Doherty (65).

Roscommon: D. O Malley (0-3, 2 1 ‘45), D. Murray, S. Mullooly, C. Daly (0-1), N. Daly. C. Hussey, R. Daly, T. O’Rourke, S. Killoran, H. Darcy, C. Cregg (1-0), N. Kilroy, U. Harney (1-0), C. Cox (0-5, 2f), A. Glennon (0-1).

Subs: D Murtagh for Glennon (ht), F. Cregg (0-1) for Darcy (54), D. Smith for Harney (58), E. Smith (0-1) for C. Cregg (63). C. Devaney for Glennon (64).

Referee: D. Gough (Meath).

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