Roscommon ready to go again after last week’s stalemate

Niall Kilroy and Sean Mullooly get to grips with Mayo's Aidan O'Shea last weekend at Croke Park. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Niall Kilroy and Sean Mullooly get to grips with Mayo's Aidan O'Shea last weekend at Croke Park. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Following last Sunday's action-packed All Ireland SFC quarter-final draw, Roscommon and Mayo return to Croke Park next Monday for an eagerly anticipated replay.

The first encounter between the teams was a tense affair featuring an exciting finish. Roscommon, who had started so well, accumulating a 2-2 to 0-1 lead, survived a few late scares.

Fintan Cregg and Ciarain Murtagh bagged goals for Roscommon before man of the match Lee Keegan responded for Mayo.

It remained a keenly contested game until the end, with Roscommon manager Kevin McStay delighted that his young team will get another chance to shine on the Croke Park stage.

"I think it is probably a fair result overall," he said. "I think we deserved it; we showed a lot of bottle for a young team."

McStay said his side made too many errors throughout the game to get any momentum going, and that Keegan's goal was critical for Mayo following Roscommon's blistering start.

"The big disappointment was Lee Keegan’s goal," McStay admitted. "I had just screamed at Liam to tighten everything down and he hadn’t left the technical area by the time the ball had hit the back of the net.

"That’s when you’re vulnerable, and maybe our lads got a bit lamped with the second goal and said, 'Oh God, look at the position we’re in', and they didn’t pick up on the kickout; the ball went down the field, Lee Keegan got in and does what Lee Keegan does. It’s a young team so that was a shockwave. At half time we felt quite deflated, we only played for 10 or 12 minutes. For 25 minutes of the first half it wasn’t good enough."

After the restart, though, Roscommon improved for a spell, which pleased McStay.

"If we didn’t respond at the start of the second half Mayo were just going to stretch it, pad it out to six or seven, and then it would have been a bore for the last 20 minutes," McStay said.

"We had to make a contest of it, and when we were the point up, Mayo were kicking tired leg wides. I thought we might just hang on to it. A lot of our lads were wrecked, but it wasn’t as pronounced as I thought it would be. When the ball was hanging around midfield, a lot of our lads, Tadhg O’Rourke and Sean Mullooly, were doing well in a one-on-one context.

"The turnovers in contact was where it manifested itself most, but it wasn’t as prominent as I thought it would be."

Throw-in on Monday is at 2pm.

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