Mayo picked up their second win in this years National Football League with a eight point win over Roscommon in front of 11,657 spectators in MacHale Park on Saturday night. This was the 31st meeting of the sides in the league and that win brought Mayo’s record to 19-to-10 against their near neighbours in the competition.
While Mayo were in complete control of this one and they won at a canter, the 15 wides they kicked over the 70 minutes is something that they will have to improve on before they head to Croke Park next week, where they will face Dublin.
There were plenty of positives for Mayo in this win, with everyone of their starting 15 from midfield up getting on the scoreboard and their bench also contributing six points to their total, while David Clarke put in another excellent performance in goal, pulling off four top class saves during the game. However the ease with which Roscommon got in for two of those chances while the game was still in the melting pot, is something else they will have to work on over the coming week.
Mayo got off to a slow start and kicked three bad wides in the opening exchanges allowing Roscommon to go into an early 0-3 to 0-1 lead, thanks to points from Shane Killoran, Donie Smith and Fintan Cregg, with Andy Moran responding for Mayo in the middle of that burst.
Back with a bang: Lee Keegan kicked two points for Mayo. Photo: Sportsfile
But once Cillian O’Connor landed his first of the day, Mayo were off and motoring and hit eight points without reply over the next 13 minutes. O’Connor chipped in with three more, one of them almost a brilliant goal, after he spotted Colm Lavin off his line, but his effort from well out the park had just too much elevation on it and it cleared the bar.
Fergal Boland landed two excellent scores, with Diarmuid O’Connor and Jason Gibbons also getting in on the act to put Mayo into a 0-9 to 0-3 lead and in total charge of the game. Colm Boyle picked up a black card just on the 30 minute mark and that brought about the introduction of Lee Keegan to a rousing reception from the home faithful. Roscomon added on a few scores from Donie Smith and Ciaran Murtagh, but Mayo hit back through points from Donal Vaughan and Conor O’Shea to send Mayo in leading by 0-11 to 0-5 at the short whistle. But before the break, Clarke was twice forced into excellent saves first from Enda Smith and then from Sean Mullooly.
Man in the middle: Jason Gibbons put in a strong showing for Mayo. Photo: Sportsfile
Just after the restart O’Connor got in for a goal chance after Boland found him with an excellent ball, but his effort came back off the post, two minutes later he made no mistake when he dispatched the ball from the penalty spot after Regan was fouled and put Mayo nine points clear and that was that as far as this game as a contest.
Mayo’s strength and depth from the bench shone through, with Keegan, Brendan Harrision and Conor Loftus all kicking two points each before the end of the game as Mayo eased their way home to victory.
Next weekend will be a far different challenge for Mayo, but with their second win on the bounce, their league campaign is off and running.
MAYO: D Clarke; D Newcombe, D Vaughan (0-1 ), K Higgins; S Coen, C Boyle, P Durcan; J Gibbons (0-1 ), D O’Connor (0-1 ); F Boland (0-2 ), C O’Connor (1-4, 1-0 pen 1f ), C O’Shea (0-1 ); A Moran (0-1 ), K McLoughlin (0-1 ), E Regan (0-1, 1f ). Subs: L Keegan (0-2 ) for C Boyle (BC ), B Harrison (0-2 ) for D Vaughan, M Plunkett for C O’Shea, S Nally for F Boland, C Loftus (0-2 ) for A Moran
ROSCOMMON: C Lavin; D Murray, S Mullooly, N McInerney; R Stack, S McDermott, J McManus; S Kiloran (0-1 ), T O’Rourke; F Cregg (0-1 ), C Murtagh (0-2 ), E Smith (0-2 ), D Smith (0-3 ), T Corcoran (0-1 ), C Devaney (0-3 ). Subs: C Cafferkey for S Killoran (BC ), G Patterson for S McDermott, K Higgins for F Cregg, N Kilroy (0-1 ) for R Stack, B Murtagh for C Devaney, C Connolly for D Smith
REFEREE: Joe McQuillan (Cavan )