Roscommon see off Mayo League on penalties

Mayo League 1 Roscommon League 1 (2-4 on penalties, AET)

The Roscommon League squeezed into the next round of the Oscar Traynor trophy when they saw off the Mayo League following a penalty shoot-out last Sunday afternoon in Lecarrow. The hosts opened the scoring late in the opening half, but the lead was short-lived as Mayo soon grabbed an equaliser. There were no further goals in the second half or in extra time, so the lottery of penalty kicks was required, and where Philip Coffey’s men held their nerve.

The first-half was slow to come to life, with neither team coming close to opening the scoring. Both goals arrived in the closing stages of the half after Mike Lee from St Peters had earlier missed a good chance for Roscommon.

The scoring was finally opened five minutes from the break and three Boyle players were involved. Danny Brown passed to Dylan Edwards, his accurate cross from the right was met by Micheal Corrigan, who sent a glancing header past the goalkeeper’s right.

The home team had little time to settle on the lead though, as three minutes later the Mayo League were back on level terms. A cross from the right was not cleared by the home defence, and Jason Hunt struck home a lovely volley from the left edge of the six yard box. Ger McDermott had a good chance to restore the Roscommon lead but fired over in the last action of the half.

The second half proved to be another tense affair with few clear-cut chances being created. St Peters were well represented in the home squad, and midfielder Daragh Concannon had the first chance, but sent his shot wide. Midway through the half, Mayo should have hit the front, but with the goal at his mercy substitute Mark Birrane instead headed a left wing cross straight at the keeper.

Former Athlone Town star, Des Hope almost became an unlikely home hero with a quarter of an hour remaining, but fired wide as the keeper advanced. Mayo were unable to convert their possession in the closing stages into goals and so extra time was needed.

With the winners advancing automatically to the next round, leaving the losers in a play-off, the stakes were high in the 20 minutes of extra time. Mayo continued to dominate, with Roscommon, after being under pressure for long periods, appearing content to try their luck in the penalty shoot-out.

Coffey’s men were first to strike and McDermott made no mistake. Mayo amazingly then put their first two efforts wide of the same post to see Roscommon on the brink. Edwards and Lee slotted home their attempts, with Colm Nevin finally getting Mayo off the mark. Pedro Byrne could have won it but his effort was saved. Mayo ensured it would go to the wire, but it was left to Concannon to settle the tie, and he duly obliged to see Roscommon advance 4-2 on penalties.

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