Smith snatches draw for superb Rossies


Roscommon 2-09 Mayo 1-12

The final of the four quarter finals at headquarters was not great in terms of quality but it was a game that no one wanted to leave in the end.

It was  Roscommon that made a superb start and it certainly rattled Mayo and the crowd of 65,000 plus weren’t expecting it. Roscommon rattled in two goals in the opening eleven minutes and lead by 2-02 to 0-01 at that stage, a dream start for the Rossies. However, the Rossies didn’t score for 23 minutes and in that period Mayo clawed their way back into the game registering 1-06 without reply.

Roscommon raced into a two point lead with Enda Smith and Fintan Cregg both pointing. Mayo got off the mark in the 5th minute when Lee Keegan pointed. The opening goal of the game came minutes later though as Cregg fetched a high ball before making space for himself and lobbing it over David Clarke in the Mayo goal. Things went from bad to worse for Mayo a couple of minutes later as they conceded their second goal in the space of three minutes. This time it was the turn of Ciaran Murtagh who was assisted by his brother Ciaran before finishing low past Clarke.

However Mayo did respond to be fair and from the resulting Clarke kick out the ball landed in the path of Lee Keegan on the 21 yard line at the Hill 16 end before he blasted a rasping shot which rebounded off a Niall McInerney into the net past a hapless Colm Lavin. Mayo continued their revival as Cillian O’ Connor knocked over two frees, while Keegan brought his tally to 1-02 with two superb points. Colm Boyle then cut the gap to the minimum on 22 minutes and Andy Moran brought the sides level minutes later. Mayo then took the lead and were ahead by two, with half time approaching, O’ Connor and Keegan again coming to the fore with points. Ciaran Murtagh then pointed to stop the rot and to get Roscommons first score in 24 minutes minutes. However it was Mayo who had the final say of the half as a late Jason Doherty point gave Mayo a 1-08 to 2-03 lead.

Roscommon began the second half similarly to that of the first. In fact Kevin McStay’s charges kicked three unanswered points with Devanney and Murtagh (2) giving them the lead. It took Mayo 12 minutes to get their first score of the second half with Paddy Durcan pointing, but it was another Murtagh free on 48 minutes that put the Rossies back in the lead. Andy Moran and Donie Smith then traded scores, before Cillian O’ Connor who had a quite game registered his first from play on 65 minutes. Paddy Durcan then split the posts and Mayo were in the lead with stoppage time only remaining. Roscommon to be fair did deserve a draw and they got their just reward on 73 minutes when Donie Smith point a long range free to set up a Replay on the August Bank Holiday weekend at Croke Park at 2pm.

Player of the Match : Lee Keegan