Late Rossies rally falls just short against Mayo
Roscommon almost came back from the dead with two second-half goals but victory was just beyond them in a Dr. Hyde Park thriller.
However, the final score of 1-16 to 2-11 in Mayo's favour puts the winners clear at the top of the table and within touching distance of a league final.
Mayo, showing five changes to the selected team, dominated the opening quarter, scoring seven points without reply.
Cillian O'Connor, on from the start for Aidan O'Shea, scored two big points, Tommy Conroy, a started in place of Ryan O'Donoghue, also hit the target.
Diarmuid Murtagh finally got Roscommon (who also had three changes in the starting XV, from the originally named team) off the mark after 20 minutes.
But Roscommon finished the half the stronger and cut the deficit to five at the break, 0-9 to 0-4, with two further points from D. Murtagh and a point from Conor Daly, after a trade mark sortie forward.
Both sides added three points to their respective totals before a mistake allowed Jack Carney a gift goal. It looked all over for the Rossies but a goal from substitute Enda Smith brought this game to life, making it a three-point game.
Bob Touhy scored a huge point for Mayo but the game was in the melting pot when Conor Cox scored Roscommon's second goal, a point now separating the sides with five minutes of injury time announced.
Another huge point for Mayo, this time from Mattie Ruane, eased Mayo's nerves – but not before a Roscommon attempt for a third goal was cleared off the line in a crowded goalmouth.
Roscommon will wonder if they showed up for the opening 20 minutes might things have turned out differently. Mayo, on the other hand, will have concerns as to why they failed to shut the door when they led by seven points. Bring on the championship!
Roscommon: Colm Lavin; Conor Hussey, Conor Daly (0-1), David Murray; Colin Walsh, Brian Stack, Niall Daly; Tadhg O’Rourke (0-1), Keith Doyle; Richard Hughes, Ciarán Lennon, Enda Smith (1-1); Ben O’Carroll, Diarmuid Murtagh (0-4, 3f), Robbie Dolan.
Subs used: Ciaráin Murtagh (0-2, 1f) for Dolan (23), Daire Cregg (0-1) for Lennon (h-t), Niall Kilroy for Doyle (49), Donie Smith for Conor Daly (52), Conor Cox (1-1, 1f) for Diarmuid Murtagh (61).
Mayo: Rory Byrne (0-1 45'); Jack Coyne, David McBrien, Paddy Durcan; Stephen Coen, Conor Loftus, Sam Callinan; Matthew Ruane (0-1), Diarmuid O’Connor; Fionn McDonagh (0-1), Jack Carney (1-1), Jordan Flynn; Cillian O’Connor (0-7, 6f), James Carr (0-3), Tommy Conroy (0-1).
Subs used: Bob Tuohy (0-1) for McDonagh (48), Aidan O’Shea for Flynn (54), Ryan O’Donoghue for Cillian O’Connor (61), Conor McStay for Carr (67), Jason Doherty for Conroy (67).
Referee: Brendan Cawley (Kildare).