Declan Rooney reports from the GAA grounds in Kiltoom
ROSCOMMON WILL PLAY Galway in next weekend’s FBD League final, but two goals from Andy Moran in added-time somehow gave Mayo victory in Kiltoom.
Two Enda Smith goals looked to have handed a second defeat of the year to Mayo, but Moran was introduced after 67 minutes and turned the game on its head.
A goal from Liam Irwin helped Mayo to a 1-9 to 1-8 lead at the break, but last year’s All-Ireland finalists fell asunder until the closing stages as Smith’s second goal and seven unanswered points gave Kevin McStay’s side an eight-point lead.
Needing a 13-point win to reach the final, Mayo were on the back foot from early on as two points form Cian Connolly and a fifth-minute goal from Enda Smith gave Roscommon a 1-2 to 0-1 lead after five minutes.
A free from Liam Irwin and a fine point from Danny Kirby from wide on the right got Mayo back in contention, although Donie Smith and Ciaran Murtagh responded for the home side.
The second quarter was bossed entirely by Mayo though. Captain Cillian O’Connor kicked three frees before the break, but a well worked move from the back saw former U-21 star Liam Irwin fire past Colm Lavin as Mayo took a 1-9 to 1-8 lead into the interval.
O’Connor found his range shortly after the restart to stretch Mayo’s lead, but Roscommon were boosted in the 41st minute when Donie Smith finished well to the net and he added a free a minute later.
Mayo had a strong kick in the closing stages as O’Connor fired a penalty and Moran also goaled in the 70th minute, but Moran’s second clinched victory for Mayo.
Meanwhile, in the only other game in Connacht today, Sligo accounted for Leitrim to claim their second win from three, on a 2-13 to 0-16 scoreline.
Sligo led heavily at the interval as goals from Niall Murphy and Mark Breheny gave them a 2-12 to 0-6 lead, but points from Keith Beirne and Emlyn Mulligan saw Benny Guckian’s side close to within three at the end.
Scorers for Mayo: C O’Connor 1-5 (1-0pen, 5f), A Moran 2-0, L Irwin 1-1 (1f), F Boland 0-2, P Durcan, D Kirby, C O’Shea 0-1
Scorers for Roscommon: E Smith 2-3 (2f), D Smith 0-4 (2f), C Connolly 0-3; K Higgins, C Murtagh 0-2 (2f), T O’Rourke, N Kilroy 0-1.
C O’Connor (c),
E Regan for Irwin 48,
K Higgins for O’Malley 50,
T Parsons for Kirby 57,
S Nally for Durcan 58 BC,
A Moran for Boland 67,
C Carolan for Gibbons 67.
N Kilroy for C Murtagh 45,
G Paterson for Harney 45,
S Killoran for Cregg 50,
H Walsh for Connolly 56,
B Murtagh for Stack 60,
C Shine for D Smith 67.
Referee: John Gilmartin (Sligo).
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