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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 19 December, 2018

Mayo put 4-19 past Roscommon in blistering display to book Kerry showdown

Stephen Rochford’s men are into their seventh All-Ireland semi-final in-a-row.

Mayo 4-19

Roscommon 0-9

Kevin O’Brien reports from Croke Park

MAYO SET-UP a mouth-watering All-Ireland semi-final against Kerry after a blistering 22-point hammering of Roscommon in their last eight replay.

Andy Moran celebrates scoring a goal Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Three goals between the 24th and 28th minute from Kevin McLoughlin, Andy Moran and Keith Higgins effectively wrapped this game up as a contest. Cillian O’Connor added a fourth as Mayo cantered home in the second-half.

This was undoubtedly Mayo’s finest display in Rochford’s two years in charge. They booked a seventh straight All-Ireland semi-final appearance and will face the Kingdom in a repeat of their 2014 meeting.

The big difference was Mayo’s change in tactics from the drawn game. They pushed up on the Roscommon kick-outs and opted to run the ball rather than kicking it into the area occupied by Roscommon sweeper Niall Kilroy.

When they run the ball from deep, not many teams in the country can match Mayo’s power and pace. They scored 4-14 from play and all six starting forwards hit the scoreboard, with inside duo O’Connor (1-6) and Moran (1-1) adding 2-7 between them.

Cillian O'Connor scores their fourth goal Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

As ever, Mayo are impossible to make sense of. They started without Lee Keegan, whose 1-3 saved their bacon in the drawn game, and were simply irresistible.

Keegan had reportedly been struggling with blisters on his feet and the nature of Mayo’s win meant he was given an evening off.

The old adage that favourites always win replays rang true here but closer inspection will reveal it was their work-rate and aggression in the tackle that built the platform for the victory.

The talk that Mayo’s legs might be gone from their summer adventure, but on this form they look to be only starting. They completed dominated the middle sector and won every kick-out in the first 35 minutes when Roscommon went long.

Aidan O’Shea was in sublime form, scoring a brace and setting up countless scores on his way to picking up the man-of-the-match award.

Andy Moran celebrates scoring a goal Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Mayo will be left wondering were they that good or whether it a case that Rosscommon were poor.

Kevin McStay started without captain Ciarain Murtagh and last week’s goal scorer Fintan Cregg, replaced by Cathal Compton and newcomer Caoileann Fitzmaurice. The thinking was that the Rossies would finish with their best team on the field.

Fitzmaurice’s father wore the primrose and blue in Roscommon’s last championship victory at Croke Park 37 years ago, but no such repeat was on the cards today.

Mayo’s start was devastating. Aided by their absolute dominance in the middle third, they raced into an 0-6 to 0-0 lead after the opening quarter.

Scores from Enda Smith and Sean Mullooly left Roscommon just four behind, but then the floodgates opened. Three goals arrived in the space of four minutes, all from deep runs. McLoughlin, Moran and Higgins did the damage and shellshocked the Connacht champions.

Keith Higgins scores a goal Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Mayo had a fourth goal on the board ten minutes after the restart. Cillian O’Connor finished a good move after Doherty did well to turn over Colm Lavin’s short kick-out.

They ran their bench in the second-half and substitutes Stephen Coen, David Drake and Shane Nally all bagged scores as they eased home.

Scorers for Mayo: Cillian O’Connor 1-6 (0-5f), Andy Moran 1-1, Keith Higgins and Kevin McLoughlin 1-0 each, Aidan O’Shea, Shane Nally and Jason Doherty 0-2 each, Chris Barrett, Diarmuid O’Connor, David Drake, Donal Vaughan, Stephen Coen and Tom Parsons 0-1 each.

Scorers for Roscommon: Diarmuid Murtagh 0-4 (0-2f), Sean Mullooly, Conor Devaney, Niall Kilroy and Donal Smith 0-1 each.


1. David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites)

2. Brendan Harrison (Aghamore)
4. Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis)
6. Chris Barrett (Belmullet)

5. Colm Boyle (Davitts)
20. Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe)
7. Paddy Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels)

21. Tom Parsons (Charlestown)
9. Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy)

10. Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore)
11. Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy)
12. Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber)

13. Jason Doherty (Burrishoole)

14. Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber – captain)
15. Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen)


18. David Drake (Ballaghaderreen) for Barrett (blood sub, 9 – 16)
22. Conor Loftus (Crossmolina) for Doherty (46)
18. Drake for McLoughlin (54)
25. Alan Dillon (Ballintubber) for Moran (60)
17. Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore) for Vaughan (60)
23. Danny Kirby (Castlebar Mitchels) for O’Shea (62)
19. Shane Nally (Garrymore) for Barrett (66)


1. Colm Lavin (Éire Óg)

2. Sean McDermott (Western Gaels)
3. Niall McInerney (St. Brigid’s)
4. David Murray (Padraig Pearses)

11. Niall Kilroy (Fuerty)

5. John McManus (Roscommon Gaels)
6. Sean Mullooly (Strokestown)
7. Brian Stack (St Brigid’s)

8. Tadgh O’Rourke (Tulsk)
18. Caoileann Fitzmaurice (Michael Glaveys)

12. Conor Devaney (Kilbride)
9. Enda Smith (Boyle)
19. Cathal Compton (Strokestown)

14. Diarmuid Murtagh (St. Faithleach’s)
15. Cian Connolly (Roscommon Gaels)


23. Gary Patterson (Michael Glaveys) for McDermott (ht)
10. Fintan Cregg (Elphin) for Connolly (ht)
13. Ciarain Murtagh (St Faithleachs) for Compton (ht)
21. Donal Smith (Boyle) for Stack (47)
24. Ian Kilbride (St Brigid’s) for Devaney (60)
20. Colin Compton (Strokestown) for Enda Smith (62)

Referee: Anthony Nolan (Wicklow)

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

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