SFC quarter-final replay: mighty Mayo rout Rossies

August 07, 2017

Mayo's Aidan O'Shea with Roscommon's Tadhg O'Rourke.
©INPHO/Oisin Keniry.

Mayo roared to an emphatic 4-19 to 0-9 victory over Roscommon at Croke Park this afternoon.

The landslide 22-point Bank Holiday Monday drubbing - secured without the services of Lee Keegan - has earned the winners a seventh successive All-Ireland semi-final date, wherein they will face Kerry in 13 days.

With 39,154 in attendance, the young Rossies were completely overwhelmed by a Mayo side that had 13 different scorers and a Man of the Match performance from Aidan O'Shea. The hapless losers finished the game with 14 men as substitute Fintan Cregg got his marching orders halfway through the second half.

Pacey, powerful and strong-running, Stephen Rochford's men utterly dominated the opening period to lead by a mammoth 13 points at half time - 3-8 to 0-4 - with Kevin McLoughlin, Andy Moran and Keith Higgins supplying the goals between the 24th and 28th minutes. While the rampant winners ran at the Rossies in waves, notching 4-14 from play, the Connacht champions offered very little resistance in the face of the merciless onslaught.

There was potentially big news prior to throw-in as word emerged that there would be no Keegan in the Mayo starting team, with Donal Vaughan and Tom Parsons replacing the 2016 Footballer of the Year and Ger Cafferkey. The Rossies also made two late changes, debutant Caoileann Fitzmaurice and Cathal Compton coming in for Cregg and captain Ciarán Murtagh.

Cillian O'Connor opened the scoring from a free from his hands at the Davin End and followed up with another before the excellent Vaughan punctuated a sweeping Mayo move with the game's first score from play - 0-3 to no score after eight minutes. Cillian (free) and Diarmuid O'Connor points ensured that the winners led five-nil after 15 minutes.

Jason Doherty increased the gap and midfielder Enda Smith fired over a terrific Roscommon opener in the 21st minute, followed by a second from Sean Mullooly. But the winners replied with two goals in as many minutes - netted by McLoughlin (with a delightful right-footed finish to the top corner at the end of a 50-metre run that included an undetected double-hop foul) and Moran - to roar into a ten-point lead, 2-6 to 0-2 after 24 minutes.

Seven minutes from the break, the brilliant Higgins burst through some token challenges to bag his first-ever championship goal to finish the match as anything resembling a contest. The outstanding Aidan O'Shea and Diarmuid Murtagh (free) traded points, as did Doherty and Murtagh, before the short whistle brought an end to a painfully-one-sided first half, where Mayo could easily have bagged another three goals and five or six points.

O'Shea and Murtagh swapped points upon the restart and Cillian O'Connor pointed a free, then drilled home the fourth goal on 45 minutes, before Parsons and Conor Devaney traded points. Moran piled on the pain and Roscommon had to play the last quarter with 14 men after Cregg needlessly got himself sent off for a sly dig at Diarmuid O'Connor.

Cillian O'Connor's brace increased the gap to 20 points and Chris Barrett added another before substitute David Drake cancelled out a Niall Kilroy point. Substitute Shane Nally became the twelfth Mayo scorer and Murtagh (free) pulled back a late consolation point. Stephen Coen and Nally completed the rout and Donie Smith's late strike for the losers was of no consequence.

Seven games in, Mayo have got their mojo back as we approach the business end of the competition with the four big guns left standing.

Mayo - D Clarke; B Harrison, D Vaughan (0-1), K Higgins (1-0); C Boyle, C Barrett (0-1), P Durcan; T Parsons (0-1), S O'Shea; K McLoughlin (1-0), A O'Shea (0-2), D O'Connor (0-1); J Doherty (0-2), C O'Connor (1-6, 0-6f), A Moran (1-1). Subs: C Loftus for J Doherty, D Drake (0-1) for K McLoughlin, A Dillon for A Moran, S Coen (0-1) for D Vaughan, D Kirby for A O'Shea, S Nally (0-2) for C Barrett.

Roscommon - C Lavin; S McDermott, N McInerney, D Murray; J McManus, S Mullooly (0-1), B Stack; T O'Rourke, E Smith (0-1); C Fitzmaurice, N Kilroy (0-1), C Devaney (0-1); Cathal Compton, D Murtagh (0-4, 2f), C Connolly. Subs; C Murtagh for Cathal Compton, G Patterson for S McDermott, F Cregg for C Connolly, D Smith (0-1) for B Stack, I Kilbride for C Devaney, Colin Compton for E Smith.

Referee - A Nolan.

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