Mayo 0-15 Roscommon 0-9: third quarter surge seals it

A week ago up in Omagh, Tyrone hit us with a flurry of scores after the break to sink our hopes. Tonight at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park it was our turn to switch on a third quarter surge, scoring seven points without reply and, in doing so, putting us on the road to victory over Roscommon.

As the saying goes, March often comes in like a lion and out like a lamb weather-wise and the first bit of that was certainly true in relation to the conditions tonight. It was wet, windy and perishing cold so it was little wonder that the vast bulk of the attendance – which numbered a bit over 9,000 – headed for the stand, which was filling up rapidly an hour ahead of throw-in.

We made two changes before the off. Neither Matthew Ruane nor Tommy Conroy started, with Eoghan McLaughlin and Paul Towey lining out instead.

The game was just a minute old when we were forced to make a temporary change. Jordan Flynn shipped a heavy hit as he tried to claim a pass inside and went off to be replaced by Matthew Ruane. Thankfully the Crossmolina man was okay to come back on a few minutes later.

Fergal Boland opened our account for the night with what’s becoming a trademark score for him. Gaining possession, he eyed his marker, dropped the shoulder, burst forward and fired over. We didn’t know it then but it was a lead we wouldn’t then lose from there to the finish.

Our next scorer was more unexpected. Colm Reape rambled up the field and with the Rossie cover backing off he kept coming, eventually letting fly from around the fifty, the ball sailing over the bar.

Diarmuid Murtagh, left umarked in a good position, opened the visitors’ account soon after. The St Faithleach’s man was red hot in the first half, ending it with three points to his credit.

Our positive start continued, with Ryan O’Donoghue bagging his first point of the evening. He collected a super ball in from Fergal Boland and shot confidently over. Soon after he did it again, this time from a Bob Tuohy assist.

Cregg was then adjudged to have scored with a shot that looked wide to me. The umpires didn’t have a scooby-doo but, after consulting them, Joe McQuillan decided the score should stand.

Soon after the ref had a major hand in our next score. He spotted some holding of Ryan O’Donoghue off the ball and the Belmullet clubman was left with a tap-over free which he duly converted.

Aidan O’Shea then bagged a morale-boosting point that curled over from out the right wing. After Smith had pulled one back for them, Stephen Coen smashed another over for us. It was really looking like our night at this stage.

From then to the break, though, the scores dried up for us. Our four-point lead was whittled back to a single score, with Murtagh (two from play) and Carroll (from a ’45) on target to them.

The origin of that ’45 could have been a calamity for us, as we got turned over with Colm Reape way out of his goal and Enda Smith on the ball. Smith tried to chip him but Colm was equal to it, diving acrobatically to punch it off its goal-bound trajectory.

At the break, the visitors would probably have been happier. They’d weathered our early gallop and had all but reeled us in by the time the half had concluded.

On the resumption, however, it soon became clear that there was only one team in it. Fergal Boland, as he’d done in the first half, opened the scoring for us, this time fisting over, and soon after a Ryan O’Donoghue free stretched our lead back out to three.

By now, Tommy Conroy had replaced Paul Towey and the runs being made by him at the Roscommon defence began to draw fouls close to their posts.

From one of these Ryan brought our lead to four. Then Enda Hession claimed a mark and fired over from distance. Soon after Sam Callinan fed Donnacha McHugh who strode through the middle and knocked it over.

The same player bagged our next score five minutes later. This one was a hooked effort off his left that dipped so wickedly it could have ended up in the net but instead just went over.

Ryan added another from play, this one our seventh on the spin. By now it was clear we were taking the spoils from this game.

When Cox scored for them it wasn’t just their first score of the half, it was also the first white flag they’d raised for 24 minutes.

They got the next score too, but this came ten minutes later, with all the game’s intensity having dissipated into the wet night air. There was more life in the bloody droning generator at this stage.

We got one more score to finish our night’s work, a fisted point from sub Cillian O’Connor, and while the Rossies – via a Cox free – had the final say on the scoreboard, we emerged from tonight’s rather curious contest with an extremely comfortable six-point win.

This victory leaves us in second place in the Division One table tonight – by virtue of the head-to-head advantage we enjoy over the Dubs – and we’ve almost certainly done enough at this stage to retain our top tier status for another year.

After tonight’s win, though, we may need to do some more work on avoiding a third successive League final appearance. That should make our team selection for the Derry game an interesting one, as this oddest of Division One campaigns continues to unfold in the manner of a slow bicycle race.

Mayo: Colm Reape (0-1); Jack Coyne, Rory Brickenden, Sam Callinan; Donnacha McHugh (0-2), Stephen Coen (0-1), Enda Hession (0-1, mark); Jack Carney, Eoghan McLaughlin; Bob Tuohy, Fergal Boland (0-2), Jordan Flynn; Aidan O’Shea (0-1), Paul Towey, Ryan O’Donoghue (0-6, three frees). Subs: Matthew Ruane for Flynn (blood), Tommy Conroy for Towey, Darren McHale for Tuohy, Cillian O’Connor (0-1) for O’Shea, Matthew Ruane for Flynn, Conor Loftus for McLaughlin.

Who was our MOTM against Roscommon? Pick your top three performers

  • Donnacha McHugh (21%, 766 Votes)
  • Ryan O'Donoghue (20%, 732 Votes)
  • Eoghan McLaughlin (11%, 414 Votes)
  • Fergal Boland (11%, 389 Votes)
  • Enda Hession (10%, 375 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (5%, 199 Votes)
  • Jordan Flynn (4%, 157 Votes)
  • Colm Reape (4%, 147 Votes)
  • Jack Carney (3%, 120 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (2%, 83 Votes)
  • Rory Brickenden (1%, 43 Votes)
  • Sam Callinan (1%, 38 Votes)
  • Jack Coyne (1%, 37 Votes)
  • Conor Loftus (1%, 30 Votes)
  • Bob Tuohy (1%, 23 Votes)
  • Matthew Ruane (1%, 23 Votes)
  • Cillian O'Connor (1%, 20 Votes)
  • Tommy Conroy (0%, 18 Votes)
  • Paul Towey (0%, 9 Votes)
  • Darren McHale (0%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,601

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44 thoughts on “Mayo 0-15 Roscommon 0-9: third quarter surge seals it

  1. Towey and Tuohy the only real dissapointments..but they deserve time!

    We should try for league final now…better than any training session…and no NY won’t beat us the following week if we do make it. It’s not an exact science that getting to a league final means you won’t have a good championship. You learn more taking on Dublin/Derry in a league final than any training session.

    One thing annoying me is how we always have our fair share of injuries..Dublin never seem to have the same issue..they always seem to have their key players available over the years. Is it because they have a better backroom team/ sports science set-up with DCU etc?

  2. Btw, I think Tuohy should be tried at FF. need to try him in there based on his size and the fact that he can score from open play.

    What’s the real difference between us and Dublin…it’s the forwards stupid! So we need to experiment in that sector of the field.

  3. Agree Spotlight, they should go for a league final. Will make no difference to the championship, they’d be playing challenge games anyway. Croke Park experience is huge for many of this team; Reape, Coyne, Callinan, McHugh, Brick, Carney, Boland, Hession, Touhy, Towey.

  4. McStay needs to say to towey, I’m going to give you a run of games for the rest of the league don’t worry about making mistakes, play the game you can and shoot with confidence there’s no pressure on you, very hard to perform as a inside forward on a wet night knowing if you miss the shot you are going to get hooked, must of been playing on toweys mind after getting taken off at half time vs the dubs , those shots he missed tonight he scores them for his club , seemed to be a lot of weight in those shots and they were rushed with the pressure etc, needs the backing of his manager , not taken him off after 3 mins into the second half, kills a lads confidence

  5. What’s rare is wonderful @WJ. Don’t forget to credit poor Aido with his point. Hah.

  6. Good win tonight Fair play to all involved. I thought the first half was a very good football game. Some really good scores by both teams. I was a bit concerned at half time but a strong third quarter did the trick. Lots of good performances tonight. Thought backs as a unit did well and couldn’t understand the criticism of some bloggers at half time. Roscommon have some good forwards and we were hardly going to keep them scoreless. Thought Jack Carney did well also. Obviously Ryan did extremely well up front and Boland impressed as well. Positive contributions, if intermittent from some of the other forwards. A disappointing night for Towey. He may be better coming on when game has opened up, but no harm to give him a start. Well done to management also. Right subs at right times. Despite all the doom and gloom posted by some we have done well in the league. From five games we have had one really bad half. We are missing a potential 5 or 6 starters from our possible championship team so great credit is due to all involved.15 points on a terrible night is not a bad return for our much criticised attacking play. One goal conceded in 5 games is not bad for our much criticised defensive unit. We are a work in progress, not as good as the top few teams, but not bad either and the effort and application is always genuine.

  7. I counted three points for Fergal Boland myself. But you, the Examiner and Irish Times all say two so I must have that wrong. Either way, he must be a nailed-on starter when the Championship rolls around.

  8. Spotlight – Dublin get plenty of injuries. Lee Gannon did his hamstring against Derry. McCaffrey and Mannion have regularly been out injured. Con O’Callaghan had injury trouble too in recent years.

    It’s probably a case where we think we’re doing bad on the injury front because we know all the players who are absent. I’m sure Dublin have a list of injuries too we’ve just forgotten about.

  9. Can’t complain much with that performance, very strong throughout. Callinan had a tough first half but outside of that the defence was rock solid. Big credit due considering how much those Roscommon forwards were built up on here and elsewhere 🙂

    For all the criticism our midfield has been getting we have completely dominated Galway and Roscommon there during the league. I would say we at least broke even vs Dublin and Kerry too.

    Ryan and Fergal continued their impressive form up front but there’s no doubt we’re lacking some quality options there. I still think Tommy will turn it around soon though, the pace and ball winning ability is still there. Kicking a couple of points is probably all that’s required.

  10. Great to beat the Rossies any day of the week and should be beat twice a week if possible! !!!
    I think we may see a very different line up for the next . Yes , give Towey another start but I’m not convinced but I hope I’m wrong .
    Absolutely no interest in getting to a League final this year

  11. Well written WJ, very happy overall with that performance, there was plenty of pressure leading into it and the lads stood to it. Big plus is the long range points, keep that up and teams will have to rethink their blankets against us

  12. Towey very poor tonight. Don,t think he will make the grade. Tommy is to predictable defenders know what his going to do. Can,t understand why Reape wouldn’t launch a couple of kickouts out on top of Tuohy. He had 4 or 5 inches on his marker and he was out near the sideline 1 on 1 most the night. Other than that good win but wouldn’t get carried away. Rossies very disappointing

  13. Not perfect, but massive improvement. Hopefully Eoghan injury only cramp, as I thought his direct fast running had Rossie panicked all second half. He must have done several lung bursting run half length of field. Colm Reape had an off day with 45’s and frees. Few other were poor, as mentioned above. And not sure we getting an impact of bench thru this league campaign. But happy enough, we almost certain of staying in league.

  14. Apparently McLaughlin said he felt a ping which is almost certainly a hamstring injury.strangely he had great game but we got very little return from his many bursts forward.Main thing is Kevin mcstay got a reaction from his players as opposed to the Roscommon players downing tools in the second half

  15. Aidan was giving it back to the crowd after his point with a hand gesture , basically saying ye are talking too much….
    Childish in my opinion..

  16. 1985 – That was the most satisfying thing about the win is the players reaction, it was evident how up for the game they were on the first attack when jordan threw his body on the line for a ball. It was men against boys in the second half similar to our performance against Galway game a few weeks ago.

    I think we are fine at the back and our midfield being non existent is over exaggerated when they have one bad performance. If our forwards can find some bit of rhythm then we are in a good position to compete in the championship this year.

  17. McLaughlin bursts may not have resulted in scores but it was very encouraging to see him obviously getting the nod to attack with pace. The lateral crab passing that we did in the 1st half against Tyrone when we dominated possession will get us nowhere, so hope they keep up this direct approach which is much harder for opponents to defend against. Once the Flat Season starts and the ground is declared good to firm it will suit Tommy a lot better and he’ll be a handful again

  18. Tuamstar – That is a very weird assumption to make and not what Aidan was doing. He often does that after scoring and got as good as a standing ovation from the crowd when he came off.

  19. @Tuamstar that’s not what Aido was doing at all strange remark to make poor old Aido gets so much abuse and there is no need for it.

  20. You make a good point about our midfield Wide Ball. Carney has been very prominent in those games. We completely swamped the middle yesterday and won the vast majority of breaks. Carney and Flynn are offering great options for Reape when we need to go long.

  21. @spotlight, don’t think Dublin avoid injuries any more than the rest. Mannion, O’Gara Brogan etc all did hamstrings and ACLs. Looked like murchan did his too v Derry. McCaffrey has been plagued over the yrs etc.

  22. Willie Joe, I’m absolutely baffled by the decision to award that point as you alluded to. I had the perfect angle on it – went a good two feet wide. It just seemed that because he appealed so vehemently the ref and umpires awarded it.
    Have to say, the conditions played a massive part last night. Love to see Darren McHale get a run now.

  23. Sorry Tony and Clare… what was he doing so?
    It’s clearly obvious he was doing it to the stand..
    And in my opinion it’s to the people who says he doesn’t score enough..
    But maybe I’m mistaken, maybe he was doing an imitation of a duck!!

  24. Fergie definitely got two points, both at the start of each half. Strangely enough, both the Irish Times and RTE mention him in their articles as having bagged three but have him listed in the scorers list as having two.

  25. Tuamstar – It’s very immature for you to come on here as a Galway fan and try create a non story after a good performance from the team and Aidan.

  26. im a mayo man but what else was o Shea doing ? He’s kicked his first point as an inside forward for the first time in how many games?? he was doing some showboat to the crowd, shut up and get on with the game , after that he ended up getting turned over once or twice and was taken off, I thought it was embarrassing actually

  27. Tony . Its fairly immature of yourself to make a story out of a comment I made in relation to last night’s game..
    Aidan gets the highest amount of negative posts here and all over the media, he kicks a point last night with his right foot, I made a comment that in my opinion he didn’t need to react after as I saw it as childish..
    As James Nolan points out as well he doesn’t need to be reacting to the crowd..
    And Tony I’ve been posting here nearly ten years and have stated many times that despite my Galway background I have extremely strong ties with Mayo having lived and been educated there in my younger years..

  28. Tuamstar, you are 100% correct in what you said. It is immature and just gives fuel to people to get on your back again. I can understand his frustration but it’s a very silly thing to do. And being from Galway does not exclude you from pointing out a fact!

  29. Leave Aidan alone! I think it shows the confidence he has – that he can make a silly gesture to the crowd.
    I prefer a confident Aidan rather than one drained of it.
    I was delighted to see him score, decisively, in a tight space, and with his right foot (as far as I remember).

  30. P.S. Tuamstar, I’m not referring to you when I say to leave Aidan alone. I thought your comment was respectful. And I heard from a friend locally that he saw Aidan on the TV making that celebration and then ‘talking’ hand gesture to the crowd after the score.

  31. Aido does so much for the team that isnt seen and deserves more respect than he gets. Perhaps the gesture was immature but I feel he was within his rights especially given rossie fans have given him a fair share of abuse over the years

  32. Feel like I’ve gone back in time to the days when folks were giving out about Brolly celebrating goals or kissing his boot.

    If Aido kicks a point like that with his right boot (or Donnacha with the left) he’s welcome to start building immature sandcastles out on the pitch for all I’d care. I’ll be far too busy cheering to worry about it.

  33. Maybe AOS is finally sick to the teeth of us all. First dubious gesture he has ever made and I didn’t even notice it. Some Mayo supporters and others deserve more than that from him with all the abuse he puts up with both on and off the field for years. Give the man a break. It’s pathetic the grief he gets.
    Mayo football over the past 12 years would have been nowhere without him. Not his fault nobody knows where to play him in recent years and opposition cant play against him fairly. He never retaliates and everyone crying over a little hand gesture (and all the hands he puts up with mauling him every match). Everyone forgets how he always kept Michael Murphy and other big players quiet at the height of his career. Leave him alone now at the tail end of it. We didn’t hold up too well without him last week, did we? Even though most of ye think he is past it.

  34. @Ultair – I have him down as kicking two in the first half and fisting a third in the second. Maybe have mixed him up with another player – which is odd, as I’ve known him since he was a small kid.

  35. Well said, Sinead37! It’s amazing he retains his sanity and self belief with all that is said about him. I agree – it’s the first gesture like that to the crowd I’ve ever heard that he made. It does sound like he’s getting tired of it.
    I have a lot of time for him. I’m sure Aidan will contribute in important ways before the season is over. It’s only warming up yet.

  36. @Eoin, scorers in the first half from a rewatch:


    Fergie definitely bagged two.

    Saw the comments today about Aidan O’Shea’s supposed hand gestures to the crowd. Kept an eye out for it after he scored and didn’t notice anything. A case of some of our commentators suffering pareidolia perhaps?

  37. @Eoin: Do you know when in the first half you have him kicking that second of the half (what the score was)?

    Boland > Reape > RO’D > RO’D > (RO’D free) > O’Shea > Coen our first half scorers if that might help to see if you missed one.

  38. If it happened (which I didn’t spot either) I’m sure @Sunday game will make a deal about it… either way a little storm in a tea cup.

  39. Job done and Division 1 status all but secured. We were really up for it and wanted it more than Roscommon, with much more intensity than in Omagh. And we were much more direct from back to front. Still plenty of room for improvement, but a lot of positives and many good individual performances from the underrated McHugh, Hession, Brickenden, Mclaughlin, Coen, Carney, Ryan, Fergal, Flynn and TC, when he came on, made a big difference. I thought Aido, as usual, did a lot of unglamerous donkey that doesn’t grab the headlines. He does a lot of tracking, mopping up and is used to get and retain possession and as a distributor. That is the role he is obviously being deployed in and not as a conventional full/corner forward. Did’nt expect to see Jordan back on, as he looked quite shaken and it was lively to see him bring off a great high catch, right in front of me. I hope Towey gets more time in the remaining games to determine if he is up to it. I have my doubts-he is a lovely footballer and has great scoring ability,given time and space, both at a premium in the white heat of the Championship. I feel he may lack the physical attributes needed in the full forward line, where you need strength or pace, ideally both. You have to be able to win and retain possession and shake off markers. I would love to be proved wrong.

  40. Some people just love to have a go at Aido. Don’t give a damn whether he throws both hands in the air, kisses the badge or exchanges verbals with an opponent who has been goading him after he scores. Can’t beat a bit of passion for the jersey and that guy has shown passion for the jersey for years.

  41. Sinead 37.. O shea does get alot of grief, some unfairly but stick to what happens on the field and judge there. You can’t ever put himself in the same category as Michael Murphy. Murphy was Donegals main man at 22 or whatever he was until he retired. He demolished mayo in the 2012 final and had been their chief scorer for years. AOS unfortunately has never scored in a final when it really matters.

  42. I love this argument of people saying ah this fella is not really a scorer? Surely any player especially a forward are practicing day in day out year after year at kicking scores.. It’s baffling how that’s even an argument. I was at many an intercounty training session and not just mayo and they spend ages just kicking balls over the bar.. One two drills etc. So let’s not say they don’t practice

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