GAA Editor @BrianGBarry
Mayo 0-17 Roscommon 2-12: Mayo stunned by Rossies
Last Updated: 26/05/19 10:30am
Roscommon are through to the Connacht final after beating Mayo in Castlebar, 2-12 to 0-17.
After a first national title since 2001 and a 20-point win over New York, James Horan's honeymoon period with Mayo is well and truly over, as the Rossies ended a 33-wait for a win over their neighbours in MacHale Park.
The men in green in red, so widely tipped as Dublin's greatest challengers in 2019, must take the scenic route once again if they are to return to Croke Park this summer, as they await their qualifier draw.
Anthony Cunningham's charges tore into their hosts right from the off, as Cathal Cregg banged in a sixth-minute goal, after winning the ball over Keith Higgins. The Western Gaels club man broke in from the left and a fierce shot left goalkeeper Rob Hennelly with no chance.
Indeed, Mayo's woes were soon compounded as Ultan Harney and Andy Glennon punished a wayward Rob Hennelly kick-out, drawing in the defence before Harney palmed it into the empty net.
Trailing 2-2 to 0-4, Mayo were shell-shocked.
While it certainly wasn't going according to plan, James Horan's side did manage to dig deep. Hollowing out at a five-point deficit, they clawed their way back into contention.
Evan Regan, Matthew Ruane and Lee Keegan were among those to chip in with scores, as they brought it back to 2-6 to 0-10 at half-time.
Tempers spilled over when referee David Gough called an end to the half, as the players clashed when running into the tunnel.
As Mayo looked to reel in the visitors, Darren Coen and Conor Cox traded some eye-catching scores. The introduction of 2016 Footballer of the Year Andy Moran galvanised Mayo, as the 36-year-old executed an excellent point from a tight angle to bring it back to a one-point game. The home side then drew level in the 52nd minute, with Paddy Durcan firing over the bar.
However, the Rossies were in no mood to roll over. Upon being introduced from the bench, captain Enda Smith kicked them into the lead, but two from Fergal Boland gave Mayo the advantage with two quick-fire points.
At that point, it looked like Roscommon's race was run, and it was a game they would have lost in previous years.
However, Anthony Cunningham has clearly given them an edge this season, and they rallied.
As the game went deep into injury-time, substitute Fintant Cregg popped up to kick them into a 2-12 to 0-17 lead, which ultimately proved the difference to secure what was a famous victory.
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Mayo are now headed for the qualifiers for the fourth summer in succession, while Roscommon will meet Galway in the Connacht final.
Sky Sports' live GAA coverage continues on Saturday, June 8 as Cork host Waterford in the Munster Hurling Championship.