Roscommon made a brave second-half comeback, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Mayo from earning a deserved 1-16 to 2-11 Division One League victory in front of 12,491 spectators at Dr. Hyde Park.
Kevin McStay’s side were seven points the good after just 19 minutes, and it was that platform that allowed the visitors to keep their opponents at arm’s length and maintain their position at the top of the Division One table.
Roscommon were listless and generally lacked energy during the opening half, gifting Mayo a number of scores through cheap turnovers.
Only Diarmuid Murtagh (3) and Conor Daly scored for the Rossies during the opening 35 minutes, but Mayo, led by Cillian O’Connor and James Carr, sauntered into a 0-9 to 0-4 interval lead.
The introduction of Ciaráin Murtagh ignited a Roscommon response but when a mix-up between Colin Walsh and Conor Daly gifted a 48th minute goal to Jack Carney to push Mayo 1-11 to 0-7 ahead, the game looked to be done and dusted.
But Roscommon shook themselves for the final quarter and goals from Enda Smith and Conor Cox gave them a chance to snatch something unlikely out of the game.
But Mayo held on and Matthew Ruane’s well-worked point pushed Mayo’s lead out to two points and they held on to make them odds-on to qualify for the league final at the beginning of April.
*Match report and reaction in Tuesday’s Roscommon Herald