It was no contest in Castlebar as Mayo ruthlessly put Roscommon to the sword and moved to the top of the Division 1 league table in the process, writes Mike Finnerty.
It was a good 32nd birthday for Mayo's multiple All Star defender Keith Higgins as his team best Roscommon in Castlebar. pic.twitter.com/3WQKEbrzz3— Sportsfile (@sportsfile) February 25, 2017
A huge crowd of 11,657 watched last year’s All-Ireland finalists run out comprehensive eight point winners, and still afford the luxury of racking up fifteen wides.
Mayo goalkeeper David Clarke produced a man of the match performance as he denied Roscommon a handful of goal chances during a largely one-sided contest.
But it was up at the other end of the field that Mayo did the real damage, as they shot 0-17 from play with twelve different players getting on the scoresheet.
The homeside led at half-time by 0-11 to 0-5, and a goal from a penalty from captain Cillian O’Connor five minutes into the second half ended the game as a contest.
Stephen Rochford sent out eight of his All-Ireland team of last year, with Footballer of the Year, Lee Keegan, coming in to replace Colm Boyle (who was shown a black card) during the second quarter.
Roscommon tried to mount a comeback but were denied goals time and again by Clarke, although Conor Devaney (3), Donie Smith (3) and Enda Smith (2) did land consolation scores.
[timgcap=Niall McInerney of Roscommon in action against Andy Moran of Mayo during the Allianz Football League Division 1 Round 3 match between Mayo and Roscommon at Elverys MacHale Park in Castlebar, Co Mayo. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile.]
This was a third straight defeat for Kevin McStay’s side who remain rooted to the bottom of the table ahead of the visit of Kerry to Hyde Park next Sunday.
Meanwhile, all roads will lead to Croke Park next Saturday for Mayo as they take on Dublin in a repeat of last year’s All-Ireland Final.
Mayo: D Clarke; D Newcombe, K Higgins, P Durcan; S Coen, C Boyle, D Vaughan (0-1); D O’Connor (0-1), J Gibbons (0-1); F Boland (0-2), K McLoughlin (0-1), C O’Shea (0-1); A Moran (0-1), C O’Connor (1-4, 1-0pen, 1f), E Regan (0-1, 1f).
Subs used: L Keegan (0-2), B Harrison (0-2), C Loftus (0-2), S Nally, M Plunkett, L Irwin.
Roscommon: C Lavin; D Murray, S Mullooly, N McInerney; R Stack, S McDermott, J McManus; S Killoran (0-1), T O’Rourke; F Cregg (0-1), C Murtagh (0-2), E Smith (0-2); D Smith (0-3), T Corcoran (0-1), C Devaney (0-3).
Subs used: C Cafferkey, G Patterson, K Higgins, N Kilroy (0-1), C Connolly, B Murtagh.
Referee: J McQuillan (Cavan)