Mayo ... 4-19, Roscommon ... 0-9: Mayo’s seemingly moribund summer exploded into life on the Bank Holiday Monday afternoon at Croke Park with an All-Ireland quarter-final replay rout of Roscommon that suggests they have again got their championship timing spot on, reports Brendan O’Brien in Croke Park.
Sometimes listless, sometimes impressive this last few months, Stephen Rochford’s side hadn’t looked anything like one capable of bringing the GAA’s most famous drought to an end in 2017 but there will be more than a few thinking again now.
It bears more than a whiff of their path 12 months earlier and that only ended in October with the most agonising of final replay losses to Dublin.
Kerry, their opponents in the next round, will surely look at the Connacht side differently now. Those two have been frequent bedfellows in the All-Ireland series and their next tussle will mark Mayo’s seventh straight year in the tight surrounds of the last four.
The talking points began long before throw-in with Lee Keegan replaced in midfield by Tom Parsons due to cellulitis, an infectious bacterial infection involving the inner layers of the skin, while Donal Vaughan slipped in at full-back for Ger Cafferkey.
Keegan was named on the bench but was never needed.
Roscommon brought drama of their own, Caoileann Fitzmaurice stepping up for his first ever senior game of football for his county - FBD League included. He came in for Fintan Cregg while Cathal Compton relieved Ciaran Murtagh of his starting duties.
All of which was relegated to the status of mere sideshow soon enough.
Roscommon had shot out of the blocks in the drawn game eight days earlier, amassing 2-2 to a single point in reply through the first quarter, but it was Mayo who imprinted their say on proceedings from the off here.
Five points without reply dug the foundations for the imposing display to come.
Roscommon finally found their footing with a pair of points on 21 and 23 minutes from Enda Smith and Sean Mullooly and the worst seemed like it might be over as Mayo approached the ten-minute mark without raising a flag of their own
Mayo added 3-2 to their side of the ledger from there to the break and, though it could have been much worse, the goals from Kevin McLoughlin, Andy Moran and Keith Higgins were difficult enough for the Connacht champions to stomach.
They were shipping water everywhere.
Their midfield was being eaten alive, especially so on their own kickouts. Mayo were pressing high and forcing turnover after turnover and, when the Rossies went long, there was no more joy. Hobson’s choice for goalkeeper Colm Lavin, basically.
The gap at the break was 13 points.
If there was any hope for the Roscommon supporters among the crowd of 39,154 it was in the inconsistencies shown by Mayo on their travels through the All-Ireland qualifiers this last few months. Not this time.
Cillian O’Connor added a fourth goal, after 46 minutes, and the processionary nature of it all went on pretty much uninterrupted either side of it. Topping off the misery for Roscommon was the second yellow card and red flashed before Fintan Cregg’s eye.
They approach hibernation with the comfort of a Connacht title. Mayo go hunting for bigger game.
#GAA All Ireland QF ReplayAugust 7, 2017
Scorers for Mayo: C O’Connor (1-6, 0-5 frees); A Moran (1-1); K Higgins and K McLoughlin (both 1-0); A O’Shea, J Doherty and S Nally (all 0-2); D Vaughan, C Barrett, T Parsons, D O’Connor, D Drake, S Coen (all 0-1).
Scorers for Roscommon: D Murtagh (0-4, 0-2 frees); S Mullooly, E Smith, C Devaney, N Kilroy and D Smith (all 0-1).
Mayo: D Clarke; B Harrison, D Vaughan, K Higgins; C Boyle, C Barrett, P Durcan; T parsons, A O’Shea; K McLoughlin, S O’Shea, D O’Connor; J Doherty, C O’Connor, A Moran. Subs: D Drake for Barrett (10-17) and for McLoughlin (55); C Loftus for Doherty (46); S Coen for Vaughan and A Dillon for Moran (both 60); D Kirby for A O’Shea (62); S Nally for Barrett (66).
Roscommon: C Lavin; S McDermott, N McInerney, D Murray; J McManus, S Mullooly, B Stack; T O’Rourke, E Smith; C Fitzmaurice, N Kilroy, C Devaney; Cathal Compton, D Murtagh, C Connolly. Subs: G Patterson for McDermott, F Cregg for Connolly and C Murtagh for Cathal Compton (all HT); D Smith for Stack (47); I Kilbride for Devaney (60); Colin Compton for Smith (63).
Referee: A Nolan (Wicklow).