Kevin McStay’s Roscommon side beat Mayo 0-13 to 0-10 to reach the FBD League final as they ramp up their preparations for Division 1 football.
Roscommon led from start to finish at MacHale Park, in a game switched from the unplayable Dr Hyde Park.
Stephen Rochford tasted defeat for the first time as Mayo boss, but McStay was happy to secure the win against his home county.
“It was a competitive game and a very enjoyable game from our perspective. It’s nice to just keep winning, that was the main thing,” said McStay.
“Everyone likes to beat Mayo because they are a top, top team, no matter who they have out.
“A few fellas have stood up and said: ‘I’ve not done too bad, what about me?’ A few of them are nearly there, they are almost ready to play a really big game for us. That’s what we’re working on for the next few weeks.”
Three first-half points from Cathal Cregg and the same tally after the break from Ciaran Murtagh saw Roscommon to victory, despite a five-point haul from youngster Conor Loftus for Mayo.
Meanwhile, Galway manager Kevin Walsh praised the exploits of his side as five points from Eddie Hoare saw them advance to the final.
With wins over Sligo and Leitrim already in 2016, Galway were looking to make it three from three and despite a late goal from GMIT substitute Martin Shaughnessy, they were comfortable winners in poor conditions.
“There were new names, which is important,” said Walsh. “A lot of the lads have worked really hard in the last few weeks.”
“But in fairness they did lift it up in the second half. The prize is the FBD League final. That’s next Sunday and we will see how that goes.”
Leitrim ran out convincing 1-11 to 1-6 winners over Sligo at Ballinamore as 1-4 from Emlyn Mulligan, including a 53rd-minute penalty, handed a third defeat of the competition to Sligo. Sligo had Brendan Egan sent off in the 42nd minute for a second yellow card. Niall Murphy kicked five points. Brian Egan’s goal came too late.
“We were happy with that performance. I thought we controlled the game again over the two halves, especially the first half when we were well on top. It’s a work in progress but there is huge positives to be taken from it,” said Leitrim boss Shane Ward.
In the other Section A game, NUI Galway cruised to victory over IT Sligo at the Connacht GAA Centre.
Three first-half goals from Michael Daly, David Cunnane, and Eoin Gallagher gave the Galway college a 3-6 to 0-2 lead at the break, and they had no trouble closing out a convincing 4-10 to 0-6 victory as Sean Moran added a fourth.
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