Mayo have been crowned Connacht football champions after beating Roscommon 0-13 to 0-11 at Dr Hyde Park.
Mayo limited Roscommon’s scoring in the second half to just two points as they overturned a four point deficit to claim the Connacht title at the expense of last year’s champions.
Roscommon started the game well with help from the weather as they were kicking with the wind in the first half and went two points up within the first eight minutes through Donal Shine and Senan Kilbride.
Mayo hit back with two Cillian O’Connor frees but it then took nearly 20 minutes until they scored again as Roscommon scored four points unanswered with three coming from Shine; Andy Moran got Mayo’s third point in the 28th minute followed up by another free by O’Connor.
Ward increased the gap in the 31st minute and Shine added another two to take his tally to five points for the day but Mayo scored an important point just before half time through Kevin McLoughlin to leave the scores at 0-9 to 0-5 at the end of the first half.
Roscommon had played well in the first half with Donie Shine proving a force to be reckoned with along with the wind and rain but Mayo were still in touching distance for the second half and would have the wind with them for the second half of the match.
Cillian O’Connor got the Mayo comeback going with a free in the 39th minute and captain Alan Dillon added another before O’Connor’s fifth point of the game to bring the deficit to just one point at 0-9 to 0-8.
Shine got Roscommon’s first point of the second half in the 50th minute but two frees in the next ten minutes from O’Connor levelled the scores with just ten minutes remaining.
O’Connor was to Mayo what Shine was to Roscommon in the first half and the Mayo man’s first appearance in a Connacht final was proving to be a fitting place for his talents as he scored his eight point of the day in the 63rd minute to put Mayo in the lead for the first time in the game, 0-11 to 0-10.
Roscommon were made to pay for their misses in the second half and particularly in the last ten minutes as Andy Moran looked to put Mayo into a winning position in the last minute of normal time with a point.
Roscommon pulled one back with a free but Enda Varley sealed Mayo’s win as they were crowned the 2011 Connacht football champions.
Roscommon will now play Tyrone or Armagh in the 4th round of the All-Ireland qualifiers as Mayo go straight into the quarter finals.
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