Mayo are ‘masters’ as Roscommon rue missed chances

All-Ireland Masters Plate Final

Mayo 1-11 Roscommon 0-13

Roscommon suffered a heartbreaking defeat in an entertaining All-Ireland Masters Plate final played at Enfield (St Croan’s) on Saturday afternoon.

After leading by two points at half-time, Roscommon were dealt a blow when Mayo struck for the game’s only goal early in the second half.

Roscommon responded positively and played some fine football, but two great goal chances were missed in quick succession. First, Ronan Cox saw his effort from close-range parried by the Mayo ‘keeper, after the in-form Roscommon attacker looked certain to score. Then came a second Roscommon goal chance, with Kilbride shooting wide from in front of goal.

Roscommon still led by two points entering the last ten minutes, with the title very much within their grasp, the Rossies 0-13 to 1-8 in front. But Mayo were matching their opponents in general play, and if anything, were more clinical when chances opened up. Two Sean Leneghan scores had them level before a beautifully struck free from Paddy Hopkins 90 seconds from the end pushed them into the lead at just the right time.

Roscommon then had two more chances to draw level, but neither were availed of. First Ronan Cox – superb all through – saw his free being fielded under the crossbar after it dropped just short. Then came a second chance, only for John McHale’s free to drift to the left and wide. It was a big pressure kick, in fairness.

Roscommon had led by 0-8 to 0-6 at half-time, with Cox and Terence Kelly in sharp form in that first half. There was nothing between the sides in that seesaw second half, and ultimately the title went to the team that was most ruthless in front of the posts. Roscommon missed some key chances, and can count themselves unlucky not to have edged this game, or at least drawn it.

After an entertaining game which was superbly hosted by St Croan’s, the honours go to Mayo – but Roscommon can be very proud of their campaign.