All-Ireland Masters Shield Final
Those Roscommon supporters who ventured to Drumlish last Saturday would have been forgiven for holding out little hope as Emmet Collins stood 13 metres, ball in hand, from the massed Mayo goal at the end of an All-Ireland Masters Shield Final that was low on quality and composure.
Collins and his teammates had failed to register a single point in the second half and trailed their neighbours by three as he faced a Green and Red Wall. Unperturbed, the man they call ‘Rocket’ launched his free-kick goalward. It took the scenic route, deflecting off a Mayo body and arm before rippling the back of the net and sending the Roscommon support into delirium.
Speaking at the full-time whistle, his manager, Anthony Carroll, was a relieved man.
“Well that’s one thing about our lads, they don’t give up, they kept going. We have to score more; you won’t win a game with 1-5 normally. We missed far too much in the first half to win the game,” he said.
While admitting his side had been wasteful at times, Carroll was hopeful that there wouldn’t be a repeat in the replay in two weeks’ time.
“It wasn’t happening, we were just missing too much but these lads are better than that and we’ll go again and have another go at it. It’s good to get another go and hopefully we’ll be better the next day”.
Mayo had opened the scoring with a Kevin Filan free before Roscommon took control of the first quarter. Points from Jim Gilchrest, Finbarr McGowan (2), and a great score from the left wing from Kenny Bosquett put the Primrose and Blue in firm control midway through the first half.
Mayo grew into it as the half wore on and patient build-up play put Kevin Waldron in position to slot over to spark a turnaround. Kevin Filan grabbed his second from another free before Roscommon were given fair warning of what Mayo were capable of. Good interplay between Filan and Eugene O’Toole provided a glorious chance for Myles Fallon but he fisted wide.
That warning wasn’t heeded by Carroll’s troops however and minutes later Filan was involved again as he and Paul McGarry showed quick hands to set up Joe Heneghan who made no mistake, fisting home from close-range.
There was still time for Roscommon to respond and captain Terence Kelly lifted the siege with a well-taken point just before half-time to leave the score 1-3 to 0-5 at the break.
Mayo restarted quickest: a superb long-range point from Kevin Filan was followed by a fisted point from goalscorer Heneghan. It wasn’t much but as the half wore on and Roscommon struggled to hit the target from long-range, it looked as though it might be enough. Collins had other ideas, however, and he stepped up at the death to fire home and take it to a replay
Roscommon: Jonathan Conroy; Adrian Freyne, Donal Carroll, Liam Naughten; Tom Gately, Conor Beirne, Raymond Rogers; Paul Gilleran, John Cullinane; John Gilchrest (0-1), Emmet Collins (1-0, a free), Kenny Bosquett (0-1); Barry O’Regan, Finbarr McGowan (0-2), Terence Kelly (0-1).
Interchange players used: Mark Gavin, Dermot Washington, Joe Gorman, Tommy Keane, Tommy Garvey, Marvin Kelly, Stephen Tonry, Fran Hanlon, Declan Woods.
Mayo: Eamon Mulderrig; Declan Doyle, Kieran Hastings, Declan Ryan; Pat Mulchrone, Aidan Higgins, Pat Gavin; Kevin Waldron (0-1), Eugene O’Toole; Brendan Horan, Kevin Filan (0-3, 2 frees), Myles Fallon; Gerry O’Malley, Paul McGarry, Johnny Jordan.
Interchange players used: Joe Heneghan (1-1), Declan Sweeney, Brian Hennelly, Kenneth Mortimor, Kevin Malone, Shane Sweeney, Kieran Lavelle, Martin Conway, Adrian Forkan.
Man of the Match: Kevin Filan (Mayo).