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Mayo have the skills to get past Roscommon

 

By Declan Bogue

There are few teams that capture the imagination or transcend themselves as this current Mayo team.

Seven years on from that humiliation against Longford in the All-Ireland qualifiers, there are many that feel that their great tilt at winning their first ­All-Ireland since 1951 has the feel of a project on the far side of the turn.

In the drawn quarter-final against Roscommon seven days ago, the familiar faces of Andy Moran, Donal Vaughan, Lee Keegan, Colm Boyle, Cillian O'Connor and the O'Shea brothers Seamus and Aidan were all there playing leading roles.

Up against them were the Connacht champions Roscommon, brimming with fresh faces, or maybe not so fresh, but just unappreciated talents such as Enda Smith, Conor Devaney and the various Murtaghs.

The sense of destiny around Mayo never diminishes, and to see two of their favourite sons in Kevin McStay and Liam McHale on the opposition sidelines this Bank Holiday Monday adds a certain poignancy.

McHale might have been playing a little game of his own last week when he said after the drawn game that the extra game suited Mayo less.

"I think this type of game in this environment will bring us on a long way," he said. "And I think that we will be a little bit more comfortable, and a little bit more composed on Monday. "I think it's great for us, ­another big game, our third big game this year, a fourth championship match, we're just really looking forward to it, looking forward to this game coming in.

"But I think there's more excitement about it now, we really feel that we've a great chance of winning the game."

They will certainly feel that. But when we make our ­prediction, we just feel Mayo still have enough ringcraft to steal the win.

Verdict: Mayo

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