Roscommon manager Anthony Cunningham has paid tribute to the steely resolve shown by his team after edging past Mayo in a gripping Connacht SFC clash.

Veteran forward Fintan Cregg was the hero as Roscommon ended a 33-year wait for a championship victory over Mayo in Castlebar and now march into a fourth successive provincial final.

The Rossies came into the match as underdogs as the league champions looked to showcase their All-Ireland credentials under a manager who had never previously lost a provincial game as Mayo manager.

Cunningham said a huge amount of preparation had gone into taking on James Horan’s side.

"We were trying to match what Mayo have brought to the table for the past five years, which has been tremendous," he told RTÉ Sport.

Mayo will rue their tally of 17 wides, but entered the break just two points adrift after recovering from a couple of defensive mistakes to reel off four of the last five scores of the half.

The last 25 minutes of the game saw the lead change twice. Conor Cox levelled matters late on before Cregg popped up to settle the argument in additional time.

For Cunningham, it was Roscommon resilience which eventually won out.

"We had a good cushion, but Mayo chipped away and didn’t panic. They went one ahead with 10 to play, but our subs that came in brought a bit of freshness to the game.

"We held our nerve really. I think everyone, bar Mayo people maybe, would say we deserved it in the finish."