Sunday 26 February 2017

O'Mahony steps down after loss

Dion Fanning

Mayo manager John O'Mahony who stepped down after Mayo's defeat to Longford. Photo: Sportsfile
Mayo manager John O'Mahony who stepped down after Mayo's defeat to Longford. Photo: Sportsfile

JOHN O’MAHONY last night stepped down as Mayo manager following his side’s shock defeat to Longford in the first round of the All-Ireland SFC qualifiers at Pearse Park.

The former Galway boss had a four-year term with his native county, winning last season’s Connacht Championship, but failure to build on that success this time out has cost him his job.

Surprisingly beaten by Sligo in the Connacht quarterfinal, Mayo lost out by a point last night to a determined Longford team and while O’Mahony believes his players remain full of potential, he felt he had taken them as far as he could.

“I’m very disappointed,” he said. “I just told the players that I’m stepping down as manager. I put four years into it, I do think those lads will have their day in the sun. It’s not an easy thing to say after losing to a perceived weaker team, but I’m absolutely convinced of that.

“It's a results-driven game from a management point of view, I've done four years and I wish them well and will continue to be a Mayo supporter.”

Although O’Mahony was the first managerial casualty of the weekend, he may not be the only one.

Donegal manager John Joe Doherty looks set to come under pressure after a heavy defeat to Armagh in Crossmaglen.

“We got a three-year term and there is a review due after two, but I’m definitely at the review stage myself now.”

Doherty said. “It’s very disappointing. I’ll have to consider where we’re at now.

“I’m not sure what I’ll do, so I’ll take time out to think about it. This is a results-based business and we have not been good enough. I accept that,” he added.

Armagh put on a quality display of football in front of 5,000 people. Jamie Clarke had two goals in the opening seven minutes as they put their disastrous performance against Monaghan to bed.

And, on the busiest championship weekend of the summer so far, Mick O’Dwyer’s memorable term as Wicklow manager looks over after Cavan battled to a one-point win at Breffni Park, despite having two players sent off.

There was drama in both Tullamore and Newbridge yesterday also. Kildare and Antrim must do battle again next weekend to decide who progresses to the next stage of the championship after the sides finished 0-15 apiece after extra time in Newbridge.

In Tullamore, Offaly needed extra time to dispose of Clare, while Derry, whose preparations for their qualifier against Carlow were thrown into disarray after star forward Paddy Bradley quit the panel hours before throw-in, were far from impressive in victory.

In hurling, meanwhile, Galway overcame Offaly in the Leinster SHC semi-final replay while Carlow shocked Laois in the All-Ireland preliminary round tie at Dr Cullen Park.

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