Thursday 21 September 2017

Mickey Harte slams critics after Mayo win: "I allow people to wallow in their own ignorance"

Tyrone 1-11 Mayo 1-7 Allianz NFL Division 1

Cillian O'Connor, Mayo, in action against Cathal McCarron, Tyrone
Cillian O'Connor, Mayo, in action against Cathal McCarron, Tyrone
Jason Doherty, Mayo, in action against Tiernan McCann, Tyrone
Cathal McCarron, Tyrone, in action against Michael Conroy, Mayo
Aidan O'Shea, Mayo, in action against Cathal McCarron, Tyrone

Declan Rooney

Some old failings came back to haunt Mayo yesterday as they miserably failed to pick a way through an airtight Tyrone defence at MacHale Park.

The home side kicked 15 wides - one for each man Tyrone frequently scrambled behind the ball as Mayo attacked - and as time ticked away, Mayo's frustration grew, their shot selection got more desperate and the Tyrone counter-attack profited. Evidently, there is a lot of work to be done between now and the championship for Mayo.

This is a type of defence they will face if they want to progress during the summer and posed with the tricky problem, the Green and Red side looked confused as they ran around looking for the solution.

Tyrone, on the other hand, will be delighted to have put last week's second-half capitulation against Donegal behind them, but instead of calling out the early-season doubters, manager Mickey Harte opted to go for the calming approach.

"I allow people to wallow in their own ignorance if they decide to do that. I have not a problem with that at all," said Harte.

"People can be as they will and think as they will. They have reason to believe and suggest that and let them have their substance for that. I happen to have a different perspective and I'll go with mine.

"Sometimes people give their very best and it does not work out, but life is like that too. Sometimes it is very black and white from people's perspectives and I have to allow people to be as ignorant of the facts as they want to be."

Given Tyrone's domination, it was somewhat of a surprise that only two points separated the sides at the 50-minute mark.

The visitors had led by 0-8 to 0-4 at half-time as goalkeeper Niall Morgan kicked two long-range frees, while Darren McCurry and the impressive Tiernan McCann also helped the Red Hard finish the half strongly.

But Aidan O'Shea's black card for a clash with Morgan was quickly followed by  a goal from substitute Cillian O'Connor, which revived the 9,556-strong home crowd.

But despite the fillip, Mayo still failed miserably to string any sort of cohesive play together. Other than Jason Doherty's 36th-minute free, Cillian O'Connor was their only other scorer for the half.

His goal was their only point from play after the 15th minute and they were guilty of repeatedly trying plan one, when plan one had failed countless times.

"It's just not good enough," said Mayo captain Keith Higgins. "It was very disappointing, frustrating, there is a lot of words you could describe it with. We had enough chances there at the end to at least claw back the lead, but it's just a matter of taking into account what happened out there and using it for again. 

"Any time you have 14 or 15 men behind the ball it's always going to be difficult. But look, you are going to have challenges like that, it's just up to us now if we face it again, to try and find a way to overcome it. 

"There was times there in the first half where we broke through and probably had chances, we just didn't take them. In the second half we had a lot of wides but a bit of that comes down to frustration, losing a bit of concentration at the end and just taking snap shots. You'll have days like that," Higgins said.

Scattered As scattered as Mayo were, Tyrone were calm. They looked like a side that believed in their defensive system, were happy to work back and crowd the 'D', and catch Mayo on the break. 

Mickey Harte liked the hard work his players put in for each other, epitomised by Darren McCurry who put in a fine performance on the right flank. "I don't know if it is hard to convince them, it's something that I suppose they need to see that it is worth the effort," Harte said.

"But it has to be a collective, you can't let anybody down in this situation, if seven or eight people are doing it, but five or six are not doing it, well then it doesn't work.

"It's really getting that collective to work together to put the team first and if you can do that then you are going to be competitive and that's what we endeavour to do."

Man of the Match: Darren McCurry

Scorers - Tyrone: D McCurry 0-4 (2f), P Harte 1-0, N Morgan (2f) M Donnelly 0-2 each, T McCann, S Cavanagh (1f), C McShane 0-1 each. Mayo: C O'Connor 1-2, (1 '45, 1f), J Doherty 0-2 (2f), K McLoughlin (1f), M Conroy, M Ronaldson 0-1 each. Tyrone - N Morgan 6; J McMahon 8, R McNamee 7, C McCarron 9; P Hughes 7, R McNabb 8, A McCrory 7; C Cavanagh 7, P McNulty 8; T McCann 8, M Donnelly 8, P Harte 8; D McCurry 9, S Cavanagh 7, C McShane 7. Subs: PJ Lavery 6 for McShane (46), C McCann 6 for McNulty (56), B Tierney 6 for McNamee (59), N McKenna 6 for McCurry (64). Mayo - D Clarke 6; M Hall 6, K Keane 7, K Higgins 7; L Keegan 6, S Coen 6, C Boyle 6; A O'Shea 5, D Vaughan 5; D O'Connor 6, K McLoughlin 6, J Doherty 5; M Conroy 6, A Freeman 5, M Ronaldson 5. Subs: C O'Connor 7 for Ronaldson (46), P Durcan 6 for Boyle (46), B Moran 6 for A O'Shea (50 BC), M Sweeney for Freeman (57), G Cafferkey for Keegan (60), A Dillon for D O'Connor (67). Ref - E Kinsella (Laois)

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