Monday 19 November 2018

Comments only served to heap insult upon injury

19 July 2015; Aidan O'Shea, Mayo, in action against Ross Donavan, Sligo. Connacht GAA Football Senior Championship Final, Mayo v Sligo, Dr. Hyde Park, Roscommon. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
19 July 2015; Aidan O'Shea, Mayo, in action against Ross Donavan, Sligo. Connacht GAA Football Senior Championship Final, Mayo v Sligo, Dr. Hyde Park, Roscommon. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Eamonn Sweeney

There have been easier weeks to be from Sligo. Particularly if your despair over the Connacht final was profoundly deepened by having to listen to Ger Canning and Tommy 'Tom' Carr as events unfolded. In hell, I am convinced, there will be a never-ending loop of Canning mispronouncing 'Caheragh' and Carr stating the bleeding obvious in his speaking clock voice.

The most insulting thing that was said about Sligo's performance against Mayo is that there wasn't much the underdogs could have done to prevent such an enormous defeat. This is condescension of the highest order. The truth is that Sligo played incredibly badly on the day and got pretty much everything wrong, from their decision to go man on man with the Mayo full-forward line to a short kick-out strategy which made Russian Roulette look like a safety first option.

There was nothing inevitable about the scale of the defeat. In fact in Sligo's previous five final appearances, they won once, lost twice by a point, once by two points and once by three points. You have to go all the way back to 1956, nine provincial finals ago, for the last time my native county lost a decider by double figures. Portraying Sligo as helpless lambs to the slaughter is the unkindest cut of all. The players on duty last Sunday are capable of much, much better and will no doubt produce it down the line.

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