Saturday 7 December 2019

Mayo 2001:

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Pat Holmes steered them to a first Allianz League (Division 1) success since 1970. Mayo later appeared to have won the Connacht final when they held a two-point lead in stoppage-time against Roscommon, but were beaten by a late goal from Gerry Lohan. Holmes left after the 2002 championship.


John Maughan began his second stint as manager, having left in late 1999 after a spell where Mayo played in two All-Ireland finals in 1996 and '97, losing both, one after a replay. He led them to another All-Ireland final in 2004 but they lost heavily (1-20 to 2-9) to Kerry. Maughan remained on for 2005 but quit after Mayo lost the Connacht final to Galway.


Mayo looked outside for a manager at the end of 2005, opting for Derry's Mickey Moran, who had previously presided over his native county, Sligo and Donegal. It looked like a master-stroke when he led Mayo to the 2006 All-Ireland final but, once again, they imploded, losing to Kerry by 4-15 to 3-6. The severe double hit of 2004-06 was deeply wounding for a county that had also lost All-Ireland finals in 1989, '96 and '97. Moran resigned shortly after the '06 final defeat.


The return of the Messiah after a 16-year absence. Having guided Galway to two All-Ireland titles, John O'Mahony was regarded as saviour by his native county, but it didn't work out. Beaten by Galway in '07 and '08, O'Mahony finally led Mayo to the Connacht title in '09 but came up short against Meath in the All-Ireland quarter-final. Last season went from bad to worse as, after being thrashed by Cork in the NFL final, Mayo lost to Sligo and Longford in the championship. O'Mahony's second stint had ended without the All-Ireland breakthrough.


James Horan came very close to launching his managerial career with a disastrous defeat by London. However, Mayo squeezed through before stepping up considerably to beat Galway comfortably in the Connacht semi-final. Can he lead Mayo to Connacht supremacy tomorrow?

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