Wednesday 22 November 2017

'All around me, Mayo supporters' heads went down' - Alan Brogan can't understand Rochford's use of Andy Moran

Andy Moran of Mayo in action against Niall Kilroy of Roscommon, left, Sean McDermott, centre, and David Murray during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Final match between Mayo and Roscommon at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Andy Moran of Mayo in action against Niall Kilroy of Roscommon, left, Sean McDermott, centre, and David Murray during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Final match between Mayo and Roscommon at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Conor Neville

Andy Moran made plenty of headlines yesterday, both as the object of the Roscommon fans' mysterious ire and as one of Mayo's busiest and most effective forwards once more at the age of 33.

The word from people on the ground in Roscommon is that Moran was booed for having the effrontery to kiss the Mayo crest after scoring his second goal in an FBD League game against Roscommon back in January.

One can't imagine that tickets were golddust for that FBD match in Kiltoom but if yesterday's barracking was anything to go by, word his crest-smooching clearly travelled far and wide within the county of Roscommon.

Still it seems a modest enough offence to provoke such a reaction months later. That he was born in the contested territory of Ballaghaderreen may not be playing in his favour in the court of Roscommon opinion.

While the mystery of the booing was solved, the persistent of the habit of the Mayo management hauling him off at the business end of matches remains baffling to Alan Brogan.

Brogan watched the match at a wedding in Mayo surrounded by hundreds of Mayo fans, most of whom watched the second half in a state of high exasperation.

According to Brogan, the body language of the Roscommon players and backroom staff suggested a greater unity than currently exists in Mayo.

"I'm not sure about the unity that's there (in Mayo) at the moment," he told Independent.ie's GAA podcast, The Throw-In.

"I'm looking at the Roscommon boys coming off the field, and Liam McHale is patting them on the back and then they're going over to Kevin McStay and they're getting another pat on the back and there seemed to be a greater unity about Roscommon. And the Mayo guys didn't seem to have that for me.

"Watching Andy Moran come off 15 minutes left and as I looked around the room, I could see heads going down, 'this is our main man being taken off again with 15 to go...'

"I just can't understand why you don't want Andy Moran on the field at the end of the game. Even if it means not starting him, bring him after 35 or 40 minutes and he's going to be a crowd-lifter.

"As a Dublin player, when we looked at the Mayo team, he was a guy who brought energy to Mayo. Colm Boyle was another who brought great energy to the Mayo team and both of these guys are on the bench for the last 15 minutes.

"I just don't understand it from a players' point of view."

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