Wednesday 21 August 2019

'They have such pace and athleticism and skill all over the place' - No excuses from James Horan in Mayo defeat

Mayo manager James Horan, left, shakes hands with Dublin manager Jim Gavin following the All-Ireland SFC semi-final at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Mayo manager James Horan, left, shakes hands with Dublin manager Jim Gavin following the All-Ireland SFC semi-final at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Mayo manager James Horan wasn’t looking for any excuses after Dublin’s third quarter surge sealed their spot in a fifth successive All-Ireland final and put Jim Gavin's men on the brink of history.

Horan's side looked to be well placed at the break, as they took a two point lead (0-8 to 0-6) in at the interval after a half that saw Dublin land just three points from play.

However, they were brilliant on the restart and hit 2-6 without replay to build a lead they would never relinquish and move to within 70 minutes of a place in history.  

"I thought in the first half we were pretty strong we defended well and built a few good scores," a clearly crestfallen Horan reflected.

"I thought we were patient did well and went in two up could have been bit more. At the start of the second half they were very strong and in a short space of time they came at us very hard. 

"Con O’Callaghan got a goal and I think before that we put a shot into the goalie's hands and the came down and scored from it, I think Lee fell. And they got a score there won the next five or six of our kick outs and got a second goal in that period.

"They were in complete control and we were struggling to get our hands on possession and, yeah, they were in a strong position for the rest of the game."

Horan doesn't believe Dublin did anything dramatically different tactically after half time when Con O'Callaghan and Paul Mannion roared into life.

That pair hit 2-3 between them in the second half as Dublin produced a brilliant second half.

"I don’t think so, nothing obvious," he replied when asked if they had changed anything.

"They definitely pinned back their ears a little bit and ran at us when they got the ball they probably weren't doing that as much on the first half in that they got a step on us for some of those goals and they finished them very well."

Mayo did manage a reply through a Lee Keegan goal but Horan admitted they were unlikely to be able to subdue Dublin in the way they had for the first half, for the entire game.

"They are always going to come at you," said the Mayo boss.

"They have such pace and athleticism and skill all over the place when Con O'Callaghan got the ball in his hands he was just going run at his man.

"When a couple of things like that happen suddenly your legs get a bit heavy and that kind of stuff and they took full advantage for that period." 

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