Horan hails big win for Mayo
By John Harrington
Mayo manager James Horan believes his team’s victory over Kerry in today’s Allianz Football League Division 1 Final can be a ‘springboard’ for further success to come.
The Connacht side had lost six All-Irelands and three National League Finals since last winning the National League in 2001, which is why Horgan felt this win was a significant one.
“I think it’s big,” said Horan after the match.
“I think that game today, if we were as effective as we should be, we could’ve won by 10 to 12 points to be honest.
“We just about got over the line. I’m sure a bit of nerves came into it but to win one is significant for that group, there’s no question about that. It might be a springboard if we use it correctly.”
Mayo trailed by four points – 2-3 to 0-5 - at half-time but Horan felt most of their wounds in the first-half were of the self-inflicted variety and was confident his team would come good in the second-half.
“The goals we gave away were very slack,” said Horan. “They were from two kick-outs – we didn’t press very well from the kick-outs, their midfield was very strong pace-wise, so they opened us up for those.
“We had four goal chances in the first half, I don’t think we went for any of them.
“We knew there was goals in that game for us and thankfully in the second half we got them.
“There was three or four in a row where we just ran into their cover when a shot was on or an opportunity to recycle, we kept doing some daft things so that was a bit frustrating.
“But it was very calm at half-time. There was a bit of a breeze there and it does make a difference in how you play. We’d a good idea of what we needed to do, we kept the pressure on.
“At the start of the second half we got scores very quickly and we had four or five waves of attack where we had three or four players and we butchered them.
“To win it eventually in the end, it’s great for us but, yeah, lots to look at."
Kerry manager, Peter Keane, felt the result might have been different had his team converted more of their chances in the first-half.
“I think in the first half in particular, we had lots of chances and we just didn’t put them away,” said Keane after the match.
“We had lots of opportunities that we just didn’t take so I would say in the first half in particular.
“We were still tipping away in that second half and then goals just came at critical times. Even at the death, we were unlucky ourselves that we didn’t poke a goal.”