Horan satisfied with Mayo's smart start
By Shane O’Brien
New York’s Shane Hogan said that they showed Mayo “too much respect” in their Connacht SFC quarter-final clash on Sunday.
Speaking after the humbling 21-point loss, Hogan said that he and his teammates were simply off the pace in the first half and were made to pay dearly by a ruthless Mayo side.
“We showed them too much respect in the first half and they ran all over us,” Hogan said. “We just wanted to come out and put some pride in the jersey, which I think we did in the second half. We certainly played a lot tougher, a lot closer to them. It was just far too little too late.”
Hogan, a New York native, started at half-forward in a thankless role that saw very little forays into Mayo territory, and he said that Mayo were simply better in every department.
“I think we came in with a bit of nerves, and they had none. They knew what they were going to do. They had a plan. They just out-worked us and outplayed us, and that was the end of it.
“It was tough to hold onto the ball with the weather, and then you’ve got one or two Mayo men trying to tackle you which made it nearly impossible. We tried our best and we gave our all, but we just came up short on the day.”
New York’s manager Justin O’Halloran largely echoed the sentiments of his player by saying that there was nothing his side could do to curb the relentless tide of Mayo attacks.
“We made some mistakes, silly mistakes, that we normally wouldn’t make, but I think it was actually Mayo who made us make those mistakes. They were very strong in the tackle, they turned us over so easily. All credit to them, you can’t complain about the conditions or anything as it was the same for both teams,” O’Halloran said after the game.
O’Halloran was magnanimous in defeat and had nothing but praise for Mayo in his post-match interview.
“We knew they were going to do that [start fast], we knew they wanted to get the game over as early as possible, we just couldn’t physically do anything to counteract that,” said a deflated O’Halloran. “They were just that much stronger and faster and fitter and it’s very hard to compete with that.”
James Horan, O’Halloran’s opposite number, was pleased with how effective his side were at executing their game plan. Taking charge of his first Championship match since 2014, Horan saw his side race into a 14 point lead after half an hour which allowed him to ring the changes in the second half.
“We started the game very well in the first half and built up a strong lead. Our mindset was to go in strong, so we’re very happy with that obviously. We were sloppy in the second half, but we had enough done at that stage.
“It was very important that we started well and got on top early and we thankfully managed to do that so we’re very happy with the game plan.”