James Horan: 'It is a huge achievement by the lads'
By Cian O'Connell
Mayo manager James Horan was thrilled that Mayo's third away trip in a row culminated in a Connacht SFC title.
The green and red defeated Leitrim, Roscommon, and Galway to secure the Nestor Cup at Pearse Stadium.
"To win a Connacht final up here by a point is brilliant," Horan remarked following the 0-14 to 0-13 success over Galway in Salthill.
"We made so many mistakes and did so many daft things, played tentatively, but to stick in and keep at it … there were a few huge moments, I thought, in the game.
"I know Mattie Ruane had a huge turnover out here on the 45 and Eoghan McLaughlin as well. That’s when we were under real pressure.
"They got two massive turnovers for us and Paddy (Durcan) at the end so a couple of plays like from people just held us in there.
"We are delighted, we won a Connacht title with five games on the trot. We had to go to Leitrim, to go away to Roscommon and go away to Galway and to win it, and to hang in there during four or five minutes of injury-time and hang in there and win it, it’s a huge achievement by the lads."
In recent weeks a string of emerging Mayo players have impressed with substitute Bryan Walsh contributing two vital points.
"It was an outrageous score that he got, an absolutely outrageous score," Horan stated about Walsh's immediate impact after the restart.
"Sliced off the right, under that pressure, at a crucial time for us. He's a technically very competent player and he's developing all the time, he's getting stronger.
"He was excellent for us there today in the second-half. He brought a lot of composure there when we needed it. I am delighted for him."
Now an All Ireland Semi-Final against either Cork or Tipperary is on the agenda for Mayo.
"The prize today was huge," Horan admits. "We get to spend three weeks together now, have eight or nine more sessions together and look forward to whoever it is.
"As it has been all year, we won't focus too much on that. We'll just try and get better, and get our stuff right. Sure we'll be absolutely buzzing to have a go at an All-Ireland semi-final."