Horan praises Mayo's resolve
GAA:Mayo manager James Horan was “delighted” with his side’s win over holders Dublin in the All-Ireland SFC semi-final at Croke Park today, but admitted they were glad to hear the final whistle.
The Connacht men had a 10-point lead at one stage but were forced to live on the edge for the final 15 minutes when Dublin threw everything at them, losing by three in the end.
“Delighted,” said Mayo manager James Horan, whose side will face Donegal in the final on September 23rd. “We came through a battle today.
"Things were going against us. We lost a few players and a few guys went down with cramp but we kept at it. Dublin got a run at us in the second half but we kept at it and kept believing and we got there in the end. We're delighted to get out of there. We’re already looking forward to the next game now.
Horan knew his players had scores in them, having a scored an average of 2-17 in three championship games, but it was the “character” shown in a physical battle that impressed him most on the way to a 0-19 to 0-16 win.
“Momentum certainly went with them,” he said. “We seemed to run out of juice 15 minutes into the half and they won every breaking ball. They got eight or nine breaks in a row and that put pressure on us. Our backs in particular today defended superbly. There were a lot of goal chances but we kept them all out and that’s what won us the game in the end.”
Gilroy had nothing but praise for his players afterwards and felt they did not get the breaks on the day.
“Things ran away from us part the last five minutes of the first half,” he said. “We done alright until then but in fairness the effort to get back was phenomenal
“We felt we needed to get a goal (late on), they decided to concede frees rather than let us through there.
Donegal, he added, “kicked some incredible scores today. They did that in the league as well so it was no surprise.”