Kerry football legend Pat Spillane has urged Mayo to bounce back next year after another heartbreaking loss in an All-Ireland football final.
Mayo were again second best at Croke Park on the final day of the inter-county football season, and have now lost in six All-Ireland finals in the last 10 years.
Tyrone were deserved winners in the end, as goals from Cathal McShane and Darren McCurry proved crucial in securing a five-point victory, while Mayo’s 70-year-long wait for the Sam Maguire goes on.
Spillane, who won eight All-Ireland football championships himself during a remarkable career with Kerry, was speaking on RTE after the game and urged Mayo to keep fighting for the Sam Maguire in the years to come.
Pat Spillane: ‘Let’s spare a thought for Mayo.’
“If I was a Tyrone man you would be proud of those players as individuals, as role models, for the way they played the game and their skill as footballers,” Spillane said.
“But can I just say that while today is about the victors, let’s spare a thought for Mayo. This is now 11 All-Ireland finals [they’ve lost in-a-row].
“They’ve played six All-Ireland finals in the last decade. The average losing margin is less than three points. They contributed to a really fascinating, tough, tight struggle today.
“I’m not too sure if Samuel Beckett was a GAA man or whether he ever kicked an O’Neill [ball]. But his words sum up Mayo. ‘Try again, fail again. Fail better. I can’t go on, I will go on.’ That’s Mayo.
“Today is another bad day but Mayo will bounce back. They’ll fight back and they’ll be there again next year close to the final day. Commiserations to Mayo. Warriors, a great day, but fell well short today of truly great All-Ireland champions.”
TYRONE ARE ALL-IRELAND CHAMPIONS! THEIR 13-YEAR WAIT IS OVER!
Here’s the moment Sam went back to the Red Hand county for the fourth time after an eventful campaign
📺 Watch Live – https://t.co/IdpkJmuz4B
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) September 11, 2021
The curse continues.
Mayo have now lost 11 All-Ireland finals in-a-row, having last lifted the Sam Maguire after beating Meath at Croke Park back in 1951.
Many of those losses have been agonisingly close for Mayo, although the Connacht champions never looked like winning today after Darren McCurry’s goal sent Tyrone ahead by five points at the 58 minute mark.
With both Dublin and Kerry out of the way, 2021 looked like the year that Mayo might finally lift the curse, but they will have to go back to the well once again and look to end over 70 years of hurt next year.