James Horan cut a dejected figure following his side’s ten-point defeat to Dublin in the All-Ireland SFC semi-final.
To many of the near 80,000 strong crowd in the stadium, it looked as though Mayo had Jim Gavin’s side on the ropes come half-time when they deservedly led by two points following a pulsating half of football, particularly defensively.
However, Dublin ran amok in the second half and had effectively killed the game as a contest with plenty of time still remaining. Following the defeat, Horan reflected on what happened at the beginning of that second half when Mayo conceded 2-6 without reply.
“I thought the first half we were pretty strong we defended well and built a few good scores. I thought we were patient, we did well and went in two up and it could have been a bit more. The start of the second half they were very strong and in a short space of time, they came at us very hard.
“Con O’Callaghan got a goal and I think before that we put a shot into the goalie’s hands and they came down and scored from it, I think Lee fell and they got a score then won the next five or six of our kick-outs and got a second goal and in that period they were in complete control we were struggling to get our hands on possession and they were in a strong position for the rest of the game.”
Horan admitted that he didn’t see any change in tactics from Dublin but according to the Mayo boss, they simply “pinned their ears a little bit”.
“I don’t think so, nothing obvious, they definitely pinned back their ears a little bit and ran at us when they got the ball they probably weren’t doing that as much on the first half in they got a step on us for some of those goals and they finished them very well.
“A team like Dublin are always going to come at you and we were on the ropes and we didn’t deal with it well. They came running at us from a lot of different angles and really got their tails up so it took us a while to adjust but they were in control of the gannet at that stage they had a very strong period we couldn’t deal.”