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'Changes we made worked well for us' | James Horan reacts as Mayo retain Connacht title

Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

6:35 PM - 25 Jul 2021



James Horan's Mayo are the 2021 Connacht Senior Football champions and are also back in an All-Ireland semi-final.

James Horan's side beat Galway 2-14 to 2-08 at Croke Park on Sunday.

Galway made a great start to the game and led by five points at the break.

Then in the 36th minute, Ryan O’Donoghue converted a Mayo penalty and the game turned.

Speaking to OTB Sports at full-time, manager James Horan said a positive restart after the break was massive for them.

"Delighted with it, obviously, and the manner of the performance.

"We were five points down at half-time and gave away a couple of sloppy goals and we looked a half a yard off on a few things.

"We had a lot of possessions, it could have been a lot closer, so we weren't a million miles off it at the same time.

"We got a good start to the second half, which was key.

"We knew as the game went on we'd get stronger and stronger and look I'm delighted with how the second half went."

Kevin McLoughlin and Eoin McLoughlin came on for mayo at half-time and Aidan O'Shea went into the edge of the square.

Horan felt these decisions were key to their success on the day.

"We were against the wind a little bit in the first half and we were slow getting the ball and it was clogging and Galway were getting people back.

"There wasn't the space there that you'd normally like so we were playing into Galway's hands a little bit.

"I think when Aidan [O'Shea] went inside it helped stretch the field a little bit and Kevin McLoughlin was playing brilliant football, he made a huge difference.

"Eoin [McLaughlin]'s running ability is really strong so that opened up a lot of things and I think the penalty and Mattie [Ruane] coming very strong from midfield certainly helped."

Horan had particular praise too for Aidan O'Shea and his versatility.

He siad he's a major factor in anything they do and also gave an update on the injured Cillian O'Connor.

"He did well in the first half and won a few great turnovers, very strong tackler but at the start of the second half with the players we introduced it made sense to get him in there and it brought two Galway guys back there so that created more space as well so it worked out well for us in the end.

"Cillian's a bit away yet, he's working hard on his rehab but he's quite a bit away yet."

Mayo now play the winner of the Leinster final in the All-Ireland semi-final.



Read more about

Connacht Senior Football Championship James Horan Mayo GAA

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