U21s reclaim Connacht after spirited fightback

Stephen Coen lifts the Cup

Photo: @mayomanindublin

It’s been a too-long wait and an itch we’ve been waiting to scratch since 2009 but this evening at a rain-sodden Markievicz Park – the same pitch where Tom Parsons lifted the JJ Fahy Cup the last time we won it, seven years ago – the wait for our 24th Connacht title finally came to an end. It was a close run thing but at the finish we ended the hopes of the defending champions Roscommon by a single point, winning by 1-11 to 1-10.

I wasn’t in Sligo this evening – U21 provincial championship matches have (with just one exception) remained stubbornly beyond my coverage map since the blog’s inception – but I was able to follow the action blow-by-blow on Midwest. And what action there was.

The treble-chasing Rossies sprang from the traps with intent. So much so that it looked like they had the title in the bag before our lads got going at all.

Senior player Diarmuid Murtagh was the man everyone was talking about in those opening minutes. 1-1 from him put the Rossies firmly in control and further scores from open play – points by Henry Walsh and Ronan Daly – saw the champions streak six clear with barely ten minutes played.

It sounded then as if another depressing U21 tanking at the hands of the Rossies was on the cards. A six-point deficit is a tough enough prospect to handle in a 60-minute game but to overcome this on a heavy pitch in wet conditions would be tougher still.

At least we staunched the bleeding at that stage. Fionan Duffy finally opened our account with a point from play after 11 minutes, though Ultan Harney responded in kind for them soon after. Eoin O’Donoghue came on for Eddie Doran as Liam Irwin pointed a free to cut the gap to five.

The Breaffy player – named to start at the last minute in place of Ciaran Harrison, with much consequential reshuffling to accommodate this switch – then banged over a ’45 to reduce the deficit to four.  Just before then, however, it could have been game over when the Rossies, with an open goal at their mercy, somehow failed to rattle the net. It was a miss they’d later have cause to regret.

Not that any such thoughts were in their minds at that juncture. Diarmuid Murtagh – a constant menace in their forward line – brought his tally to 1-2 with another score from play and Ronan Daly stretched their lead back out to six with his second of the evening. That too came from open play: indeed, the Rossies’ entire 1-6 first half tally came from this source. Impressive stuff.

Just before the break, though, the defending champions suffered their first reversal. Senior panellist Sean Mullolly was ordered off on a black card and Conor Loftus stuck over the resultant free to leave five between the teams at the break.

Our prospects didn’t, it must be admitted, look all that hot at that stage. The common complaint I heard about our first half showing – both on Midwest and from my spies at the game – was that we were standing off the opposition, inviting them onto us. If we were to have any realistic hopes of winning this game, such diffidence would have to end.

From the sounds of it, it did. We came out after the break and, as Darragh Ó Sé might put it, we proceeded to horse into them.

Conor Loftus cut the deficit back to four from a free. At the other end, though, Murtagh came close to firing the Rossies further clear and but for Mattie Flanagan’s fingertips it could have been game over.

Instead, we were soon back to three behind as Fergal Boland shot over from long range. A third pointed free from Conor Loftus brought us closer still, the comeback now on in earnest.

It sounded then as if a legitimate point for Roscommon would be ruled out. Mattie Flanagan was forced to palm an inswinger over his bar but the umpires waved it wide. After consulting his linesman, though, the ref overruled the men in the white jackets and the Rossies were three to the good once more.

Brian Reape (from play) and Murtagh (a free, their first placed ball score of the evening) traded points but we then began to turn the screw. A long range free by Liam Irwin, followed by one from play by Fionan Duffy, cut the gap back to the bare minimum.

Into the final five minutes and we were now the team with all the momentum. Our progress was checked when Stack pointed for them but then we sent a long ball in towards their goal and Liam Irwin got a touch on it to direct it to the net. Now we were a point up with time rapidly running out.

The match was already in injury time when Murtagh, from a free, hauled the despairing champions level. Extra-time now loomed but Michael Plunkett had other ideas and it was the Ballintubber player who fired over the winner in the dying seconds.

Final score

Photo: @mayomanindublin 

I’ve been on the edge of my seat writing this second-hand account of the game so I can only guess what the atmosphere must have been like at Markievicz Park this evening. We appeared down and out before the first quarter was over but in the end produced a real grandstand finish to seal the deal and reclaim a long overdue U21 Connacht crown. Hearty congrats to Mike Solan and his wonderfully spirited bunch of players for doing the business in such dramatic fashion.

It doesn’t get any easier for the lads from here on either as they now go on to face Leinster champions Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final on April 16th. The Dubs had a major battle of their own earlier on today to get past Kildare in the Leinster decider and they only finally managed to do so after extra-time.

Dublin will be a tough proposition in the penultimate round but so too will our lads. This evening’s win should do wonders for their confidence and they can now proceed to the All-Ireland series with growing optimism about where this campaign might ultimately go for them.

Mayo: Mattie Flanagan; Eddie Doran, Seamus Cunniffe, David Kenny; Michael Hall, Stephen Coen, Sharoize Akram; Matthew Ruane, Diarmuid O’Connor; Fergal Boland (0-1), Conor Loftus (0-3, frees), Michael Plunkett (0-1); Liam Irwin (1-3, two frees and a ’45), Brian Reape (0-1), Fionan Duffy (0-2). Subs: Eoin O’Donoghue for Doran, James Carr for Loftus.

61 thoughts on “U21s reclaim Connacht after spirited fightback

  1. Congratulations to one and all involved with the win! Great to be back winning at this grade.

  2. Well done Mayo, congrats!!! The poor Rossies are truly sick of the Green and Red this week

  3. Interestingly in each of the last six years the team that has beaten Roscommon at under 21 level has gone on to win the All Ireland.

  4. I hope the parade the cup in MacHale Park tomorrow to get the crowd going. What a come back, very sweet to beat the Rossies twice in one week

  5. These guys simply do not give up and they deserve a good drink tonight after that performance. Well done to one and all of them. Where will the semi be played?

  6. Heart. guts. determination. From the radio thats what i got from mayo. Poor first half bur ross never put us away. We outscored them 1.7 to 4 points in second half nearly a reversal of first half. One key moment was when compton came off second best after collision with stephen coen. a real game changer. Tis true what they say. When the going gets tough……..

  7. Congratulations to Mayo. What a way to win. Ros lost it and Mayo won it is how I would describe it. They should have been out of sight by half time. I thought all the team showed great character particturaly Liam Irwin after missing a few easier frees early on to kick some massive scores for the rest of the game not to mention his goal! Two huge psychological blows for Roscommon in a week. Suddenly the mood around Mayo football is very different. …

  8. Well done. Crucial win. Great 6 days. This tim e last week we were staring into the abyss as Ros had the opportunity to beat us and put down a marker. But our seniors did the business and now our U21s have produced a great comeback to beat a good Ros team. Now lets follow it up with victory over Down to conclude a fantastic seven days. Maigh Eo abu

  9. Great win, and a great opportunity set up for these lads to take on Dublin.

  10. Nice to have an owl bit of silverware to put on the owl mantlepiece or on top of the owl television or wherever it is kept these days. As someone said above, parade that cup in Mchale Park before the Down game tomorrow and round off an excellent 7 days with a victory and safety secured in division 1.

  11. Great win. Roscommon almost had us gone but for some great goalkeeping.
    Fair play to Liam Irwin, great to see him play well. Stephen Coen had a great second half.

  12. That game should bring Mayo on loads, especially a good tough hard game like that. They showed great heart to get the win! Let’s hope that they can keep that winning mentality going as you cannot underestimate that for their future development.

  13. Minors and U21 wins today now for the triple tomorrow. Coen really showed that he is a senior player today, Rockford was in attendant tonight and he must have been impressed with a few players not part of the senior setup. Cant help but think he must have been disappointed with Conor Loftus. Loftus was the only forward taken off and with 15 minutes left was a brave decision by Solan. His replacement James Carr was instrumental in creating our goal. Carr a late replacement for TJ byrne was a surprise not sure if Byrne was injured, His father Big Tom was in the crowd.

  14. Great Win, Thought we were gone at half time. Diarmuid O Connor is the real leader of the team, brilliant work rate don’t know where he gets his energy. Fergal Boland after a shaky start had a brilliant second half. Matty kept us in the game with great saves. Michael Hall worked tirelessly. Conor Loftus and Stephen Coen were disappointing for me, but others were impressed by Coen.

    Roscommon will be scratching their heads as to how they lost a game they should of won. Irwin can hit a dead ball.

  15. When I heard Carr for Loftus thought was brave call. I would say thinking was to overload on size. We had five big forwards then and Carr won a great ball given across towards another big man Irwin.
    Had two other physical forwards Reape n Duffy got scores in second half n won frees.

  16. Loftus kept us in game with free taking and also played a crucial pass to Duffy who fed Irwin. Class is permanent in poor conditions he done ok. More to come from him no doubt.

    But credit to all lads brave and never beaten attitude. Well done all.

  17. Great 2nd half performance, can’t say the same about the referee, has to be the worst performance at inter county level. Both teams were affected and showed great discipline after some of the decisions, can’t say the same about our water carrier who should have been sent to stand.

  18. Fantastic comeback. Really thought Roscommon would keep them at an arm’s length to see out the match, but our lads showed terrific spirit. Would be great to get one over on the Dubs now.

  19. Bravo, Mayo. Fortune does sometimes favour the brave.
    But for the semifinal v the Dubs we will need to get rid of the slow start syndrome. against Leitrim we were three points down before we began to play and it could easily have been more. Today it was six and it almost cost us the day. We will not always escape.
    Early on we seemed to be beaten physically all over the field while watching Rosc play all the football. Our delivery of ball into our full forward line – surely the strong point of the team – was far too slow and every time it did get in there Rosc were back in numbers to defend. Second half we had far more urgency- winning the throw in for a start – while maybe Rosc thought that they had the measure of us. In the end Rosc seemed out on their feet and they had no response to our goal which after all only left a point in it. Nobody, I thought, showed more courage than Sharoize Akram, continually taking the game to them even if a few of his passes did go astray. Here’s to taking on the Dubs, probably in Tullamore or maybe Mullingar. Longford, I think, is out as the stand is closed for safety reasons.

  20. JP 2 – I’ve added a papalesque ‘2’ to your handle as there’s a long established JP already trading under that name here.

  21. Really important win for the underage structure in Mayo. Wasn’t looking great for long periods but the lads stuck with it and made sure the Rossies were always under pressure. A great result and if we can follow suit tomorrow this will have been a super few days for Mayo football.

  22. Conor Loftus was out injured over the last few weeks so maybe he wasn’t fully fit for this game. Hopefully in two weeks time he’ll be the better for it having got this game under his belt.

  23. JP. Were all the forwards playing today (including Carr) bigger than Loftus? When you say there were 5 more physical players on. I thought Loftus was big enough? Now I wasn’t there today or never seen him lined up along side the other lads today but you would think he would be bigger than the 19 year old carr. I rate him very high by the way. Has a good future ahead of him once he transfers into us in Ballina!!

  24. This was surely a very rewarding win especially as we looked down and out so early in the game. A win like this can do so much for confidence and regardless of how we do v Dublin, a Connaught Final victory is never to be underestimated.

  25. Absolutely fantastic comeback by Mayo they were brilliant in the way they never dropped their heads or gave up. Fair play to every one of them but I have to single out our very own hero my nephew Matty Flanagan in goal & I was thrilled when Billy Fitz gave him the Man of Match on Midwest!!

  26. Great win. Hard physical and fast. Again I think physicality won it for Mayo. DOC and Coen were very strong. Lucky in that we should have been down more in the 1st half. I felt Akram put his body on the line numerous times and tackled fiercely. One shoulder near the stand had Ros crowd wound up. His passing does need to improve. I was in Enniscrone earlier and Mayo were very brave against a strong big Sligo team. Very physical game for minor league. Mayo full back line was very good – read the play well and were brave and strong. Gilvarry did well. Great long day following the green and red. Can only be proud.

  27. @Robinbanks. James Carr is a big lad something around Irwins size. Not saying Loftus is small, just that when Carr came on we had a very big forward line. you only had one small forward left Fergal Boland. All the other five being strong added up on average to winning a lot of ball in those vital last ten minutes.

  28. Hearty congratulations to all involved today and most especially to what is a pretty special bunch of players. It is great that many of these young men will become involved in the senior ranks some day soon but it is also sad that this is the final grade together as a panel of 30 plus comrades. So have a bit of craic tonight for sure but then put it to one side and give absolutely everything that you can possible give to your 2 weeks preparations and for a tilt at the all conquering dubs and the chance to stand together once again in an all Ireland final. Good luck to all, I think we might get one heck of a mayo following out to that game.

  29. Conor Loftus is carrying an injury. I was told after the game that it was well known that he was only going to play 40 minutes.

    Great win. Was delighted leaving sligo.

  30. Great win. I’d say Ros are kicking themselves tonight. They had the game as good as won and surely if they had gotten the open goal chance in the first half we were gone completely. They seemed far stronger and busier and well able to take their scores. And in Murtagh they had a lethal weapon. They did lose their FB and MF – both very good players.
    I was surprised to see Loftus being called ashore and he seemed a little bemused himself as he realised he was being subbed. What the thinking was Im not sure – he had just scored two points. That said he wasn’t dominating the way you would expect a senior player to do but it was a big call indeed.
    Sharoz was very good. I like the way he moves at pace. (Shame they managed to get his name wrong in the programme! Not good enough.)
    And Diarmuid o Connor is indeed a very special player. He’s tough, competitive and very able and when we needed him he stood up and delivered.

  31. Well that was well worth the trip….happy leaving the yeates county tonight. Guts and nerve is what I would describe our second half performance. Being honest we were second best for most of the game but will take it all the same.
    Diarmuid, Stephen Coen, Plunkett all brilliant. Goalie pulled off two vital saves and Irwin despite a poor start nailed those 45’s.

    A word on the ref and his linesmen….totally clueless at their job and lost control on numerous occasions giving bizarre decisions against both teams.
    Anyway we have our crown back…Up Mayo!

  32. Great win, rode our luck at times but never give up, really puts the feel good factor back in Mayo football.

  33. @ joey duf and mayo mad, Joey I hope to hell that we break the spell of finals that end in defeat and I think even from this early day that we will see a final or two involving Mayo in 2016. Fingers crossed, and it involves the risk of you know what.
    Roscommon must have been beyond sick at that final whistle, they had it won. And here’s a point worth remembering, it was Meath that we used never hear the end of it , how they had that never say die spirit, now it’s Mayo teams that have it. Go back a few years and a mayo team down more than a point or two would just give up, not these days, they stick at it no matter what. How very refreshing it is.

  34. Dave, I wouldnt get carried away with talk of finals. I great day and should be celebrated as such. A big hurdle in two weeks but I think we can be really competitive and in with a good chance. On the other side of the draw is prob the favorites Kerry led by Jack O’Connor with players from two AI minor teams.

  35. Delighted with the win and to get our share of luck for a change. Roscommon will be kicking themselves tonight 1 3 up early in the game and ending up losing.
    Roscommon were unlucky to get full back black carded late in first half and it was only after his dismissal that Liam Irwin got going. Likewise they were unlucky to lose there midfielder early in the second half to injury after a tackle from Stephen Coen as we were losing midfield up to this.
    How Roscommon player missed that goal I will never understand.
    The referee was terrible but I think both teams will be annoyed with him. Loads of decisions against Mayo but at same time we were lucky doc did not get a black card and that he blew for half time when Roscommon were on the attack.

    A sad evening i would imagine for Darragh Dohertys family with his team mates going on to win a Connacht Title without him. I’m sure he was very much in thoughts of players this evening.

  36. mayomad

    I assume you are referring to a post made by a certain page on FB regarding the Ros team allegedly leaving the fiield before the presentation. It’s completely untrue. They left the field after Stephen lifted the cup. They were on the way off and he started to address them and they stopped, and then left when he continued with his speech. There was no lack of sportsmanship. The only lack of sportsmanship I can see is the attempt to spread an absolute lie in order to stick a knife in a team we have just beaten (not referring to you by the way).

    Thrilled to bits today. Well done lads.

  37. Delighted for all involved..a great win which I had thought was beyond our reach after first half..some game in store against dublin..mayo mark right that rossies players didn’t leave the pitch before time..total stirring and unnecessary rubbing salt into wounds which really annoys me..can’t be easy on players losing a game that they had led in from beginning till dying minutes..

  38. Thanks for clearing that up, MayoMark. I’ve deleted that bit from your earlier comment, mayomad, as I don’t think there’s anything to gained from propagating that story.

  39. Robinbanks you keep your hands off our James 😉 Was delighted to see him coming on today and even more delighted with his contribution.

    What a day in Sligo and what an atmosphere despite the smaller-than-anticipated crowd. The first ten minutes were painful, we seemed way off the pace and I thought we were going to be taken to the cleaners. Diarmuid Murtagh scored a couple of points that were bordering on magic. We were letting them in, far too easily. We had two or three frustrating wides as well and it was a miracle we didn’t concede that second goal. But at half time, given how much better I felt Roscommon were than us, I genuinely thought at only five points down, if we could rattle in a goal early in the second half, we’d be in with a decent chance.

    I couldn’t have predicted the second half. We had leaders all over the pitch. Matty Flanagan was superb in goal. I thought Michael Hall played his socks off. Sharoize Akram threw himself into the game. I thought Fergal Boland, despite his slight physique played fast and smart. Diarmuid O’Connor – as a friend of mine put it afterwards – conducted proceedings. He has leadership dripping out his ears. Stephen Coen had a massive second half. And Liam Irwin did incredibly well for a lad just back from injury. I know I’m leaving plenty out – it truly was a team effort

    There is no doubt we had the rub of the green as well today – these things don’t always go our way, but today they did, and crucially, we took the opportunities.

    I always say that we can’t beat Roscommon often enough or hard enough, but while I had no sympathy for their supporters today (quite the opposite) I really did feel for the Roscommon team – they are a superb bunch of footballers and it just didn’t go their way. Losing after leading for 95% of the game is hard to take. As Mark said, they did stay on the pitch – I was looking towards the presentation but took a couple of videos of the crowd and they are clearly still there.

    Finally, Stephen Coen’s acceptance speech was generous and classy to the last, and he paid a lovely tribute to Darragh Doherty, as Mike Finnerty had done in the match programme. His friends and family were in my thoughts today.

    Now to tomorrow and more of the same please!

  40. Mayoman, I hope they enjoy the moment and as solan said after the game, tommorow morning they will turn and focus on Dublin. I think the key thing for Mayo is keeping their own goal intact, easier said than done but that’s the only way they will beat Dublin. remember, Roscommon have some of the best forwards in the country today and we held on against them by some miracle or luck.

  41. Ann Marie very well put. Whilst some Ros supporters were intolerable I also met some lovely people and their team are a credit to them, I was offered soup, sandwiches and chocolate where I was sitting. I guarantee you I don’t look like I need more feeding. Let’s not define a county’s supporters by the behaviour of a few fools with too much porter on board.

  42. Roscommon should have won that game in the first half truth to be known, the goal chance their number 11 missed the seeing is believing on that one and their number 3 that wasn’t giving Liam Irwin an inch getting black carded was a big blow to them but somehow Mayo hung in there to be only one score behind approaching full time and the Mayo goal totally swung the game i think sub Rossie keeper (a late replacement) misjudged the ball while Irwin who wasn’t given an inch first half ghosted in for the all important score. Plunkett then kicked a great winner

    As been said already the last six years the team that has beaten Roscommon at under 21 level has gone on to win the All Ireland i think Mayo will now make that seven as i think Roscommon were the biggest hurdle to jump as they were the best team Mayo minors played in 2013 and the Dublin,Tyrone U-21s now are not as strong as last year and i don’t think the best of Kerry U21s will be seen until next year.

  43. Congratulations to all involved. It’s not how you start it’s how you finish that matters always.

  44. To be fair to the Roscommon team they did stay on the pitch for the presentation I was sitting beside some Roscommon fans and they were very gracious in defeat I too am of the opinion you can’t beat Roscommon enough but credit where credit is due I heard some of their supporters wishing us luck in the semi final so overall they were very gracious in defeat

  45. Hello, At last the months of uncertainty will have a temporary end today. What i really like is the way Stephen Rochford has managed to give all the ‘Horan’ squad (apart from the injured Conry) me game time and at the same introduced so many others. There was no root and branch clearout. This team deserved that respect and hope they will be all smiling today.
    Also he did not rush the Castlebar players into the team but welcomed them back. Injuries helped in some ways.
    One can see the scene is set for great A v B games. Somehow Div 2 would take the gloss off.
    Rochford has experimented positionally and resisted dropping players.
    Many ofus have a jaundiced view of our favourites and unknowingly take others opinions as to what should happen and present it as our own careful analysis. This Management seem to gave good heads. A bit scatterbrained myself.
    Thanks to you all for the last few months. This Mayo team is special.

  46. Serious teams left in U21 While Dublin may not be as brilliant as some previous teams, their under age structure is such that they continually churn out seriously good players. Kerry , if they progress are sure to be excellent. Remember they have won the last two Minor AI Titles and the last 3 AI Colleges titles and we all know what they traditionally do in AI Finals. Should Tyrone emerge well all we need to say is They are Tyrone, current AI U21 Champions. excellent under age record who will use every and any trick in the book to gain success. Just ask Tipp U21s last year So a huge task ahead for us but we won the Mnor 3 years ago and we have beaten a really excellent Ross team so the stage is set for a great conclusion to this great competition. Still for the life of me cant understand why GAA are getting rid of it.

  47. A game that We should never have won.Rarely have I witnessed such a Mayo victory. If there were stars there last night they were mostly wearing yellow even down to An Uachtaran Mick Rock who demonstrated the art of presentation that provided a template for all.
    At sea ,out of sorts,letha
    rgic,second rate crossed my mind as I sat in Ros company as the drizzle seemed to conspire to beat us.Ros players were all over the place,first touch spot on,scoring unimpeded while our fellas sauntered along mishandling,slipping and sliding to what one felt must surely lead to a massacre.
    1-4 to 0-1 after a whirlwind opening brought us to the bizzaririst open goal miss I’ve ever seen …shades of L Sammom in Pearse Stadium 69 when he stumbled over the ball on the line and healed it out to safety…cept this was worse….had it chalked up..2-4 to 0-1 game over! However our saviiour for the night began to emerge in the form of L Irwin no 17……given in prog as C Reape. He produced a few marvels off the ground and together with a few close in frees from Loftus we stayed in touch but that was about it…it looked bad and sad!
    But there must be something about this team….same when they were minors. They can play football out of adversity and this they did last night in second half and in same drizzle. They never dominated as such but began to put bits and pieces together and compete for the first time. It became a tit for tat game for the rest of the evening with our players stepping up generally. Injury to C Compton no9 ….black card for S Mullolly no 3,bullit of a goal by saviour Irwin and a great timely point by Plunkett sealed this victory for us.On scoring the Mayo corner forward was seen immediately to hare down into the backs for an expected Ros attack which came but led to nothing.

    I have to say I felt for the Ros players as they stood forlorn in that same drizzle and listened to and watched as their v own Rossie administrator showed how it ought be done!
    I must also say that the win was nicely celebrated with fine food and wine in the heart of this grand town!

  48. Not sure that’s a compliment the management team want Ciaran, regarding the head.
    Great win, we’ve been on the receiving end of enough tough results to enjoy this one. The 2016 rising started on Easter Sunday in the Hyde and no counter manning order was given to the U21’s.

  49. The rosssies should walk with there tail between there legs . They simply couldn’t Finnish to save there lives. Mayo although somewhat lucky hung on in there and grounded it out in style. Fair play to all involved . Credit to Matthew Flanagan who kept us in it all night . Roll on the dubs .

  50. To note our full forward line plus Fergal Boland I think did all the scoring and winning of frees. We need to get the ball into them earlier so they are not facing seven defenders.

  51. Liam, it was a complment. Maybe i use the word ‘head’ wrongly. I just meant sensible.
    Anyway the consensus on Mid. West is that they will be issuing P. 45’s to some on the Panel and the future is the under 21’s team with the suggestion of the full forward line joining the panel.

    I am happy that the Management will have the best available players out. The pressure is off now andit will be easier to mak e the decisions.
    Rochford gave 35 players game time in the League according to himself.
    My comments were pre-match today.

  52. It was a sweet one. That is a good Rossie team and looked like they were going to do a job on us but as a previous poster said,this group of Mayo players don’t panic. We rode our luck a little and our goalkeeper made some top drawer saves. But the 2nd half the tide turned and you could see a shift in momemtum. I honestly though it had a draw written all over it but credit to Mayo for fashioning one last scoring chance and Plunkett nailed it. This team will get better in my opinion and will approach the semi final with confidence.

  53. Delighted with the result ,
    A Brillant team performance including manadgment,
    Especially happy for Liam Irwin because I know at first hand how hard he has worked the last 6 months

    Up Mayo

  54. I was reading in The Irish Examiner this morning that Kerry have not won a Munster Under 21 title since 2008 so I suppose it just shows that other counties have struggled at this grade as well.

    There was another interesting quote in that article from Jack O’Connor as well, he said:

    (We had home advantage the last two games and it didn’t make things any easier for us. Basically, what my message to the lads will be is that the crowd will only get excited and get behind you if you give them something to be excited about. We didn’t give them a lot to get excited about, particularly in the last game.)

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