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Joyce rues 'unforgivable' mist...
Football

Joyce rues 'unforgivable' mistakes as Galway come up short

Padraic Joyce lamented the 'unforgivable' mistakes his side made in a narrow Connacht final loss to old rivals Mayo at Pearse Stadium. 

The Tribesmen finished on the wrong side of a 0-14 to 0-13 scoreline, and the manner of defeat was most disappointing for the former All-Star.

Galway kicked 13 points, a tally the Killererin club man said is 'not good enough to win a provincial title, or any match'.

Coming into the game in the unusual position of having had no competitive championship action, Joyce was in no mood to make excuses.

"I'm not going into that," he told reporters after the game as to whether their lack of match preparation was a factor.

"We trained hard ourselves the last two weeks ourselves, the mistakes we made there today were just unforgivable from our point of view that, Mayo scored eight points in the first half, we made six handling errors giving the ball away for six of those eight scores. The lads battled hard, our game plan worked to a tee, but we just didn't execute the clinical edge at the end.

"We've only ourselves to blame, there's no point us looking for excuses, we'll take it on the chin. Mayo deserve credit, it's their fifth week in a row playing, they go on and represent Connacht and they'll do well going forward."

Although Galway had shown major promise in the early part of 2020, playing a delightful brand of attacking football, the suspension of activities brought about a downturn in their results. They lost all three of their matches since the restart - twice against Mayo, the other against All-Ireland champions Dublin.

"There's nothing we can do, it's knockout football, we'll learn huge lessons from it, the lads themselves will look at their performances and reevaluate what they're at and what they're at going forward. I'm proud of them, I'm proud to be their manager, but some of the mistakes there today, I don't know where they came from and I don't know how we didn't hold possession a lot of times, there's nothing we can say about it."

The Galway boss was also left frustrated by the performance of referee Sean Hurson.

"A lot of things annoyed me," Joyce observed after full-time.

"There was a time at the end, Liam Silke, there was definitely a man lying on his back fourteen yards from goal and I don't know how he didn't give a free for that. There was a time here at the back when Diarmuid O'Connor came in to nail one of our lads, he went down, the referee stopped the play, we had the ball gone to Mike Daly who was 40 yards free could have got a score the far side. A lot of decisions were baffling today, to be honest."

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