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'They'll keep going for sure'...
Football

'They'll keep going for sure' | Horan reflects on another All-Ireland loss

Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

21:00 11 Sep 2021

For the second year in a row, James Horan and Mayo have come out on the wrong side of an All-Ireland Senior Football Championship final. 

2-14 to 0-15 was the final score at Croke Park as they lost to Tyrone.

The result means Tyrone have won the Sam Maguire for a fourth time.

It also means Mayo's wait goes into a 71st year and they have lost 11 finals [excluding replays] since 1989.

Speaking to OTB Sports at full-time Mayo manager James Horan said not only was the result tough to take but also that they didn't represent themselves fully.

"I'm disappointed obviously, disappointed that we didn't play like we can.

"We had chances, we just made too many mistakes so fair play to Tyrone, they deserved the win.

"I think we had a lot of turnovers in the first half, we gave the ball away very cheaply and that caused us to get a little bit flustered and we carried that into the second half.

"If we kept plugging away with the scores it might have got us a bit closer but it wasn't to be and Tyrone deserved their win."

Mayo came into this game unlike most other finals they contested - they were favourites.

After beating Dublin in the semi-final last month, many thought this was theirs to lose.

They were unable however to replicate that intensity that they showed against the Dubs four weeks ago.

When asked whether the length of the break had an impact Horan wasn't sure.

"It's hard to know, we started pretty well, we went two [points] up I think.

"I don't think the four weeks had a huge impact."

And so another long winter of dissecting and wondering what could have been begins in Mayo.

It's cruel but there is a real sense that if Ryan O'Donoghue had converted his penalty in the early stages of the second half this game could have had a very different outcome.

Horan says there are a number of angles to the game they can look at and feels the hunger to come back is there.

"We learn after every game, I keep saying this.

"We try and take the stuff that we need to out of every game and try and learn from it and we've done that all year.

"We've a huge turnover this year, lots of really good young players in there.

"We'll learn from this and move on.

"They love what they do and love playing football and just try and get better so we'll move forward."

For senior players on this squad like Lee Keegan, Aidan O'Shea and Kevin McLoughlin this is their fifth and sixth All-Ireland final loss.

One wonders how much more they can give, how many times can you actually go back and go again?

Horan paid tribute to their resilience and mentality after their game.

"It's disappointing.

"They are serious characters though and amazing guys and they'll keep going for sure."

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All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final James Horan Mayo GAA

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