John Maughan cut a happy man not long after the full time whistle had blown in MacHale Park on Sunday - his Lahardane side had overcome conceding two sloppy first half goals and trailing by four points at the short whistle to run out comprehensive winners against Ballymote.
Mauaghan can now add the Connacht junior club championship to provincial championship wins at inter-county level with Mayo and Clare, along with u21 provincial success with Mayo and senior club provincial glory with Crossmolina to his resume.
How did he end up in Lahardane, a side not too many fancied to trouble the Mayo junior championship this year, let alone at Connacht level. The answer is the same one that is often thrown up when it comes to the GAA - family. “You know you're my lineage, on my mother side is in the club. It’s an hounur to be asked to coach a team - any team in any club. I refused initially to be involved, I’d been involved with underage sides in Castlebar, but my brother is chairman and he kept asking and they could get no-one and out of loyalty to him and the respect I have for the village and I know a lot of people there and knew that the players were talented and it’s been great.
“One of my first memories is watching Lahardane play in a north Mayo final against Crossmolina and great lads and the club is not that old, and on a day like today you think of those who fostered and kept the club alive and all that kind of stuff and they deserve it ,there is great excitement in the village.”
The bye-in from the village and surrounding areas is something has been brilliant says Maughan. “Look if your managing a team and your losing at any level it’s a lonely place to be, but when you’re winning it’s great fun and craic and there’ll be great night down the village tonight and everyone has bought in and the support here today has been great.”
Asked as to where does this win sit, with the many victories he’s been involved in previously, it has a very familiar feeling to another fairytale ending he was involved in right at the start of his management career he said, “I think about Clare in 1992, with Seamus Clancy and he was up in my house a few days ago and we were talking about it. Winning a Munster title against Kerry in 1992 it was a bit of a fairytale. I had some great days with Mayo - unfortunately never got one the big one with them. But this kinda reminds me about Clare; I spent four years down there with them it’s similar - they’re honest lads no ego, just honest to goodness lads who love their football and get on with it and we’re lucky enough and privileged enough to have landed two big medals this year and it’s great.”