Search Results for 'Conor Mortimer'
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Mayo manager James Horan has no fresh injury worries so far in the build up to Sunday week’s All Ireland semi-final against Dublin. Speaking to the media this week in the lead into the game the Ballintubber club man said: “No, not outside Andy [Moran], we’re in pretty good form, and training well. Ronan McGarrity has a sore calf muscle. But outside that we’re in good shape.”
I thought the Mayo team looked a little bit spooked last Sunday in Hyde Park and I really do not know why they appeared that way. Some might suggest that Conor Mortimer’s surprise departure from the squad placed a difficult burden on Mayo. I don’t believe it did. On the other hand I bumped into the Mayo manager in Castlebar last Saturday and could see he had the weary look of a man that had a belly-full of the Mortimer issue over the previous few days. I am sure he is sleeping a little more soundly since Sunday as his squad did just about enough to get over the line against a typically sticky Sligo challenge. As I stood to watch the presentation of the Nestor Cup, I engaged with a few Mayo supporters who were just as relieved that Mayo won the match. And I have to agree with their view which was that winning is the most important thing.
The distraction of Wednesday’s news that Conor Mortimer has decided to leave the Mayo senior panel is the last thing that Mayo manager James Horan will have wanted ahead of Sunday’s Connacht final showdown with Sligo in Hyde Park. Horan’s side had only just been announced by the county board online and through traditional methods a matter of hours when news broke of Mortimer’s decision to leave the panel, bringing the eye of the national and local media on Mayo ahead of Sunday for reasons other than what happens on the field. Mortimer being the second member of the panel to make themselves unavailable for Mayo in a matter of weeks, following Robert Hennelly’s decision leave the panel due to work commitments a few weeks ago.
On Wednesday the Mayo GAA rumour mill was at full steam with talk that Conor Mortimer had decided to leave the Mayo senior panel, only a matter of days before Sunday’s Connacht Final. The former Shrule-Glencorrib man, who along with being Mayo’s all time leading scorers, has been one of the most colourful and charismatic players to every wear the green and red for Mayo.
The big news of Conor Mortimer’s withdrawal from the Mayo squad earlier this week did not take me by surprise.
In recent decades there have been a number of inter-county teams that have made real eye catching progress. Dublin, Tyrone, Armagh, Kerry and Cork are the obvious selection in this regard and they, more than most, have brought a new dimension to the whole area of team sacrifice and all year round physical preparation. In fairness, Mayo football has also moved up a gear or two and if nothing else we are a team that few will ever take for granted. But I get the impression that we are just about hanging on to the coat tails of the top three or four teams in the country right now. On the evidence of the matches I have witnessed so far this year, I need some convincing from Sundays encounter with Leitrim that we deserve to be talked about in the same breath as Dublin, Cork and, believe it or not, Donegal. I watched the Ulster champions play Derry last Saturday and those of you who saw Derry’s inept performance will agree that they (Derry) are a team in serious decline. But it was the performance of Donegal that was the main talking point of the encounter. They played a terrific brand of open flowing football that suggests they have stepped up a level from last year. It should be a fascinating Ulster semi-final between themselves and Tyrone in a week’s time. But I am digressing!
In the 11 years since Mayo claimed their last national senior title, they have gone to Croke Park on four occasions in national finals only to return home empty handed and more often than not on the end of a bit of a beating. All Ireland finals in 2004 and 2006 along with league finals in 2007 and 2010 have all seen Mayo come up short on final day.
The Mayo footballers will have received a huge boost from last Sunday’s narrow victory over Kerry in the National League semi-final.