Sheridan praises hard work by Mayo

GAA: Connacht u20 Football Championship

Hard fought win: Mayo u20 manager Maurice Horan was happy with the showing of his side against Galway. Photo: Sportsfile

Hard fought win: Mayo u20 manager Maurice Horan was happy with the showing of his side against Galway. Photo: Sportsfile

It was some introduction to inter-county management for new Mayo u20 manager Maurice Sheridan on Tuesday night.

A game that went all the way to penalties, against the county he has made his home in and with a number of his former students doing their best to see his inter-county management career get off to a bad start.

The Balla native, was naturally a bit hoarse after encouraging his side from the sideline through 60 minutes of normal time, followed by extra time and then penalties - but he spoke afterwards about how pleased he was with the effort his side put in.

"Look, the lads they gave a very honest effort and it was the honest effort that we were after regardless of the result. Galway are a fantastic team, they were fantastic All Ireland champions, they won that final very well last year, they had a lot of the panel again this year - I know a lot of them through NUIG, my club in Salthill and my school in Claregalway.

"There was a couple of my past pupils playing, they were fantastic champions and there was nothing between us. It was an unfortunate end to the game I thought last year, it shouldn't have gone to penalties and the same again this evening, but it is what it is, but we are delighted to come out on the right side of it. It is not a Connacht final or anything, so we move on to next game."

Conceding a penalty right at the start of extra-time was not ideal for Mayo, but they bounced back and Sheridan was pleased with how they did it: "We did, I didn't see the penalty right, I think it was a half-blocked ball and Tomo got pulled down maybe or something, look Galway are a fantastic team we had to organise ourselves in a way to play against them, but it is all about the work rate from the lads really, they had it in spades this evening."

It took both sides a while to get going on Tuesday night, but Sheridan believes there were a number of factors for that. "It was, they are only young men. The majority of them are still in school, it is not like the u21 grade the majority are a year older, it was a nervous start - but they hadn't played a competitive match, we played a few challenges so it is not the same, it is the championship game and anything can happen as you saw and I am just delighted the boys worked exceptionally hard."


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