Another Sunday and another chance for James Horan to see how far his project as Mayo manager has progressed. This time a trip to the capital awaits Mayo and their supporters against the form team of this year’s National Football League in GAA headquarters is on the menu. The Dubs’ have won four out of four in this years league term and look to be in flying form.
Their latest victory came last Sunday when they dogged it out against Monaghan to grind out a narrow victory. Mayo meanwhile continued their yo yo campaign going down by three points to Armagh in a windswept McHale Park , in a game they let slip away from them at the end after doggedly fighting their way back into it.
After the game James Horan recognised the fact that his side left themselves a lot of work to do from early on and even after they had pulled themselves back into they let it go by them. “ We started off poor again, lost a goal after a couple of seconds, but we managed to come back into the game in the second of the half. But we lost control again, I think it was a ball we had control of in the middle of the field and we started messing around with. We let it go and they went down and got a score that we couldn’t recover from again. It was disappointing in that regard.” When he was asked about the poor starts that Mayo have been making this year Horan said that they are working hard to find a solution to it. “ I don’t know if it’s (not being ) tuned in, we talked about it a lot it’s happening for what ever reason, but were trying to change things in every game we come out, we’re trying to address it. We haven’t fixed it yet, but we’ll keep working at it.”
The Ballintubber club man though took some positives from the encounter as he learns about his side and they learn about themselves as the league progresses. “We were pushed around a little bit which was is not pleasing, but look at it, we’ll take it on the chin and we’ll definitely learn from it. Armagh were slowing it down after I’d say 30 seconds of the second half. The ref let them away with that so there is nothing you can do with that. There’s a few lads Ruaidhri O’Connor came on and did well, Jason Doherty we know he’s dangerous when he gets the ball in there. But we’ll have a look at the game and settle down and train hard on Tuesday and Thursday and get ready for Dublin next weekend. That’s something to look forward to.”
Having to face the Dubs’ who have lit the touch paper early this season, Horan knows it’s going to be a tough game, but so are the ones against Cork and Monaghan which come after it. “It’ll be a tough game and a tough game the week after that and the week after that as well, there all tough games. But that’s the way you want them too. We’re learning, we definitely learned a lot today, there was a lot of runners that came through from midfield. Charlie Vernon did a lot of damage on us today, he was going early and we didn’t follow him and it caused a lot of hassle. Their number seven (Paul Duffy ) did a lot of damage to us as well. It’s things like that we learn from and make sure that we tighten up at the back a little bit. We gave away two very, very soft goals. The second goal was someone just didn’t track a runner and was yards off his man and things like that don’t help.”
Mayo currently sit in sixth place in the eight-team division and a win on Sunday would go a long way to ensuring their survival in Division one for next season, but with Dublin in fine form already, it will be a tough test for Horan and his foot soldiers on Sunday.
Club Mayo Dublin host fund-raising pre match lunch
Before Sunday’s game against the metropolitans, Club Mayo Dublin, will host a pre game fund-raising lunch in the Hogan Suite of Croke Park. The lunch will be attended by former All Ireland winning captain and six time All Star, Peter Canavan who will be the guest speaker at the lunch. It will start in the Hogan Suite at 11.30am, tickets are priced at €25 for adults and €10 for children. Tickets for entry to the game must be purchased separately from the normal sources.
Entrance to the event is via, the corporate/premium entry gate at the Hogan Stand. If you are in possession of your match ticket for any of the seats in Croke Park, access to the seat will be facilitated, however it is important to note that access to the Nally Terrace or Hill 16 areas of the stadium can’t be facilitated.
All the proceeds from this event will go towards the Mayo GAA training fund. Tickets can be purchased in advance by emailing [email protected]. Or by getting in contact with any of the executive members who are: Noel Howley 0872539996, Mary King 086 2569770, Michael Conlon 086 3543227, Pearse Culkin 086 2554638, Regina Duffy 087 9823297, Dáire Eagney 087 2941454 or Gerry Kelly on 286 2409736.