“There’s nothing won yet!” said Christy Phillips this week to the Mayo Advertiser after we congratulated him on his team’s win over Wicklow in the quarter-final of the Christy Ring Cup.
Mayo’s four point win over the Garden County was the work of everyone from number one to 24 the manager said, but he did signal out David Kenny for special praise. “Look at young David Kenny, he went in there and did a outstanding job on Andy O’Brien and kept him scoreless, the same player took 3-10 off us last year. That’s the kind of performances we need to see in big games like this.”
After the initial jubilation following the final whistle, everything got back down to earth pretty quickly according to Phillips. “We were delighted after the game, how could you not be. But we were in a huddle afterwards on the field and it was brought back to reality in there. Keith Higgins spoke in the middle of it and reminded the lads, there’s nothing won yet, but we have the belief that we can go on and do it. It’s such a pity that we won’t have him available on Saturday for the game. But everyone has bought in and believed in this team and will give their all on Saturday.”
Kerry come calling on Saturday, the Kingdom have been the standard bearers in this competition for the past number of years and Phillips knows it is going to be a massive challenge for his team, but one that he is fully confident they can take head on. “Look, we’ve been written off by a lot of people all year, we were told Armagh will beat ye, then Meath were going to put 10 or 12 points on us. But we got through and even last week we were written off by the bookies, but this group of lads believe in themselves and that’s the most important thing. You can train a team as well as you want, but if they don’t believe in themselves you’re not going anywhere and these lads have that belief.”
Phillips’ is urging all Mayo supporters to come out and give the team their backing on Saturday at 1pm for the semi-final. “Look, we’re all GAA people, we go to the football games. This isn’t a hurling team, it’s the Mayo the county team. These lads are representing Mayo in an All Ireland semi-final, that’s everyone in the county, and they do deserve the support from the people. It’s a great achievement, I don’t care if it’s A, B, or C level, they put in the work and deserve the support and the credit.”
Throw in tomorrow is at 1pm in Elverys MacHale Park.