Search Results for 'Kevin McLoughlin'
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The waiting and the wondering came to an end on Monday morning, when Mayo were pulled out of the bowl alongside Down, in the draw for the second round of the All Ireland Senior Football Championship qualifiers.
They came in their thousands and thousands across the Atlantic. Flights from New York, Shannon and wherever else possible carried the faithful in their droves.
The rain poured, the wind blew a gale and the Rossies went home with the bacon.
Just before I was about to hit send on last week's column I deleted one of the opening lines 'Beware- this game is fraught with danger'.
Winning the national league title at the end of March is not the end goal for the Mayo team - as the next step on its journey gets under way next Sunday - in as far flung a championship location as you can get - in Gaelic Park, in the Bronx, in New York. Rather, continuing to build and develop the fundamentals they worked on during the league over the summer - is what James Horan is looking to see over the next few months.
Days like this don’t come around too often and when they do it is something to be savoured and the thousands of Mayo supporters who made yet another pilgrimage to Croke Park made drank up every moment of this one after the final whistle.
Mayo's strong offensive showing where Kevin McLoughlin and Fergal Boland excelled in the final round of the league against Monaghan, was enough to secure a final showdown with Kerry after Mickey Harte's Tyrone did us a huge favour in Omagh, turning a seven point deficit against Galway into a seven point win.
Heading to Croke Park to face Kerry used to be the thing that would fill Mayo supporters with a sense of dread in their stomachs - but since James Horan's first stint in charge of the Mayo team, things have swung in Mayo's favour.
Mayo knew that things had to go in their favour elsewhere if they were to make next Sunday’s league final – but they still had to take care of business themselves to make sure they were still in with a shout of a place in the final.
Before Saturday's league clash with Kerry, James Horan told RTE sport that he was looking for improvements on his team's performances against Galway and Dublin; that he wasn't looking for a “response” to the poor displays, just improvements on the positives from the previous two outings.