Search Results for 'Stephen O Neill'
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You can’t beat experience or class. Despite the flamboyance and arrogance of youth, the old experienced warhorse who’s been there, done that, invariably realises that something clever is required if his team is going to prevail. And so it was last Sunday with Charlestown edging past Castlebar, just when some might have felt a shock was on the cards. In Crossmolina’s case in our semi-final defeat to Knockmore it looked as though we had too much experience and not enough youthful exuberance. Last Sunday Castlebar had plenty of youthful energy around the field, but when the game was there to be won, Charlestown had that little bit of guile and know-how to close out the deal. With all their experience they knew how to win this game and advance to yet another county final.
During my first year in charge of Mayo in 1995/6 it was decided that we should take that year’s national league campaign seriously. We were playing in Division 3 at the time and I can assure you we had some right battles up and down the country squeezing narrow victories over some mediocre opposition in order to secure promotion. We made the play offs and managed to take a major scalp in the quarter final with a great victory over Meath in Hyde Park, Roscommon. We went to Croke Park to play Derry in the semi-final and were comprehensively beaten by what was then an exceptionally talented Derry side. In fact we decided before we left Dublin after that defeat that we would work our socks off for a few weeks and look for another game against the same opposition in order to benchmark and progress.
As Mayo footballer supporters, one of our most important assets down through the years is our optimism. With all of the news about corporate bail outs, bank rescues, layoffs, falling stock prices, and businesses going belly up, I have to admit that it is hard to stay positive at times. We are really fed up with reading bad news, and listening to the prophets of doom. And so, I was eagerly looking forward to the start of the National Football League and some good quality football in order to see a few smiling faces for the first time in ages. I arrived in Ballina in good time and was met at the showground entrance by the ever so jovial Barry McLaughlin, who was doing his bit for the local club by managing traffic flow at that end of the ground.