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County men return to clubs

Sean Rice
Mark Ronaldson and Eanna Casey
THE HEAT OF BATTLE Shrule's Mark Ronaldson and Ballina's Eanna Casey refuse to concede an inch during last weekend's Mayo SFC quarter-final.

County men return to clubs


THE disappointment is being tucked to the back of the memory. The mortifying moments in the immediate aftermath of defeat have passed, and a little more objectivity is filtering through the inevitable inquests. Complaints about Mayo’s refusal to celebrate an official homecoming have been expressed by many faithful followers to whose children the players are still heroes, still big names etched deep in their memories despite the manner of the defeat. It has been said that the team owed it to their young followers to make an appearance when they arrived in Castlebar on a wet and windy evening. Several hundred people assembled outside the hotel to greet the party but the players had no stomach for such a welcome. They would have regarded the reception, however enthusiastic, as no more than an extension of the wake of the previous evening. Their feelings were understandable, having lost so heavily to Kerry. Genuine supporters would have wished to acclaim their achievements in reaching another final and for providing them with so many enjoyable moments on the journey.
But the players felt any homecoming celebration would have been unearned. The greater wish was to mourn alone, to be alone with their heartbreak, their remorse, their non fulfilment. To bleed together.
Most of them will now have turned their thoughts to the local championship, and already a few have grabbed the headlines with their club performances...none better than David Brady in his new role as full-forward in Ballina’s victory over Shrule/Glencorrib on Saturday evening.
Brady, who announced his retirement following Mayo’s defeat by Kerry, brought a new dimension to Ballina’s overall performance. Tommy Lyons’ decision to instal Brady at full-forward was a masterstroke, and the manner in which he orchestrated play up front was the talking point of the result.
All of the forwards benefited from his knockdowns, his passing and his strength, and while we must wait for Ballina’s clash with Crossmolina in the semi-final before reaching a final judgement, Brady’s new position following his performance at full-back against Kerry is evidence of his versatility.
A similar display in the semi-final might tempt Mickey Moran - if he is still at the helm - to lure Brady back from retirement in order to bring badly needed muscle and no little skill to that role for the county.
On Sunday Aidan Kilcoyne distinguished himself in Knockmore’s victory over Kiltane. Listed at right half-forward, Kilcoyne took over on his favourite left wing and was the outstanding forward on view. He has benefited from his time with Mickey Moran, has begun to believe in his football, and was at the heart of most of Knockmore’s scores.
Nor was there any residue of despair emanating from Ciaran McDonald. It may not have been one of his eminent visits to Croke Park, but the manner in which he bounced back with Crossmolina on Sunday to destroy Castlebar Mitchels left no one in doubt about the inherent qualities that still flow from his feet.
McDonald led Crossmolina with a powerhouse performance, and by the time they
replaced him, at the interval, Castlebar had been demolished. There was no way back for them in the second half. McDonald had set the example and the rest of the team took up where he left on.
The manner in which they collapsed is indicative of a serious decline in football in the county’s capital. Not long back in senior football following a chastening spell in the intermediate ranks, the Mitchels are tumbling back into recession, and unless some serious thought is put into the club many a long day will pass before the Moclair Cup adorns a Mitchels’ sideboard.


Mickey’s future and Rossie’s win

NO word yet about the future of Mickey Moran and John Morrison. No confirmation that they have been, or are to be, appointed for a second term at the helm. Morrison made his desire clear in his speech at the banquet in City West following the all-Ireland final. He wanted another term. All through their tenure this past season Mickey Moran has waxed lyrical about the quality of the players in his charge. There was something different about Mayo footballers, a graciousness he had not experienced in other counties. It was a pleasure to work with them, he said. His friends were now in Mayo. The two men together with Kieran Gallagher, the forgotten man of the management team, have done a splendid job in nurturing Mayo to an All-Ireland final. It was not their target in the first year of their reign. A Connacht final was the most they could have hoped for. To have reached the All-Ireland final was surely a bonus. But having got there they, like all the management teams that have gone before them, must have been disconcerted at the manner in which Mayo collapsed. They will have been wondering whether they could have the players better prepared, whether there was something they overlooked and how they might remedy the problems in another term.
In the face of possible resignations, Mickey Moran will be looking to the triumphant under 21 side for replacements. Against all the odds they achieved remarkable success this season, but the significance of their victory was almost lost in the wake of the senior advancement.
Keith Higgins and Aidan Kilcoyne have successfully adapted to senior football. Trevor Howley Barry Moran and Michael Conroy were among the subs, evidence that Mickey Moran did not lose any time in cashing in on the belief created in those young men by winning the under 21 title.
Management may turn to that reservoir to meet their requirements, but Moran and Morrison must know how much more difficult it is going to be to motivate a winning side for next year’s competition . . . if the two are reappointed.

WE in Mayo are awash in self-pity when we lose an All-Ireland final, but how deeper has been the pit of despair in Roscommon whose team have not reached a final in decades. The first indication of a new awakening among the Rossies was witnessed on Saturday with the success of their minors in the replay of the All-Ireland minor final at Ennis. And how pleasant it was to be able to congratulate Donie Duignan when he walked into our local on Saturday evening proudly brandishing the buí is gorm of his native county ...and a smile as wide as the Shannon. The garda sergeant, a noted player in his own day, has had every reason to be despondent over the years. But on Saturday he could not conceal - nor indeed would he want to - his rapture at the success of the county’s minors.
It was a magnificent achievement. The team which Fergal O’Donnell assembled for the championship had been outsiders in most of their games through Connacht and right up to the All-Ireland final. They had not won the title for fifty-five years, and thus were never treated as serious opposition.
But O’Donnell convinced them of their abilities. In no game did they play as inferiors, and when they took on the mighty kingdom at Ennis for the replay theirs was a stunning performance of skill and conviction, a beautiful victory carved from heart and passion.
Their win ought to inspire the county to greater endeavour. Their is hope for the future in that victory. Connacht needs Roscommon football back in full health. May this prove the beginning of new ambition and a new football force in the province.

THE sympathy of this column is offered to Eamon and Barbara Mongey of Monkstown on the death of their son David which took place at St Vincent’s Private Hospital in Dublin. David, who was 46, had been ill for some time and he died on the eve of the All-Ireland final in which Mayo were playing Kerry . . . fifty-five years after his father won the second of his two All-Ireland championships with Mayo. David, a keen golfer, was an accountant and worked in Brussels for some time before returning to Dublin. He is survived by his parents, and by his sisters Anne-Barbara and Ruth, by his brother Peter, brother-in-law Peter and by his nephews Darragh, Kealan and Sam. Among the concelebrants of Mass were Fr Peter Quinn, a member of the 1951 All-Ireland winning team, Fr Leo Morahan, former chairman of Mayo GAA Board, and Fr Gerry French, a native of Claremorris.

Comments to seanrice@mayonews.ie
But the players felt any homecoming celebration would have been unearned. The greater wish was to mourn alone, to be alone with their heartbreak, their remorse, their non fulfilment. To bleed together.
Most of them will now have turned their thoughts to the local championship, and already a few have grabbed the headlines with their club performances...none better than David Brady in his new role as full-forward in Ballina’s victory over Shrule/Glencorrib on Saturday evening.
Brady, who announced his retirement following Mayo’s defeat by Kerry, brought a new dimension to Ballina’s overall performance. Tommy Lyons’ decision to instal Brady at full-forward was a masterstroke, and the manner in which he orchestrated play up front was the talking point of the result.
All of the forwards benefited from his knockdowns, his passing and his strength, and while we must wait for Ballina’s clash with Crossmolina in the semi-final before reaching a final judgement, Brady’s new position following his performance at full-back against Kerry is evidence of his versatility.
A similar display in the semi-final might tempt Mickey Moran - if he is still at the helm - to lure Brady back from retirement in order to bring badly needed muscle and no little skill to that role for the county.
On Sunday Aidan Kilcoyne distinguished himself in Knockmore’s victory over Kiltane. Listed at right half-forward, Kilcoyne took over on his favourite left wing and was the outstanding forward on view. He has benefited from his time with Mickey Moran, has begun to believe in his football, and was at the heart of most of Knockmore’s scores.
Nor was there any residue of despair emanating from Ciaran McDonald. It may not have been one of his eminent visits to Croke Park, but the manner in which he bounced back with Crossmolina on Sunday to destroy Castlebar Mitchels left no one in doubt about the inherent qualities that still flow from his feet.
McDonald led Crossmolina with a powerhouse performance, and by the time they
replaced him, at the interval, Castlebar had been demolished. There was no way back for them in the second half. McDonald had set the example and the rest of the team took up where he left on.
The manner in which they collapsed is indicative of a serious decline in football in the county’s capital. Not long back in senior football following a chastening spell in the intermediate ranks, the Mitchels are tumbling back into recession, and unless some serious thought is put into the club many a long day will pass before the Moclair Cup adorns a Mitchels’ sideboard.


Mickey’s future and Rossie’s win

NO word yet about the future of Mickey Moran and John Morrison. No confirmation that they have been, or are to be, appointed for a second term at the helm. Morrison made his desire clear in his speech at the banquet in City West following the all-Ireland final. He wanted another term. All through their tenure this past season Mickey Moran has waxed lyrical about the quality of the players in his charge. There was something different about Mayo footballers, a graciousness he had not experienced in other counties. It was a pleasure to work with them, he said. His friends were now in Mayo. The two men together with Kieran Gallagher, the forgotten man of the management team, have done a splendid job in nurturing Mayo to an All-Ireland final. It was not their target in the first year of their reign. A Connacht final was the most they could have hoped for. To have reached the All-Ireland final was surely a bonus. But having got there they, like all the management teams that have gone before them, must have been disconcerted at the manner in which Mayo collapsed. They will have been wondering whether they could have the players better prepared, whether there was something they overlooked and how they might remedy the problems in another term.
In the face of possible resignations, Mickey Moran will be looking to the triumphant under 21 side for replacements. Against all the odds they achieved remarkable success this season, but the significance of their victory was almost lost in the wake of the senior advancement.
Keith Higgins and Aidan Kilcoyne have successfully adapted to senior football. Trevor Howley Barry Moran and Michael Conroy were among the subs, evidence that Mickey Moran did not lose any time in cashing in on the belief created in those young men by winning the under 21 title.
Management may turn to that reservoir to meet their requirements, but Moran and Morrison must know how much more difficult it is going to be to motivate a winning side for next year’s competition . . . if the two are reappointed.

WE in Mayo are awash in self-pity when we lose an All-Ireland final, but how deeper has been the pit of despair in Roscommon whose team have not reached a final in decades. The first indication of a new awakening among the Rossies was witnessed on Saturday with the success of their minors in the replay of the All-Ireland minor final at Ennis. And how pleasant it was to be able to congratulate Donie Duignan when he walked into our local on Saturday evening proudly brandishing the buí is gorm of his native county ...and a smile as wide as the Shannon. The garda sergeant, a noted player in his own day, has had every reason to be despondent over the years. But on Saturday he could not conceal - nor indeed would he want to - his rapture at the success of the county’s minors.
It was a magnificent achievement. The team which Fergal O’Donnell assembled for the championship had been outsiders in most of their games through Connacht and right up to the All-Ireland final. They had not won the title for fifty-five years, and thus were never treated as serious opposition.
But O’Donnell convinced them of their abilities. In no game did they play as inferiors, and when they took on the mighty kingdom at Ennis for the replay theirs was a stunning performance of skill and conviction, a beautiful victory carved from heart and passion.
Their win ought to inspire the county to greater endeavour. Their is hope for the future in that victory. Connacht needs Roscommon football back in full health. May this prove the beginning of new ambition and a new football force in the province.

THE sympathy of this column is offered to Eamon and Barbara Mongey of Monkstown on the death of their son David which took place at St Vincent’s Private Hospital in Dublin. David, who was 46, had been ill for some time and he died on the eve of the All-Ireland final in which Mayo were playing Kerry . . . fifty-five years after his father won the second of his two All-Ireland championships with Mayo. David, a keen golfer, was an accountant and worked in Brussels for some time before returning to Dublin. He is survived by his parents, and by his sisters Anne-Barbara and Ruth, by his brother Peter, brother-in-law Peter and by his nephews Darragh, Kealan and Sam. Among the concelebrants of Mass were Fr Peter Quinn, a member of the 1951 All-Ireland winning team, Fr Leo Morahan, former chairman of Mayo GAA Board, and Fr Gerry French, a native of Claremorris.

Comments to seanrice@mayonews.ie

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