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Friday night lights for FBD League Final

Sport
Friday night lights for FBD decider


Mike Finnerty

THE FBD Connacht League Final between Mayo and NUI, Galway looks likely to be played on Friday week next under floodlights in either Castlebar or Ballinrobe.
Connacht GAA Council Secretary, John Prenty, confirmed to The Mayo News last night that NUI, Galway had submitted a request to the provincial council requesting that the game be played on Friday, January 27 as they are in Sigerson Cup action on Tuesday, January 31.
The game is likely to be played at either McHale Park, Castlebar or Flanagan Park, Ballinrobe.
Meanwhile, getting off to consistently good starts, maintaining their work-rate, and improving their support play are three of the main areas that Mayo are concentrating on in the FBD Connacht League this month, according to James Horan.
Speaking after last Sunday’s facile win over GMIT, which propelled Mayo back to another final of this competition, the Mayo manager admitted that he had mixed emotions about his team’s overall performance.
“We started the game very well which is an important thing for us based on last year,” he said. “We’re focusing on that quite a lot.
“But when we got four or five points up we definitely eased off the throttle a little bit which is disappointing. But when we do move the ball early we’re dangerous.
“The second half was very disappointing. We stood off our men and let them back into the game a little bit. Overall, plenty to be encouraged about but plenty to work on as well.”
New Mayo trainer, Cian O’Neill, has been putting the county squad through their paces at the new Connacht GAA Council Centre of Excellence 3G pitch in Bekan in recent weeks.
James Horan conceded that switching from that synthetic surface to the more realistic surrounds of Ballinrobe last Sunday may have been a factor in his team’s sluggish second half display.
“There was a fifteen minute period in the second half when we went very, very flat,” he offered.
“We were attacking on five different occasions, we gave the ball away five times, and they got a couple of scores. We needed to change it during that period, someone needed to win a free or alter the game a little.”
In terms of individual performances, the Mayo boss singled out one experienced campaigner, three debutants, and a history-maker for special mention.
“There were some very strong performances. For me, Kevin McLoughlin was the stand-out player on the pitch. He links an awful lot of what we do.
“Even Regan showed very well, Michael Walsh was very tough, he’s a solid defender, and Conor O’Shea came in and worked hard.
“Danny Kirby, obviously, did very well and has an eye for goal.”