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Mayo crew win their second All-Britain title in a row

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MAYO’S MEN The Mayo contingent who represented Dunedin Connollys of Edinburgh in the All-Britain JFC Final, pictured back, from left: Brendan Parsons (Charlestown), Frank Molloy (Moy Davitts), Daniel Loftus (Ballintubber). Front, from left: Damien Keane (Westport), Seán Malee (Kiltimagh), Conor Horan (Swinford).

Feature
Ger Flanagan

AFTER Lahardane’s famous victory in MacHale Park on Sunday booked their spot in the All-Ireland semi-finals of the Junior championship, they may very well be joined by six fellow Mayo men exiled overseas in the new year.
Conor Horan (Swinford), Brendan Parsons (Charlestown), Seán Malee (Kiltimagh), Frank Molloy (Moy Davitts), Damien Keane (Westport) and Daniel Loftus (Ballintubber) helped their adopted club, Dunedin Connollys of Edinburgh, to their second All-Britain JFC title in a row with a 1-17 to 1-12 victory over Seán McDermotts of Birmingham on Sunday to set-up an All-Ireland JFC quarter-final on the weekend of December 10.
Speaking to The Mayo News, former Mayo minor, Conor Horan, says it was a joy to be playing alongside his fellow county men.
“It’s unbelievable winning beside all the Mayo lads here,” the 24-year-old told The Mayo News. “Especially with the likes of Brendan [Parsons], who I have known since underage, Seán Malee was our physio when I was with the Mayo minors, so I knew them when I was coming over.
“Then you have Damien Keane from Westport, obviously a serious player, Danny Loftus from Ballintubber and of course Frank Molly, who is literally ‘King’ over here in Edinburgh – 40-years-old and still kicking out the lights in every game!”
Last year, the Scottish champions went all to the way to the All-Ireland club JFC semi-final, but were defeated by Rock St Patrick’s of Tyrone. And Horan says that learning curve is something they hope will stand to them this time around.
“We were lucky that we got Rosenallis from Laois at home in the quarter-final, it was a huge plus for us and we managed to turn them over on the day,” he said. “Then we went up against Rocks from Tyrone who were very strong.
“We know we have a lot of players with ability, but definitely their physicality and intensity was too much for us in the end and it was a huge lesson for us really, because it was like nothing we played before, so hopefully this year it will stand to us.”
All six Mayo men are currently loving life in Edinburgh and enjoying their football since they moved to the other side of the Irish Sea. Although Horan admitted it can be difficult at times to keep a team together, this current bunch of lads are all striving for that one goal.
“We finished at the end of last year and we decided to go back early, so we did an S&C programme in March,” he said. “The difficult part is that you could go six or eight weeks without a game because there is only three teams in the Scottish championship.
“So trying to keep lads together can be tough. Edinburgh is a vibrant city and there is lots going on. We had lots of lads that are teachers so we lose a lot during the Summer, but we are lucky that the bunch we have are very driven.”
Next up for Dunedin Connollys is an All-Ireland quarter-final against the winners of the Ulster final, and Horan warns that they will approach the game with nothing to lose.
“Not that we are confident, but we feel after last year … that we belong at that level,” he said. “We are not going to be an easy team for anyone to play. We have nothing to lose, and we will give it everything.”

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