LEARNINGS Mayo ladies manager Michael Moyles. Pic: Conor McKeown
THE wide expanse of the LIT Gaelic Grounds stretched behind Michael Moyles as he tried to put words on Saturday’s National League semi-final defeat. Mayo had been well and truly beaten by the All-Ireland champions. Again.
It’s worth remembering that their last victory over the Metropolitans was back in March of 2017. Since then the Dubs have had the measure of Mayo.
“I don’t think the scoreline today will have a psychological impact on our group,” he began. “We left a lot of scores out there and conceded some very soft goals. “Dublin’s third goal was a fine move but apart from that we were disappointed with the others. The penalty was a marginal call too, so there are a lot of things that didn’t fall for us today. We learned a lot on and off the pitch and will use those lessons going forward.”
Very little went right for Mayo on Saturday. The sin-binning of star forward Rachel Kearns during the third quarter baffled many in the famous stadium and Moyles was no different.
“I can’t understand it. We were very disappointed with Rachel’s sin bin. We checked with the officials at half-time and she had no tick, then suddenly she had three ticks. There were a lot of things going on out there; players being checked off the ball and two of our players picked up very heavy injuries,” Moyles added before speaking about goals – the lack of them at one end and the concession of them at the other.
“We made chances but didn’t take them. Maybe we gave the blue jersey too much respect at times. When those chances came against Westmeath last week we put them away, but that didn’t happen today.
“The last few seasons, Mayo have been conceding too many goals and we’re working towards a system to improve that. I don’t think there’s any magic dust we can come up with to immediately change that. It will just take time.”
Time is something that Michael Moyles and his management team will make good use of in the coming days and weeks. The championship starts in just under one month’s time.
“Now that the league is over we’ve got a chance to spend some time together and prepare properly. Up to now, we’ve only been able to train on Wednesday nights because we were playing every weekend. Now, we will have a few weeks to prepare for championship and we’re all looking forward to that.
“Overall, we’ve had a very good league. We got the chance to give some very, very good young players game time and we’ve all learned a lot over the last few weeks,” he concluded.
Down along the sideline, Dublin’s boss, Mick Bohan, was holding court and speaking about his side’s impressive win.
“We were concerned beforehand about Mayo’s defensive structure after watching them against Galway and Donegal. They brought in some basketball expertise to help defensively but the big pitch here in Limerick helped us because it’s hard to implement that Mayo structure here.
“We’re delighted to have put up such a big score. It didn’t feel like there was so much between us because they left a lot of handy scores out there.”