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Galway manager Padraic Joyce rages at lack of protection for Shane Walsh; James Horan thrilled with Mayo comeback
Padraic Joyce and James Horan give their thoughts after the Connacht Senior Football Championship final at Croke Park, as Mayo defeated Galway 2-14 to 2-8 with a second-half comeback
Last Updated: 27/07/21 7:20am
Pádraic Joyce had no qualms about the end result in the Connacht final, as his Galway side failed to score from play in the second half, surrendering a five-point advantage in a 2-14 to 2-8 loss.
However, the two-time All-Ireland winner was deeply unhappy with the lack of protection his captain Shane Walsh received from the officials.
The full-forward sustained a shoulder injury in the first half, which hampered his performance and he failed to score after the break.
"He hurt his shoulder. he got dumped on the ground, thrown on the ground and nothing happened," Joyce complained.
"There are seven or eight officials there at the match. I'd seen what happened, but obviously they didn't see it. It's frustrating when that happens and they get away with it.
"I'd seen it happen. There are two linesmen, there are four umpires, there's a referee and there's an assistant referee. How someone can't see what happened is beyond me.
"But that's not sour grapes or anything. The man was hurt. He was carrying his shoulder, he got an injection at half-time trying to keep him going, keep him right. He battled on as best he could, but he definitely was not in full health in the second half."
The second-half collapse showed up some telling issues in this Galway team. Similar to their National League relegation defeat to Monaghan, the Tribesmen were unable to see out a game from a winning position.
Poor game management cost them dearly.
"You can call it what you like. You can blame me for not doing whatever, but at the end of the day, Mayo were the better team on the day. They overran us," Joyce lamented.
"We knew that coming up, that we'd have to play really, really well."
Year two of his reign ends in disappointment. But will he be back for a third?
"Yeah, well, I will assess it. I had a two-year term so I'll have to go and see do they want to keep me, or see do I want to stay," he explained.
"I'll have to check that out. Today is not the day for that. We're after losing a Connacht final to our bitter rivals. They were the better team on the day so we wish them well in three weeks' time when they play the Leinster champions."
Horan thrilled with Mayo comeback
For Mayo, another Croke Park showdown with Dublin beckons, should Dessie Farrell's charges account for Kildare in the Leinster final.
And the experience of winning championship silverware on Jones' Road will stand to the westerners.
"Absolutely," Mayo boss James Horan concurred.
"Every game you win is important. Winning finals are good.
"Really good, and I suppose winning the way we did with a middling first half and coming back strong.
"We were getting stronger and stronger as that game went on so it was great to win it that way as well."
Horan was delighted with how his team overturned the five-point half-time deficit.
"It was [a game of two halves]. But there wasn't any panic at half-time," he outlined.
"We had a lot of possession in the first half, we just wasted a lot of it, particularly up front. Final pass, some of the shots and options we took, we put ourselves under pressure. They got a goal off the post where we were asleep for the rebound, the second goal as well we had Shane covered but if you give him a bit of space he's gone so it was a poor goal to give away as well. We knew that we weren't a million miles off at half-time. We just sat down and went through a few things and made a few changes."
In particular, he noted the leadership shown by Aidan O'Shea.
"He's phenomenal. You saw his tackling out there. He targets key turnovers and turnovers are huge. He got a great one off Shane (Walsh) that created a goal chance for us," he said of the Breaffy man.
"He's very, very good at that and he drifts around the place. Very clever player. He did well in the first half. A couple of metres this way and there could have been a few goal chances from some of his passes. I think him going inside and spending some time inside at the start of the second-half definitely stretched Galway a bit more and gave us a bit more room to use our pace."