GAA News from Ireland: Cork trumps Mayo in National Football League final
Cork ran out easy eight point winners (1-17 to 0-20) of Sunday’s National Football League final against Mayo at Croke Park, but winning manager Conor Counihan refused to read anything into the result afterwards.
Mayo failed once again to shine at headquarters, and Counihan saw that as a major factor in his team’s victory.
He insisted, “The reality is Mayo were not at their best. If they were you could take an awful lot more out of the performance, the fact that they weren’t takes from it.
“We have work to do. How many league winners have won an All-Ireland? The reality is that teams that win the league invariably don’t perform in the All-Ireland.
“Now I’m not saying we are going to do that. But we need our players to play more consistently well in the championship. We have had periods in games where we have dropped out and let teams back into it so we have an awful lot of work to do. We wouldn’t be under any illusions there.”
Mayo boss John O’Mahony tried to put a positive spin on the defeat and said, “We’ll put our hands up for today’s performance but they won’t put their hands up for the last 40 or 50 years of performances here.
“That’s the fairness of it. Looking at it, it wasn’t an intense game. It didn’t have the championship fervor about it but I’d have to say the better team won. Cork were able to up it at most stages when it was crucial.”
Forward Alan Dillon admitted afterwards that Mayo simply failed to perform yet again at Croke Park, but still tried to take consolation from the league efforts.
“I think the whole way the league ended is disappointing but on that game itself you can’t write off the whole league as being a total negative,” said Dillon
“We played some good football. At the end of the day it’s Sligo in the championship in five weeks’ time that we are looking towards.”
Cork meanwhile expect John Miskella to resume training in the next few weeks after a groin injury kept him out of Sunday’s game.
ARMAGH boss Paddy O’Rourke masterminded his team’s NFL Division Two win (0-17 to 1-12) over his native Down at Croke Park on Sunday, but took little personal satisfaction from the result.
The All-Ireland winner with Down admitted, “I would always have mixed emotions when Down are the opposition. I didn’t get any pleasure in going into the Down dressing room and seeing young fellas I have managed at Under 21 and senior level and it doesn’t do me any good to go in and see them with their heads down.
“As I said to them, today wasn’t really about a Division Two title, it was about two teams getting ready for the championship.”
All-Star Ronan Clarke missed the Armagh win on Sunday with an ankle injury and is now a doubt for the Ulster SFC clash with Derry in two weeks.
Captain Ambrose Rogers and Daniel McCartan are both now doubtful for Down’s Ulster SFC clash with Donegal on May 30th.
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