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Tuesday 31 January 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Morgan Treacy/INPHO Horan's Mayo will have another crack at Kerry this Saturday.
# Ferocious Fightback
James Horan: We can take a lot from our second half domination
Horan was pleased by Mayo’s aggressive second half display.

MAYO MIGHT HAVE struggled mightily for parts of today’s draw against Kerry but James Horan still thinks his team can take a lot from their All-Ireland semi-final performance. Horan’s side were down to 14 men and five points in arrears at one stage during the second half but the Mayo manager was thrilled with the fight his team showed.

“We will take hugely from it, having been a man down and five points down a few minutes into the second half. We completely dominated the second half and we can take a lot from that,” Horan said.

While Horan was pleased with the Mayo comeback, the surprisingly lacklustre first half performance was troubling from the Connacht champions perspective. Horan is just glad that the improved display in the second 35 was enough to earn Mayo another chance against Kerry.

“We were excellent in the second half. We were aggressive, we ran with the ball and we were positive in everything we did. First half was the complete opposite; we were tentative and we didn’t really go for it. We are delighted to have another crack at it. We probably should have won the game but equally we could have lost it,” Horan said.

James Horan shakes hands with Eamonn Fitzmaurice after the game Morgan Treacy / INPHO James Horan shakes hands with Eamonn Fitzmaurice after today's epic draw. Morgan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

Given the extent of the second half turnaround, it is not unreasonable to think that James Horan had his very own Joe Kernan moment at half time, possibly whipping one of his two All-Ireland runner up medals against the wall. Instead, Horan insisted that the players were responsible for the drive shown after the break.

“My voice was gone about 20 minutes into the game so I wasn’t able to say a whole lot. There are serious leaders in that dressing room and every game they play, they are taking over more and more. We are committed to leaving everything out there after all the work and preparation that we have done,” Horan said.

The semi-final replay is fixed for this Saturday at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick but Mayo are hoping to postpone the game to the following week so it can be played in Croke Park. After today’s game, Horan didn’t hide his displeasure at the prospect of playing the replay at the smaller venue.

“I would rather be up here obviously. Limerick wouldn’t be your preferred choice of venue but we will do what we have to do,” Horan said.

5 talking points after Kerry and Mayo’s thrilling All-Ireland semi-final draw

O’Connor: Great fightback but first half wasn’t good enough

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