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'Wheels came off' admits Jim McGuinness as Enda Kenny whoops up Mayo win

The Donegal boss had no complaints after he witnessed his side get pulverised at Croke Park.

Jim McGuinness congratulates Mayo boss James Horan.
Jim McGuinness congratulates Mayo boss James Horan.
Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

JIM MCGUINNESS ADMITTED that there were no excuses for his side’s meek surrender of their All-Ireland crown as Donegal lost 4-17 to 1-10 against Mayo.

Speaking to TV3 after his side’s 16 point humbling, McGuinness bemoaned a lengthy injury list before wishing Maho, and boss James Horan, well and declaring his players owed nothing to the county’s loyal supporters.

“That’s the famous question,” he remarked, “where did it all go wrong?”

The hungrier team won, he reasoned. Two early goals for Mayo set the Connacht champions up for revenge after last year’s All-Ireland Final defeat. Aidan O’Shea was the catalyst for Mayo’s success, according to McGuinness, much to the delight of An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who was watching the match from the stands.

He added, “It was a particularly tough day, especially for the supporters. The second half was the longest 35 minutes I’ve ever been in, in my life. To be honest with you, the boys don’t owe anybody anything. They’ve given Donegal supporters a huge sense of pride over the last three years.

It was just unfortunate that the wheels came off today in the way they did come off.”

McGuinness felt ‘everything Mayo touched turned to gold’ before, again, harking back to the lack of desire that he felt cost his side. “We won the All-Ireland last year,” he said, “and we had a serious hunger to win the All-Ireland… it looks like this Mayo side have a real hunger and desire to win it themselves.”

He briefly fell back on excuses about injuries and niggles before dismissing them and adding that ‘the better team won by a mile’.

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An Taoiseach Enda Kenny was delighted with Mayo’s 16 point win. (©INPHO/Morgan Treacy)

‘Hunger’ was also mentioned by Horan as he praised the momentous efforts of his side. “[The early goals] gave us a lot of confidence,” he told TV3, “and allowed us to express ourselves a little more. We had some huge guys out there today who, when we needed them, were winning battles and primary ball for us.”

Horan added, “We ran out of juice a little bit in the last 10 minutes and conceded a goal, which was disappointing, but, overall, we’re delighted with today, how we played and the leadership that a lot of guys showed.”

Man-of-the-match Aidan O’Shea commented, “There’s not a better game than Donegal to get the mind focused… we played well, especially in the first 20 minutes, and came out of the blocks very well. We got a few goals but probably could have got a few more.”

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Patrick McCarry

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