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'It was nice to win a Connacht title but ultimately it was failure' - Mayo 2015 verdict

Defeat tough to take once more for the Mayo captain.

Mayo's Lee Keegan and Keith Higgins dejected after their defeat.
Mayo's Lee Keegan and Keith Higgins dejected after their defeat.
Image: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

ANOTHER YEAR, ANOTHER dose of heartbreak for Mayo.

Keith Higgins has seen his share of these days recently, at the coalface for shattering All-Ireland final losses and dispiriting semi-final replay defeats.

On Saturday they were four points up midway through the second-half but when the final whistle was blasted, they were seven points adrift of Dublin.

Their dressing-room was a difficult environment to inhabit.

“It was very quiet there for a long time. There’s nothing you can really say in a place like that. Words are probably just idle at that stage but look, you just have to keep going. You don’t have any choice at this stage.”

When it comes to providing a 2015 assessment for Mayo, Higgins was cold and blunt.

A dejected Mayo fan after the game Another tough defeat for this Mayo fan to take Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

“Probably the same as the last five years. It was nice to win a Connacht title but ultimately it was failure.

“Look, that’s the reality of it at this stage. We’ve gotten so close but at the end of the day the All-Ireland is the aim and we don’t do it, there’s nothing else to be said.”

Higgins reflected ruefully on Mayo’s failure to kick on after Cillian O’Connor’s goal.

Cillian OÕConnor scores the opening goal Cillian O'Connor bags the opening goal of the game for Mayo Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“The most disappointing aspect is that we didn’t play int he second half, that was the worst thing.

“If you were to go out there and play as well as you could and lose, you can’t ask much more.

“We didn’t play at all in the second half. Andy came on, got a free, set up the goal, and we were going alright but we just never pushed on and that was the worst thing.”

Diarmuid O'Connor after the game A disappointed Diarmuid O'Connor after the game. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Recovery will be a challenge but Mayo’s squad does possess a favourable age profile.

“Yeah it was mentioned there in the dressing-room. You take away six or seven lads and the rest of them probably haven’t even hit their prime yet.

“So there’s still a quality bunch of players there so we’ll keep coming back.”

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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