Barry Moran signs a fan's jersey after the Mohill match. Photo by Willie Donnellan
If ever there was a case of mixed emotions, it was in the Moran family last Saturday in Elvery's McHale Park when Mohill took on Barry Moran's Castlebar Mitchels.
With his father Martin and mother Mae hailing from Mohill, the Mayo star admitted that it was a day of divided loyalties as Castlebar saw off Mohill in the AIB Connacht Club Senior Championship last Saturday.
So much so that it was Barry and not the team captain who visited the Mohill dressing room after the game and it was clear that it was a conflicting day for the Mitchels man!
Nabbed by the Observer after he left the Mohill dressing room, Barry was only too happy to talk about his adopted home in Mohill - “As you probably know, my mother and father are from Mohill and I’d know most of the team in there, I spent every weekend of my childhood down there and I’d know a lot of the lads in there.
“So a bit of divided loyalties in the house today but we’re delighted that we got win today, Mohill pushed us the whole way today. I think up until the last 10 minutes, when we came back into it, got a few scores and pulled up away, up until there were a few hairy moments alright.
“Dad was, I think, President of the Club, he is still Honorary President of the Club, he managed them, he coached them, he was chairman, treasurer, everything you could name in Mohill and played with them. So I’d know a lot of the Mohill lads there today.”
And that knowledge meant that Barry was never going to take the Mohill challenge for granted - “A lot of people were saying that we were favourites but we knew that wasn’t going to be the case. We done our homework on them, we knew they were going to be very hard to break down, we struggled a lot of the time especially in the first half and the first ten minutes of the second half, we struggled trying to break down their blanket defence.
“They played 12, 13 men behind the ball and played brilliantly with counter-football and we struggled with that. We have Tourlestrane next week, we haven’t look at them yet, we’re going to have to look at them but it could be something similar.
“So I’m hoping we learned a lot from today, there was a lot of rustiness, stupid mistakes and counter-attacks where we left ourselves open so we’re going to have to improve if we want to push on.”
And Barry pointed to Castlebar’s ability to push on as key in the win - “It was important, a couple of scores there pulled us away but once we got our noses in front, we pushed on.
“But as I said, we knew that it was always going to be heavy going and we came in at halftime, even though we were two points up, we were playing with the breeze but we struggled. They drew level, they had the momentum and we were lucky enough to push on from there.”
Castlebar Mitchels and Mayo star Barry Moran. Photo by Willie Donnellan