Mohill manager Padraic Davis. Photo by Willie Donnellan
Mohill mightn’t have been given much of a chance heading over to Castlebar last Saturday but you get the sense that Padraic Davis was actually disappointed despite all the plaudits coming his team’s way.
A disciplined Mohill produced a defensive master-class to frustrate hot favourites Castlebar Mitchels and while there was plenty of praise coming his way, Padraic told the Observer “The result is hugely disappointing, the performance so pleasing. I suppose I’m really pleased with the performance but I’m disappointed that we didn’t win the game.
Yet the Mohill man was quick to acknowledge that Castlebar shaded the contest, even if the final scoreline was a little flattering - “Sometimes you have to remove emotion from this and say that Castlebar were probably marginally the best team, they weren’t five points the better team but they were marginally the better side.”
And Padraic credited his players for the performance - “We came with a plan, it almost worked but you can have all the plans in the world if players are not willing and able to execute them, those plans are out the window and mean nothing.
“I thought they carried it out to the letter of the law and there is no point talking about a game plan unless you are in a position at halftime where you can kick on and win the game. We were seven points to five down at halftime and we got ourselves into that position.
“I can’t pick out one player on our team I was disappointed in, that didn’t play up to par. They were brilliant and some of them were extraordinary and it is probably one of the better displays by a Leitrim club team for many years.”
Known as an attacking team, Mohill deployed a very different formation against Castlebar as they dropped deep and tried to hit on the break. And Padraic had the height of praise for his players in implementing a different strategy.
“They carried it out to the letter of the law and you can’t ask much more from a group of lads. You need to be fit to think your way around a field and I thought they done that. They face into that sort of game-plan every time they go out into Leitrim, maybe 80, 85% of their games in Leitrim, they face that and today, we inflicted that on Castlebar and it worked.
“We got into double figures but I felt that we needed to get to 13, 14 points to win it. Possibly, we had a couple of goal chances where we needed one slick pass off the shoulder and we were in but absolutely no complaints.”
The Mohill manager did feel that mistakes did cost his team - “It was a learning experience for us. We defended brilliantly but at vital times, we came out and turned the ball over on our own possession and that is criminal to do that.
“It is different to turn ball over in a tackle but to turn it over on your own mistake, and I think we had five or six of those in a row, we were puffing heavy after that and it took us a while to recover and we did recover and we recovered a second and third time and we did come back into it.
“I think they had a little bit of quality when it matters and they got the scores. We didn’t look out of place, the team is unbelievably fit and James Murray deserves great credit for that. I knew that wouldn’t be a problem - in fact, I thought we could outrun them.”