Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Horan blasts Cork chiefs after tense finale

Mayo 1-19 - Cork 2-15

Closed down: Mayo's Aidan O'Shea with Damien Cahalane

Fuming Mayo manager James Horan labelled Cork's management team 'a disgrace' after scoring a remarkable All-Ireland quarter-final win over the Rebels at Croke Park.

The Connacht champions came out on the right side of a one-point game thanks ultimately to Lee Keegan's 71st minute point.

But it was a game steeped in drama as Cork claimed the referee didn't play enough injury-time.

Colm O'Neill kicked a 73rd minute free over the bar from close range as he believed referee Cormac Reilly was going to add on another minute.

In the end, Cork lost by just one point and, afterwards, there was more drama in the press room when Horan delivered an unprompted rant aimed squarely at Cork's management team.

Horan was furious about comments made by a member of the Cork management team ahead of the game, alleging that Mayo players Cillian O'Connor and Kevin McLoughlin were guilty of 'tactical fouling' in games.

"It is a new low when you have opposition management naming specific players and taking their integrity (into question)," he said.

"For two guys that have struggled this year, to come out and say that about them is just not good enough at this level. They (Cork's management team) will face the Cork public after that result. But we are happy with where we are."

Asked if the win was all the sweeter because of the comments, Horan nodded: "Absolutely. I thought it was a disgrace."

It's understood Horan declined to shake hands with Cork's management team members after the game. Cork manager Brian Cuthbert had little to say in response.

"James is entitled to his opinion," said Cuthbert.

There was no hint of such drama at the end of a tame first-half that ended 0-8 to 0-8.

Mayo brought their greater experience to bear on the game in the third quarter to move 0-15 to 0-9 ahead.

But 1-4 without reply from Cork turned the game. Cork weren't able to push ahead, however, and Mayo forged clear again.

Cork did get the margin back down to two and, believing there was more time, opted to kick the ball over. But Cuthbert accepted the referee wasn't to blame.

Mayo: R Hennelly; L Keegan (0-1), C Barrett, G Cafferkey; T Cunniffe, C Boyle (0-1), K Higgins; A O'Shea (1-0), S O'Shea (0-2); K McLoughlin (0-1), A Dillon (0-4), J Doherty (0-2); D Vaughan (0-1), A Moran (0-2), C O'Connor (0-5, 3f). Subs.: M Conroy for McLoughlin (14-23), E Varley for A Moran (46), B Harrison for Barrett (57), A Freeman for O'Connor (64), J Gibbons for A O'Shea (69), Conroy for Dillon (73).

Cork: K O'Halloran; N Galvin, E Cadogan, M Shields; Brian O'Driscoll, T Clancy (Clonakilty), J Loughrey; I Maguire, A Walsh (0-1, 1f); M Collins, F Goold (0-2), C O'Driscoll; P Kerrigan, B Hurley (1-4, 1f), C O'Neill (0-5, 3f). Subs.: D Cahalane for Clancy (20), P Kelly for C O'Driscoll (47), D O'Connor (1-3, 2f) for Collins (50), J O'Rourke for Brian O'Driscoll (56), D Goulding for Maguire (61), J Hayes for Walsh (70).

Referee: C Reilly (Meath).

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