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Moran admits to suffering a decade of frustration

By Declan Bogue

If anyone represents the public face of Mayo's struggles with form and consistency over the past decade, it is Barry Moran.

The Castlebar Mitchells man has been part of the panel since 2006 and has been present for the last three All-Ireland finals. They reached the final in his first year, the year that David Brady referred to "going in looking for survivors" in their final hammering by Kerry, and Moran was sent on and taken off in the same game; the ultimate personal humiliation.

However, after spending the last number of years trying to crowbar an appearance for himself in midfield, with a queue featuring the O'Shea brothers, Tom Parsons and himself, he was seen from a totally different perspective in the All-Ireland quarter-final win over Donegal. Moran was a man reinvented in a sweeper role.

Mayo weren't going to be caught by Michael Murphy on the edge of the square like they were in the 2012 final, so they left Ger Cafferkey to mark the Glenswilly man, with the 6' 5" Moran sweeping in front. It worked a treat as Mayo won by eight points.

Yet Moran reveals it was more of a gamble and experiment than anyone might have guessed.

"We'd had a number of different lads in a number of different positions, and a few other lads in there as well, and in the end they went with me," he reveals.

"I suppose it's one ticked off the page - it's the first time I've ever been in there anyway! But we got through it in the end, thankfully."

In this Sunday's All-Ireland semi-final, he will have a different role, given that Dublin don't feature a big target man in the traditional sense.

While he admits that he might make way for another strategy, he doesn't shy away from a decade as an inter-county player without cementing a place on the team.

"It's frustrating.But all you can do is work hard and keep going and, when you got your opportunity, try to take it," he said.

Belfast Telegraph


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