Mayo ladies forward Sarah Rowe praised her teammates after her side’s remarkable victory over Cavan and gave total backing to the “brilliant” but “tough” management of Peter Leahy.
Mayo looked like a tight unit as they blitzed Cavan and kicked 3-23 on the way to a qualifier win in Clones, but a week on from the departure of 12 players and two selectors from the squad, Rowe firmly pinned her colours to the mast and backed her manager.
And the 22-year-old Kilmoremoy woman, who kicked 1-7 in a terrific individual display, insisted there are still lines of communication open with some of the girls who had left the squad, but that she was surprised that the row that erupted at all.
For all of us playing we are very very happy with the management. Very supportive, approachable, tough, tough, tough on us, of course, but that’s their job,” said Rowe.
“Their job is to coach, they always give constructive criticism to us all, and it has only made us stronger and better players. I’m fully behind management, I think they’re a brilliant set-up. Unbelievable.”
Mayo now have a down week before they face Dublin in a rematch of last year’s All-Ireland final and this season’s Lidl national league Division 1 final, but a win against Cavan has them on the cusp of a spot in the quarter-finals already.
It remains a possibility that some of the 12 players come return in time for that clash with mediation between the two camps set to take place in the coming days, and Rowe also said that a few text messages had been exchanged with some of the players that had left, but she was also “surprised” that it took place at all.
I talked to the girls, of course, because they’re my friends. Obviously, we’d love to have it sorted and for it not to have to come to this. I suppose there was a few texts here and there and that was it.
“I’m so proud of the girls that went out today because it wasn’t an easy week. It was one of the toughest weeks of my career so far.
“I’m obviously only 22 so I’ve a lot more to go but it’s been a tough week and we’ve bounced back. We came out the better end of to today and I can’t speak highly enough of the girls and how they’ve held themselves together in the last week.”