DESSIE Farrell was practically ashen-faced when he faced the media after the first defeat for Dublin in 45 games.
Asked where it all went wrong for the six-in-a-row champions, he was almost dazed.
“I don’t know. We were rattled in the second half. After half time we knew Mayo were going to come with a lot. We found it difficult to get out past their high press,” he started.
“(A) couple of mistakes, bad decisions made…
“We thought we could get a score or two and weather the storm, but we could never get that additional score. We found it very hard to disrupt their momentum and left a lot to do in extra time.”
Asked what he said to his team prior to emerging for extra-time, he continued, “I think we played so badly in the second half, we could make amends and address the situation. The black cards, a bit of fatigue in the system, and it was very hard for us to get the ball back.
“Black cards at any time makes it had to get possession, but especially in extra time, the card for Colm Basquel probably spelled the end.”
Did he see the warning signs that everyone else was flagging up?
“Not particularly. You would like to be coming in this stage of competition with more momentum, the team performance better than it was.
“We showed really good glimpses sometimes in matches. The first half was really good at times, second half not so.
“It hard to identify, it revolves around the lack of consistency.”
And, a tribute to this group.
“What that group achieved has been tremendous. (They) managed to keep going back to the well and it is not easy when you know the hours, the commitment behind it.
“A lot of people see them coming in a Saturday or Sunday and don’t know how it takes over your life. For them to do it over the last five or six years has been incredible.”