Heartbroken Rob Hennelly breaks silence on final calamity

Beleaguered Mayo goalkeeper Rob Hennelly yesterday revealed his heartache following Saturday’s All- Ireland final replay defeat.

In an Instagram post accompanied by a photograph of Maurice Deegan issuing him a black card for the penalty foul on Paddy Andrews, Hennelly wrote: “I’ll never be able to fully describe what was going through my head at this moment. What I was expecting to be one of my best days turned out to be the opposite, and it breaks my heart I didn’t come through for my team and county.”

The Breaffy man referred to how he backed Cork U21 goalkeeper Anthony Casey in the wake of their U21 All-Ireland final defeat to Mayo in May when Casey made a couple of errors towards the end of the game in Ennis.

“I told a brilliant young man Anthony Casey that one game wouldn’t define him, and today, and probably for a while to come, I’ll be telling myself the same thing. It is not a good place to be, but I know I have to come back from it, I still believe I have something to offer this team and my county.

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I'll never be able to fully describe what was going through my head at this moment. What I was expecting to be one of my best days turned out to be the opposite, and it breaks my heart that I didn't come through for my team and county. I told a brilliant young man Anthony Casey that that one game wouldn't define him, and today, and probably for a while to come, I'll be telling myself the same thing.  It is not a good place to be, but I know I have to come back from it, I still believe I have something to offer this team and my county, so now is not the time to relent. I have to say that the support I've received has been incredible and the messages from friends, family, former team mates, players from other counties, and of course the Mayo supporters, has helped me immensely. I don't know where I'll be in a years time, but I do know that I'm not going to give up. I love Mayo and this team too much to do that. Mhaigh Eo Abú

A post shared by Rob Hennelly (@robhennelly) on

“I have to say the support I’ve received has been incredible and the messages from friends, family, former team mates, players from other counties, and of course the Mayo supporters, has helped me immensely. I don’t know where I’ll be in a year’s time, but I do know that I’m not going to give up. I love Mayo and this team too much to do that. Mhaigh Eo Abú.”

Fellow Mayo star Alan Dillon also took to social media yesterday, tweeting: “Privilege always to wear the red & green. No silverware again but immensely proud of the effort. Our support 2nd to none — special bunch.”

Meanwhile, Philly McMahon said he feels sorry for Mayo but wouldn’t be wishing for sympathy were he in their position.

“If it was me I wouldn’t look for sympathy but it would be something I’d be feeling for them the next day. At the end of the day, this is sport. There’s people struggling. We’re going to the kids’ hospital and it really grounds us and brings us down to earth.

“So look it, it’s a sport at the end of the day and we have players there, the likes of Jonny Cooper that was playing brilliant all year, gets a black card and that’s his All-Ireland final done. Preparation all year and he gets that amount of game-time in the final. I wouldn’t be happy.

“Cillian (O’Connor) scored the equalising point the last day, if he had scored that point he would have been a Mayo hero but that’s sport.”

McMahon said winning the All-Ireland in the centenary anniversary year of 1916 made Saturday’s win extra special for him. “There’s not many people, apart from these Dublin players, who can say they have 1916 on the back of their All-Ireland medal.”


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