"It was a cruel defeat" - Cian O'Neill laments devastating loss to Mayo

Kildare were beaten by nine points and knocked out of the All-Ireland series

Cian O'Neill

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

Kildare will have been disappointed not only because of their nine-point loss to Mayo this evening, but the manner of that defeat this evening at Elverys McHale Park.

The Lilywhites started slow, but pulled the deficit back to just one point before two goals in quick succession, first from Evan Regan and then Diarmuid O'Connor, landed a sucker punch from which they never looked like recovering.

"Today wasn't a moral victory by any stretch, it was a defeat," he told Off The Ball's Dave McIntyre after the game. "It was a cruel defeat because it ends our season. To start as slow as we did and then to come back to within a point, we really looked like we were being competitive here. Then to make some costly errors in the second half to give them two goals, which ultimately finished the match, is disappointing.

"There were passages where we were really pleased with how the lads stood up, but ultimately those passages weren't enough to get us over the line."

The stretch in which they conceded the two goals was a huge blow to their confidence and even scores from the Kildare forwards find a way through the Mayo defence. O'Neill says conceding possession from their own attacks cost them this evening.

"The really horrible part about it is that we had 15 turnovers in the first half and they scored eight scores off that, two of them goals. We've talked about minding the ball and not giving it up easily, that if they were going to score we would make them work for it. For that period we made it easy for them."