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Connacht GAA Explain Why Leitrim Vs Mayo Ended With Penalty Shootout

Connacht GAA Explain Why Leitrim Vs Mayo Ended With Penalty Shootout

Leitrim and Mayo's FBD League preliminary round encounter ended with first for a competitive inter-county game: a penalty shootout was used to decide who would progress after the match finished as a draw after 70 minutes.

For many in Carrick-On-Shannon, it was a surprise not to see extra-time. Mayo manager James Horan told RTÉ after the game that he found out on Saturday that the game being decided by penalties was a possibility.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio One's Morning Ireland, Connacht Council secretary John Prenty explained why a penalty shootout, rather than the usual two periods of extra-time followed by a free-taking competition, was used to determine the winner.

A worry about visibility was the main motivation.

"We had a CCCC meeting on December 10th," said Prenty.

The three venues that we knew could be played were Carrick-On-Shannon, Hyde Park next Sunday and Tuam Stadium. Neither of those venues have lights.

In normal circumstances, with the game yesterday, it would take an hour-and-a-half to run it anyway. That'd be three o'clock. Then you'd be looking at ten minutes a side possibly, a break, maybe another five minutes a side, and then a free-taking competition.

The weather conditions, we didn't know what they were going to be like. The weather last year, we had to call off the first game of the league because of the snow and the frost. We said we'd experiment with something different.

Prenty said that Connacht GAA did not require permission from Croke Park to use the alternative method.

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"That's only in certain competitions. I'm on the CCCC in Croke Park and we've been looking at different ways of finishing competitions.

"We changed the fact that we'd free kicks from the '45 into the edge of the D. We said we'd have an experiment and see where we're going with our own Connacht competition. I think it worked very well.

"At least now we have a live example showing that it can be done and what it was like. If we had a very windy day yesterday, it was a lottery taking kicks [in a free-taking competition]. We decided we'd have a look at this in Connacht and it's a template for the future if we want to look at it."

Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

See Also: Strong Element Of WTF About Leitrim's Late Equaliser Against Mayo

PJ Browne
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