Trailing by five points at half-time in a Connacht final, Mayo knew only a second-half resurgence would suffice to remain in the All-Ireland championship.
James Horan's side duly delivered, outscoring Galway 1-04 to no score by the second water break. Indeed the Tribesmen failed to split the posts from play after the interval as Mayo ran out six-point winners.
While Galway wilted in the heat, the victors simply ramped up the gears with Ryan O’Donoghue (penalty) and man of the match Mattie Ruane raising green flags in an utterly dominant second-half display.
Unsavoury scenes as the teams leave the pitch at the end of the first half. #sundaygame #rtegaa pic.twitter.com/HAwqrHlIJC— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) July 25, 2021
But what was the spark that ignited the fightback? Personal pride and management direction undoubtedly played its part, while there were unsavoury scenes as the players made their way down the tunnel to the dressing rooms.
What lit the fuse remains unclear, but regardless, it appeared that it was Mayo that subsequently had the bit between their teeth as they secured a 48th Connacht SFC title.
Horan says there were signs of the second-half display in the opening 35 minutes, but revealed the dressing room was a sea of calm after the pushing and shoving moments earlier.
"After the commotion, it was very, very quiet at half-time, we just went through a few things," he told RTÉ Sport. "The guys knew what to do and kept at it. I thought we dominated possession in the second half.
"I know we were four or five points down at half-time, but we had enough possession to be level, or on top. The last pass was a bit silly at times in the first half.
"We knew we weren’t a huge amount off. We just needed to tweak a few things, we got a chance to do that at half-time.
We are trying to get better and better at what we do, and I think we are
"The guys we brought on definitely made a difference. We managed to stretch ourselves and we back ourselves with our running power and fitness."
A Connacht decider in GAA HQ added to the sense of the occasion and in the summer sunshine and in front of returning supporters, Horan reflected on a good day at the office.
"We love playing up here [Croke Park]. We are trying to get better and better at what we do, and I think we are."