Mayo manager James Horan is content with how his younger players are progressing despite their penalty shootout loss to Galway in FBD League semi-final in Tuam this afternoon. 

It is Horan's first loss to Galway as Mayo manager. The Ballintubber man presided over a period of dominance for Mayo in the relationship in the early part of the decade, winning three championship encounters in a row - all by healthy margins - in 2011, 2013 and 2014.

However, this has flipped in recent years, with Galway knocking Mayo out of the Connacht championship in 2016, 2017 and 2018 while also registering National League and FBD League victories in the same timespan. 

In front of a remarkable crowd of 7,000, Mayo appeared to be on the brink of ending this losing run until Barry McHugh drilled home an equaliser for the hosts in the closing seconds. 

Galway, with Maghnus Breathnach pulling off saves from Diarmuid O'Connor and Andy Moran, proceeded to win 4-2 on penalties. 

Horan now has more experience of penalty shootouts than any other Gaelic football manager following last week's round of pens against Leitrim. 

The Mayo boss is not especially concerned at losing the shootout, preferring to dwell on their rustiness in general play, citing statistics on turnovers and missed opportunities.  

"When it goes to penalty shootouts, it's a complete lottery," he told RTÉ Sunday Sport. "We were lucky last week (against Leitrim) and this week we got caught out.

"But the disappointing thing is we were up going into injury time and we let it slip with a careless enough goal.

Mayo's Fionn McDonagh and Galway's Johnny Heaney contest a high ball

"We gave away 35 turnovers, 24 of them uncontested. We dropped a lot of ball in the tackle. That's where we need to look at."

While Mayo built up a reasonable lead with the aid of the breeze in the first half, Horan wasn't happy with their efficiency in the first 35.   

"We didn't take any long kick-outs with the breeze. You'd have to look at that. And we got six points from 14 shots so you'd be disappointed with that return. So, they're some of the numbers we'll be looking at.

"But overall we took something from it. I thought we managed parts of the game quite well. Conor Diskins, he's 19 and played his first game for Mayo, he scored two points and did well. Fionn McDonagh and James McCormack got through another game. So I'm happy with our young guys are progressing."

In addition to the younger crop, Mayo still have 2017 Footballer of the Year Andy Moran to call upon. 

"He's very keen. He's in great shape and won some great ball out there. It's great to have him out there again." 

As for the penalties, Galway's late saviour Barry McHugh admitted that he enjoyed the novelty. 

"With the FBD (League) you probably wouldn't be as fit as you are later in the year. So, it makes sense I suppose. 

"It's fun to be honest with you."