The Mayo News, reliably as ever, has a full report on last Saturday evening’s challenge match with Cavan at Ballinrobe. It was only a challenge game (albeit one for which the famed Tim Kelly Engineering Floodlit Cup was on offer) but, even still, Mike Finnerty’s statement that there was a “general lethargy” in the team’s performance is a bit worrying, given the sluggish display the side put in on the opening day of the league against Derry. Hopefully, this torpid start to the year will give way to a more committed on-field mindset and that we start to see a change in this respect this coming weekend.
A good number of first-team regulars lined out in Ballinrobe, with nine of the starting line-up in Ballina also on the field for the throw-in on Saturday evening. Colm Boyle replaced Pat Kelly at wing-back, Pat Harte replaced Tom Parsons, on the wings Barry Kelly replaced BJP and Aidan Kilcoyne replaced Alan Dillon and in the corners Conor Mortimer replaced Andy Moran with Mark Ronaldson coming in for Mikey Sweeney. Kieran Conroy (for Boyle), Seamus O’Shea (for Harte), Mickey Mullins (for Killer), Colm Cafferkey (for Vaughan) and James Gill (for Kelly) were all given a run-out. So too, on his home pitch, was goalkeeper Kenneth O’Malley who made his first return to the colours since suffering serious injury towards the end of 2007. Chris Barrett was also togged out for the game but he’s not listed as having come on in the match report.
Elsewhere in the Mayo News, Johnno has a bit of a moan about the switch in venue and throw-in time for next Saturday’s league match with Donegal. He’s right too – it’s going to be a pain in the hole for Mayo supporters to get to Letterkenny in time for the 2.30 pm throw-in next Saturday and it’ll probably mean that the away support will be well down on what it would have been had the match gone ahead as planned down in Ballybofey or even had it been switched to the Sunday. There’s not a peep, though, out of the County Board about this last-minute switch in arrangements and the inconvenience it’s going to cause for the team and its supporters. They really do need to fill that PRO vacancy, don’t they?
Johnno also gives some info in that article on team news for Saturday. Alan Dillon didn’t start in Ballinrobe because of a groin injury he picked up in training. I’m not sure I like the sound of that: Alan was injured for a fair bit of the league last year and the attack wasn’t the same without him. We’ve a few hairy looking assignments coming up in this year’s NFL and we’ll be struggling if he’s out of the side for any length of time. Andy Moran also missed the Cavan match due to a knee injury but it sounds like he’ll be okay for the weekend. It’s likely to be late in the week, though, before we get any definitive team news for the Letterkenny contest.