Aidan Campbell’s sparkling form at U21 level has been rewarded by an overdue call-up to the senior team for Sunday’s final league fixture of the year, away to Tyrone. (Team details, as usual, from the Mayo GAA website). He comes in at left-half forward in place of Pat Harte, who fared indifferently in his first start of the year the last day against Galway. This is Aidan’s first appearance for the seniors since he came on as a sub (for the injured Aidan Kilcoyne) in that disastrous qualifier defeat to Derry up in Celtic Park last July but it’s the first time he’s been included in the starting fifteen since the league match against Cork in March last year. He’s the only newcomer to the team that was named to face Galway and the full lineup is as follows:
David Clarke; Keith Higgins, Kieran Conroy, Colm Boyle; David Heaney, Trevor Howley, Tom Cunniffe; Ronan McGarritty, Tom Parsons; James Gill, Alan Dillon, Aidan Campbell; Conor Mortimor, Austin O’Malley, Andy Moran.
The one positional switch is a quite significant one, with Keith Higgins ending his sojourn in the half-backs in a direct switch with Tom Cunniffe. The ongoing looseness in the full-back line, combined with the surfeit of options for the half-back positions, has meant that we just can’t afford not to have Keith back in the corner. Tom Cunniffe is a bit fortunate to retain his place as a result of this switch, as Pat Kelly has at least an equally strong claim to that position. Still, in fairness to Tom, he’s played well in the half-backs when he’s been moved out and hopefully he’ll prosper there from the off on Sunday.
Tyrone have also named their team for Sunday and, no more than ourselves, it looks as if they’ve gone for a strong line-up, which reads as follows:
Pascal McConnell; Ryan McMenamin, Justin McMahon, Michael McGee; Davy Harte, Conor Gormley, Philip Jordan; Colin Holmes, Sean Cavanagh; Raymond Mulgrew, Brian McGuigan, Enda McGinley; Colm McCullagh, Colm Cavanagh, Tommy McGuigan.
You know, maybe Johnno was right. With two formidable teams like that, Sunday’s encounter up in Omagh might yet deserve that monumental adjective The Deputy used the other day when discussing the upcoming tussle. Makes me even more wistful about the fact that I won’t be able to get to it.