There was a press night at MacHale Park yesterday evening (presumably this was the one for the quarter-final and if so the raw material for all the interviews you’ll be reading next week would have been gathered there) and this piece by Daragh Small in the Irish Examiner has some positive news on the injury front. That piece is, by the way, exactly the same one – by the same writer – that headlines the sports section in this week’s Mayo News (paper and digital versions) and, for good measure, it also gets a run-out on the GAA’s website this morning – here.
The report confirms that Seamus O’Shea should be okay to line out at Croke Park on Saturday week. Noel Connelly stated that the decision to withdraw Seamie so early at Hyde Park was mainly a precautionary move, a luxury we could afford on the day given the big lead we’d racked up at that stage and the fact that a sub of Barry Moran’s calibre was straining at the leash on the bench. Seamie will train tomorrow night and take part in the A v B match on Saturday.
Noel references the weekend’s practice match as “a big day for a lot of the fringe players” all of whom will be battling to feature in the match-day panel of 26. Chief amongst these is surely Evan Regan, who didn’t make the cut for the Connacht final, but who would be a great wild-card to have in reserve for Croke Park. The young Stephenites man is once again fit and raring to go and he’ll be taking a full part in Saturday’s internal match as well.
So too will Kevin Keane – who will surely be pressing hard for a starting slot in the quarters – and Diarmuid O’Connor who shrugged off a hairline fracture in his wrist picked up against Galway to put in a sparkling performance on his Connacht final debut.
In summary, then, it’s all good news as the lads turn their focus towards Croke Park and the defining part of this year’s championship. Given the many travails we’ve had on the injury front in recent years, this makes for a welcome change and hopefully our luck holds in this area from here on in as well.