Goalkeeper David Clarke looks to be the major injury doubt we have coming into Sunday’s National League decider. The two-times All-Star ‘keeper was forced off just before half-time after shipping a hefty challenge from Monaghan’s Darren Hughes in last Sunday’s match.
The Irish Examiner reports today (here) that the Ballina player is suffering from a combination of concussion and a chest injury arising from the incident. He was due to be assessed further at training last night.
Obviously, we’ve a ready-made replacement for Sunday, with a rejuvenated Robbie Hennelly fit and ready to go should David be ruled out. Clearly, it’d be preferable for this choice to be made between two available players but, by the sounds of it, that may not be the case on this occasion.
That piece also states that Michael Plunkett and Fionn McDonagh – who were both unavailable for selection last weekend due to injuries – are also doubtful for Sunday. There’s no more information on what ails them or how likely it is that either of them will be okay on the day.
The news is better, though, in relation to Matthew Ruane and Conor Diskin, who both went off the last day with facial injuries. The Mayo News this week (paper and digital versions) reports that both should be fine for Sunday. The same paper also states that we’re expected to name our team for the final tomorrow night.
In the meantime, that Irish Examiner piece linked above is well worth a read. The bit in it about the injuries in our camp is tagged on at the end but the main piece, by John Fogarty, looks at the contrasting fortunes to date of players from the two counties where it comes to appearing in national finals at Croke Park.
To that extent, it acts as a nice counterpoint to the piece I did yesterday on our recent unbeaten record against Kerry at the venue. They’re used to winning in Croke Park finals, we’re used to losing in them. They used to be used to beating us in Croke Park but now we’re used to beating them there. All of which means that one team or the other will have to get used to a different experience in some shape or form come Sunday evening.