We’ve named our match day 26 for the match against Tyrone on Saturday evening. Here’s the list of team and subs we’ve named:
Mayo (NFL Division One v Tyrone, 19/3/2022): Rob Hennelly (Breaffy); Lee Keegan (Westport), David McBrien (Ballaghaderreen), Donnacha McHugh (Castlebar Mitchels); Oisín Mullin (Kilmaine), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore, captain); Jordan Flynn (Crossmolina Deel Rovers), Matthew Ruane (Breaffy); Fionn McDonagh (Westport), Paul Towey (Charlestown Sarsfields), Fergal Boland (Aghamore); Aiden Orme (Knockmore), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole), Ryan O’Donoghue (Belmullet). Subs: Rory Byrne (Castlebar Mitchels), Brendan Harrison (Aghamore), Padraig O’Hora (Ballina Stephenites), Michael Plunkett (Ballintubber), Rory Brickenden (Westport), Enda Hession (Garrymore), Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Conor O’Shea (Breaffy), Conor Loftus (Crossmolina Deel Rovers), Jack Carney (Kilmeena), Darren Coen (Hollymount/Carramore).
So, once more, it’s significant change from the previous game, as James Horan continues to resist the temptation to fix on a largely settled first fifteen. This time the changes are both in personnel and, in one notable example, in position too.
Into the team for Saturday evening come David McBrien (for only his second start, having previously lined out against Galway in the League in October 2020), Donnacha McHugh, Fionn McDonagh, Paul Towey and fit-again Jason Doherty. Out go Padraig O’Hora, Michael Plunkett, Paddy Durcan, Diarmuid O’Connor and Jack Carney.
Neither Paddy nor Diarmuid are named in the 26 either, with the Mayo News reporting yesterday that the Ballintubber man could be a doubt for Saturday due to hamstring trouble. It’s not clear why Paddy is an absentee for Omagh.
The significant positional shift sees Aidan O’Shea lining out at centre-back. While he often finds himself operating in our half and famously went to full-back to quell Kieran Donaghy in 2017, I’m pretty sure this is the only time he’s ever been named in the backs on a Mayo team.
It’s also worth noting that it’s all change for Saturday in the half-forward line. Paul Towey comes into the team at centre-forward, flanked by Fionn McDonagh (a late sub in Tralee) and Fergal Boland, who switches out from corner-forward.
David McBrien and Jason Doherty have both had injury issues of late so it’s good to see both of them named in the starting team. Darren Coen has also been on the treatment table in recent weeks and he’s back in the 26 for this one. Still no sign, though, of Cillian, nor of the elusive Mark Moran either.
Given that so far this year we’ve generally stuck with the starting fifteen and subs we’ve named, I think we can take it that this team announcement will be similarly accurate. Even if the scale of the changes are, on the face of it, kinda weird. Lookit, it is what it is.
The best of luck to the lads named in the match day panel for Saturday.