Five changes for Tyrone game

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.

58 thoughts on “Five changes for Tyrone game

  1. Getting concerned now with no appearance from cillian . People might say ahh cillian doesn’t need game time , if he’s ok for Galway he’ll be fine “ . I’m not sure that’s the right way to ease back in from a long lay off , everyone needs to warm up no matter how experienced you are .

  2. James continues to experiment and rightly so in my opinion. He has to look at players in a real contest and where better than against the All Ireland champions who are fighting for survival in the top flight. Best of luck to the new (and not so new) lads! Really looking forward to seeing them on Saturday. Hopefully we’ll see Cillian back for the following weekend.

  3. I would have liked to have seen Mark Moran at 11 for this one, hopefully himself and James Carr can make an appearance next week. Be nice to see Eoghan McLaughlin and Cillian also next week.

  4. A bit random and maybe I’ve missed it completely, but where has Darren McHale gone? Only reason I thought of him was from noticing Darren Coen on the bench. Bit of a sickener that DOC has hamstring trouble, I put a few pound on the very man to win footballer of the year at 50/1, that shortened to 25/1 over the last two weeks.

  5. Is Mark Moran in the reckoning at all?

    Extremely talented footballer.. I know he’s been injured and in any case probably doesn’t fit the mould of the typical Mayo half forward of the last decade who are often expected to feature as much 45 yards from our own goal as theirs, and JH never really seemed to fancy the more “mercurial” type of player, but he’s a confident player who can kick a score from distance and goodness knows we need to be looking at alternative options

  6. Towey is a terrific distributer of the ball. He has super peripheral vision which helps him pick out a colleague who is well placed for the pass. But he can only give what he gets. Some would be of the opinion that he hasn’t the physique for 11. But he deserves his chance. Look at Kevin McLoughlin’s performances. So give him a fair chance; let him off to sink or swim.

  7. Tyrone kicked over the Mayo press in the All Ireland Final and destroyed us.
    Maybe that’s the logic in placing AOS at 6, to prevent that happening again.

  8. This is what is called squad rotation. Interesting to see Darren Coen making the 26.

  9. experimenting with the starting 15 and taking no risks with any injury niggle proves Horan and his management aren’t bothered if they reach the league final.

  10. You have to credit JH with experimentation He’s obviously not bothered about reaching league final nor am I Having said that I am a bit worried I hope there’s not much wrong with Diarmuid or Paddy and I would have liked to see Harrison start. But my biggest concern is Cillian Second last league game and still no sign of our main man. Losing Tommy from a mediocre forward line is bad enough but if we have to face Galway without Cillian as well I would be seriously worried

  11. @to win just once, the way Galway supporters are highlighting their own many issues one would wonder would Mayo need to be worried at all?

  12. Well thats an interesting lineup to sat the least 🙂
    Something tells me jh isn’t too bothered about getting to an nfl final

  13. I have a ticket to spare for the game on Saturday if anyone wants to leave their e-mail details. Thanks.

  14. Hope he leaves Aiden at centre half back for whole game, it’s a position that might suit him for his last few years. Not as much running involved for a start. He is a very good tackler and a good high fielder, so he can cover our square for long range frees coming in. Would love to see Durkan and Mullen flanking him and let them attack and Aiden hold the centre for any counter attack. A concern that at this stage no settled full back line or half forward line yet

  15. @facetheball, I like your thinking, it was something I was going nuts about in that second half. Looking from the lower Cusack it seemed very logical to drop Aidan back when Morgan was on song with those long kickouts.

  16. At least Ann Marie won’t have to set fire to anything. Fergal Boland is starting.

  17. Had to laugh at Ah Ref’s comment after Fergal’s excellent performance, jokingly saying that’s him done for the year now, we won’t see him again!! Haha

  18. If Aidan plays centre back – is he going to pick up Darragh Canavan?? Unlikely. Then are we going to drop another forward back to mark Canavan and leave ourselves a player short in the full forward line like we did last Saturday.

  19. Interesting team and particularly in the forwards, the half forward line have great motivation as there are places up for grabs and this is likely to be the full forward line for Galway so let’s see how they shape up but they are potentially a strong unit.

    Good to see the new players in the full back line, we need cover here, Robbie and midfield are first choice now as well. Still a few injuries, Eoghan Mc and Cillian the obvious ones that would likely challenge for first team spot. Tyrone are struggling so I would think that JH would see it as a bonus but has not ruled out a final place yet as this team could still win on Saturday.

  20. Once again I’m not sure now for the 10th year in a row who is our starting no 3, 6, 11 and 14.
    Would love to see a settled team.
    We have an excellent panel but bloody hell can we not get a few combinations going?

  21. Hi Willie Joe, I like that team selection.The half back line could work out fine in the absence of Paddy and Eoghan. Oisín did not seem comfortable at corner back last Saturday.Likewise , Fergal is a better proposition in the half forward line than in the corner. That team is good enough to win on saturday and I sincerely hope they do.

  22. Horan continuing to rotate the panel and rightly so. But i would not say he’s not trying to win the league. Its a strong team on paper and how Mayo respond in a Final is of huge significance.
    I would imagine AOS in chb is a match up because he is unlikely to have the pace. Indeed Coen struggles for pace at times.
    Time to get back on the winning trail

  23. Interesting team for sure & unless Tyrone find a sudden burst of form we should be good enough to take a point or both on Saturday. Not so sure if I’d agree with naming the team midweek though. Grand for the supporters to have something to debate but come bigger tests and championship in particular I think the day before would be time enough to make the team public and not be giving the opposition so much time to plan.

  24. I see we are going to be wearing a retro kit from the 93/94 season against Tyrone. 1993 and 1994 , two truly horrible years for Mayo football that I’d have hoped would stay forever buried in the past.

    Just to add, that is not a cheap shot on the players from those years, I’m sure they give it their best, but I’d imagine they dont have fond memories from them.

  25. @Remember51 I’d say come championship time no 3 O’Hora, no 6 Mullin, 11 O’Shea and 14 C O Connor

  26. Good to see McDonagh, Towey & McHugh get the opportunity of a tough division 1 game against Tyrone. It would be a great boost to see all 3 make an impact and provide Horan with some rich pickings for the championship. McDonagh is a fine footballer and would love to see him return to the form that he displayed when he first broke into the team 3 years ago. Doherty’s return to that full forward line was was badly needed. Best of luck to David McBrien – I think we’re going to see a lot more of him at No. 3 if he can stay injury free. Strong bench for 2nd half if we can hang in there with this experimental starting 15.

  27. I don’t think anyone could have guessed the No. 6 and No. 11 before that team was named.

    Delighted to see the rotation contuing and if we win with that team, that’s a bonus. It’s all about learning who’s got the goods at this stage to grab a starting place or make the 26.

    Looking at that team and assuming fitness of players, there are 8 definite Championship starters there, I feel. Goalie, Keegan and Mullin, Midfield and the Full-forward line.

    Really hoping McBrien can play well, we need to find a Full-back or at least one with good future potential. Delighted to see Boland get another chance as there is a place for him if he can hold his form. And hope DOC can get through this one as it looks like no Cillian for Galway and we need a FF. Interesting to see how Towey does, another guy who can score and pass but physicality may be a problem ? Will he start at CHF or will they bring Orme out and play him in the corner ?

    Great to get Mullin out the field and interesting to see how Aido gets on but I think impact sub for 45 mins is his summer role.

    Looking forward to it and should be a real test as Tyrone desperate for those points.

  28. Calling a spade a spade, that’s not a strong team. I’m all for experimentation but think this week it’s a bit too much. After a very positive league so far I think with this team selection and if it’s similar against kildare we could be heading into the championship with 3 defeats on the bounce.
    I know where I’d like to be on league final day and it’s not sitting at home watching Galway win div 2. Maybe I’ll be proved wrong and we’ll somehow get a win in omagh, but I doubt it very much with that team selection.

  29. In the great debate of where to play AOS I have always said he should be a defensive style center half back. He can drop back if a ball goes in around the square and he can move out to midfield if the kick out goes long. If the opposition play a high defensive wall he is good at drawing players to him and creating an overlap to break through that. The lighter athletes of McBrien and Oisin can play off his shoulder and tear up the field. I’m very interested to see how it goes for him there or indeed if he is played there at all!

  30. Given Stephen Coen is on a shaky run of form, it’s wise to try other options at CB, including Aido. He’ll have plenty speedsters around him.

  31. Interesting selection. Delighted to see Jason starting. I must admit I would have preferred a more settled line up by now and signs that Cillian was close to return. Clearly reaching a league final is not high on James’s agenda. More pressure on Tyrone so I believe we can edge it.

  32. I wouldn’t worry about not having a settled team. Everyone knows 12 or 13 of the side that will start vs Galway and nearly all of them have played in multiple championship campaigns so inexperience won’t be an issue.

    If there is any injury doubt over Diarmuid and Paddy Durcan it makes sense to rest them.

  33. You have to be realistic too Ciaran, Mark Moran couldn’t get in the Westport for the business end of the championship, he’s probably not getting near the Mayo team. He had a brilliant game against Galway once and has done nothing much for either club nor county since.
    I would have liked to see Colm get a run in this league though, he’s a corner forward who’s smaller in stature, but can win his own ball, kick outrageous as well yhe simple scored and has similar confidence levels.
    I think Michael Plunkett has made a corner back role his own now. Really interested to see David Mc at 3. Haven’t seen much of him outside of championship games, but the general consensus is he could be a 10 year full back.
    I think the half back line is horses for courses selection, JH knows it’s going to be an extremely physical game, as it always is up there, and particularly with them fighting for their division 1 lives, he’s putting those lads in that won’t be bullied. Stephen Coen needs a big performance just for himself. A couple of bad games in February doesn’t make you a bad player, but he definitely needs to break that cycle coming into the summer.
    I think that’s our midfield for the championship, so we need to give those two as much game time together as we can.
    Up front, I would worry about size. There is definitely a choice to be made between P Towie and Fergal Boland in any championship selection. In my opinion, I think Fergal Boland should be in the corner until such time as Cillian returns, at which point, I’d be going Cillian, Doc, Rod. Fergal points per minute must be up there with the best of them. He’s a great point taker, and will score whenever he plays in there.
    Jason Doc coming back will take some of the focus off ROD. He’s had to do a lot on his own this last few games.
    I don’t think we will be seeing Cillian until the Connacht semi final, or possibly the final.
    With the smaller forward line, I don’t see us winning, but I’m not overly worried, and I believe Mayo aren’t either. I was thinking about a potential championship line up this morning we’ve never named our strongest 15 together which I believe is stronger than what’s being named in these league games were winning. We have massive depth aswell which allows you finish stronger or as strong as how you start. We’re in a good place.

  34. I taught Stephen Coen was excellent v Dublin in Croke Park in our recent visit there. For me Stephen has been excellent in the biggest game’s Mayo have played, from coming on for Lee Keegan, and keeping Diarmuid Connolly very quite in a previous All Ireland final to last year’s All Ireland final. As Mayo have played in do many real big game’s in the last number of years, from All Ireland Semifinal’s and Finals, I think the Mayo public have plenty of recent evidence of those player’s who consistently turn up on the biggest day’s of all!

  35. Looking at the changes in the 26, one back (Paddy) replaced by Rory. Two forwards (Diarmuid and Frank) replaced by J.Doc and Darren.

  36. I am surprised by that team selection but i was a few times this year particularly against Armagh but the guys were up to the task so hopefully Saturday will follow suit. I hope Mcbrien is as good a FB as people say he is as that is a real problem position for us. If he can claim FB spot then maybe lee back to HB with mullen and Plunkett and paddy to HF to solve a problem there. Lots to be figure out for championship.
    But surely the hurt of last years AL loss will be the difference to get us over the line on Saturday.

  37. Everyone in that squad should be hurting. Aching, like caged lions waiting to get out and prove a point.

  38. We owe Tyrone one! They relegated us in 2020 and beat us in all Ireland final last year.

    Id rather we get one over them in championship but a win Saturday would still be sweet.

  39. I don’t think Aidan will play at chb. If he does and if I was managing Tyrone I would put a real speed merchant at 11. That could cause us real trouble.

  40. I was thinking that diehard, but if you look at the team named its hard to see where the switch could be made. I mean the entire front 6 picked are out and out forwards so can’t see anyone of them being brought back (ie with Aido moved forward), so my guess is he will in fact play at 6.

  41. Similarly with our midfield pair named, neither of them are going to switch with Aido so I think he’ll remain at 6. And James hasn’t been naming dummy teams.

  42. It’s only five weeks away now till Galway , any update on mchale park ? People don’t just travel from Mayo or even Ireland for a mayo championship game I know a few who come from the UK , be nice now to get it settled on venue and people can start planning .

  43. I can see risk and benefit playing Aido at 6. My opinion is he might be deployed as a sweeper for the full back line with one of our 2 midfielders marking CHF or else Boland coming back as he’s played half back before or indeed McDonagh who has the speed to track and is good under a high ball. If Aido is at 6 then we will play 7 defenders because the reason Coen keeps getting picked is defensive intelligence.. rarely dives in, herds his man, knows when to attack to ball and quick enough to mark most CHFs. Struggled against Kilkenny who is in top form, we only have 3 Oisin Paddy and Lee who could keep that lad even half quiet. Aido at 6 is just an experiment. We could do a Tyrone on them, i.e. pack the defence.. it’s them who need to win, not us. I disagree with posters on Oisin in FB line, he’s man marked Clifford a few times and this was the first time the Kerry star did much damage on the scoreboard. With lads like him, Shane Walsh and Conor McManus, it’s more about damage limitation as they’re too good too keep quiet for 70.. sometimes match ups involve sacrificing players from their best positions, needs must. If McBrien lands at the level then it solves a problem. Would like to see Harrison get some game time perhaps in for McHugh or Plunkett at some stage or for Aido coming off on 45 (fouls will mount after that point) which going by last day should be his allocated time.
    Happy to see Doc back at FF, an extra goal threat and can point from distance whenever he drifts out. Darren Coen is a possible replacement for him or Orme as ROD won’t be coming off. Darren McHale unlucky with injuries, he’ll get a run of luck although it might be 2023. Moran must still be a possibility regardless of club appearances as Horan keeps name checking him.

  44. Kerry played their best footballing defender Moynihan in FB for almost his entire career and it won them the 2000 AI as he was the only player to successfully mark Padraic Joyce in both games and it probably won them a few more. Likewise Tyrone with Cormac McAnallen who was a converted midfielder and one of the last rock solid full backs in GAA history along with Darren Fay and our own Kevin Cahill. There have only been maybe 2 fully reliable FBs since, Rory O Carroll and McGee (aside from he couldn’t properly handle Aido) both now off the scene. Could possibly add Cian OS to that list although he was more often a sweeper with 6 on his back. So only a tiny handful of Full Backs you could say were totally reliable solid. The position needs a player to be super in the air and very quick on the ground as well as a great reading of the game. A very hard jersey to fill. Not one county in Ireland right now has that player.

  45. Delighted to see Horan experimenting and changing things around. Predictably around how we line out and how we play has been a problem and top teams know what to expect and can plan accordingly.

    I’m not sure why we flag this in advance by naming Aidan at CHB ? Most people, with Diarmuid out, would have expected Aidan to line out at CHF. I think we should have named a predictable team and then change it beforehand. But what do I know, maybe that’s what Horan is at and Aidan won’t play there at all ?

  46. @Shuffly Deck.. Séamus Moyninhan certainly successfully marked Padraig Joyce in 2000, But I’m not sure what the Umpires or Ref was looking at, what went on was very far from the allowed rules of Gaelic Football!

  47. I have spare ticket for saturday match if you would like to leave email i will foward it on
    Thank You

  48. 3 tickets available for Tyrone game if anyone wants to post their contact details.

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