Keane a major doubt for final

Kevin Keane

Photo: GAA.ie

Although Noel Connelly reported a clean bill of health within the squad at the press night last week, it appears that Kevin Keane got a knock in the A v B game on Sunday and so is doubtful for the final. The Connaught Telegraph broke this unwelcome news yesterday evening (here) and the Mayo News (paper and digital versions) confirms today that it’s a knock to Kevin’s ankle that’s the problem.

If Kevin isn’t fit to start – though Mike Connelly says in that Connaught Telegraph piece that he may yet be okay to line out –  then Ger Cafferkey is the obvious replacement for him at full-back. The team is expected to be named on Thursday and it’s doubtful there’ll be much change from the starting fifteen in Salthill. The Mayo News also reports today that Diarmuid O’Connor is likely to be okay to start on Sunday, with Michael Conroy and Evan Regan both back to full fitness as well, though it’s a place on the match-day 26 rather than the starting fifteen they’ll be pushing for. Stephen Coen is unlikely to be togged on Sunday due to knee ligament trouble.

As you’d expect, there’s loads of stuff in this week’s Mayo News to get your teeth into ahead of Sunday, with the usual big game supplement. Seán Rice has both an analysis piece – revealing the surprising statistic that only two of Sligo’s 2015 team were around when we last lost to them in the championship while we have eight survivors from that 2010 meeting – and one reminiscing on the 1975 decider. Billy Joe Padden and Edwin McGreal concentrate on the defensive side of things in their respective analysis pieces, where Ed presents some stark figures on goals scored and conceded at provincial and All-Ireland level over the past three years, noting that our goals for/against ratio is 20:1 in Connacht but 14:13 when we hit Croke Park (and Limerick).

There’s plenty more to wade through apart from that in this week’s paper and the Mayo News pre-match podcast is due to go online a bit later too so watch out for that as well.

33 thoughts on “Keane a major doubt for final

  1. Brilliant to have such great cover for every position on the pitch. Ger Caff might do well in more of a system mixed zonal/man to man. His game is based on smart positioning to not make his man an option. He’ll have powered up a bit under Barry Solan. We should approach the defensive side of this game as if facing Dublin or Kerry or Donegal. Systems need match practice.

  2. Sorry to be negative here, but, to quote Martin Amis, negative is what I am going to have to be. The clean bill of health that management are claiming doesn’t really stand up:

    Based on Connelly’s comments to the Advertiser last week, Diarmuid O’Connor’s hand is iffy and Cillian is on non-contact training. Non-contact!

    Now Kevin Keane is a big doubt and Stephen Coen ditto. And, I really have a doubt about Dillo’s fitness, particularly match fitness. Regan and Conroy back IS good news, but they need to get game time, and will they?

    All in all, a bit of a worry.

  3. Agree Catcol, but the only real concern is cillian, the rest including Keane and Dillon aren’t game changers. Cillian is not replaceable and his knee issue is dragging on. Mayo have really unlucky with injuries to key players at key times over the last 4 years, hopefully that trend will not continue.

  4. Think you’ve forgotten about connacht final 2012 which was the last time we played Sligo..

    Regan back is huge for us, we squander so many easy right sided frees because McLoughlin is so poor at them, regan could be worth 2/3 points per game.

    Any word on Richie feeney? Have heard very little on him all year – is he fit?

  5. Tendonitis is a persistant type of problem unfortunately. Cillians Sigerson games looked to have brought it on with the hectic schedule.
    It looks a very clean bill of health. If we wrap up the game Cillian and Diarmuid will be subbed.

  6. You’re right Shane – I was away on my hols for the 2012 final so that must have been why I forgot it. I’ll correct the post now.

  7. Shane

    Feeney hasn’t been involved much if at all this year, he’s gone it seems. Too bad, he was one of my favorites.

  8. Shane, I don’t think that McLoughlin is that poor on frees. I don’t have any stats but memory is playing me very false if his figures for misses come anywhere near 2 – 3 per game. ! – 2 maybe. The real worry is that we do not seem to have a replacement for him other than Regan.
    Feeney has not really been involved since the All Ireland Club final. I often wondered whether his black card that day took a toll on him.

  9. Q is Regan back in full contact again

    Pretty amazing if so.

    Fell bad for Keane, the lad has put quite the shift in this year. I hope he is ok.

  10. No stats would have to check but close to 2 pts per game on average. Of those 35 yards out would have to cgeck again but missing greater than 60% from that distance. Allows opposition foul on that wing.

  11. Don’t think Adam Gallagher is on the panel was released time 21 s were starting up , was a sub on the junior county team .

  12. Very poorly researched piece by Sean Rice in the Connaught Telegraph. A simple google search and he would see that there were 5 current Sligo players playing in that game in 2010. 6 is you count Gilmartin who I expect will start on Sunday.

  13. He may be wrong, Tipper, but you’re wrong as well! From my reading of Sean’s piece he was comparing the 2010 team that started against us to the 2015 team that lined out against Roscommon and on that basis Sligo had four players common to the two teams, i.e. Ross Donovan, Kieran Cawley, Mark Breheny and David Kelly. Also, Sean writes for the Mayo News not the Connaught Telegraph.

  14. We have the smallest province in terms of counties both teams on Sunday only playing in their second game in middle of July if the unthinkable happens Sunday a draw we’ll have replay ,playoff with qualifer winner quarter final a?l to be finished in 3 weeks surely the gap between games since first round has to be looked at .Sky are beginning to flex their muscles they had to get 2 qualifiers on Saturday to allow RTE to show muster final replay they will soon be dictating dates and times for games as they do in premiership hope some of the money filters down to the players who are providing the entertainment

  15. I hope Kevin recovers in time. He is having a great year and is totally committed to the cause.

  16. Hopefully Kevin will be fit enough to take his place, best wishes to him. This game would suit him perfectly too as the Sligo full-forward Pat Hughes is a big, strong lad so Keane’s strength would mean that he would be the ideal man to mark him.

  17. Keane won’t be that big of a loss. Caff is better IMO. Keane wud be my cover for Caff. Caffs a better ball player. Quicker. Hees got a lot of bad press undeservedly IMO.

  18. lt’s not nice to see players getting injured but it’s something we have become very familiar with in the Mayo set up and it’s good we are now talking about direct replacements. To me however Keane and Caff are not direct replacements as they are very much different type of players and are suited 2 different types of defensive set ups. Kevin is more suited to the big physical slow moving Stharr type bucko while Caff and Cunniffe are better suited to lighter speedy forwards typical of Sligo. Kevins injury makes the selection on Sunday easier for management but in my mind Caff shud have got the nod ahead of Kevin either way for this particular showdown. Wishing Kevin well in his recovery as we will hopefully be needing his services further down the line after Sunday.

  19. Has the money for Sundays tickets being debited from anyone’s account yet still not debited from mine I thought it was due to be done on 13

  20. Kevin Keane has had a stellar season to date, but caff would be my number 1 full back. I hope to see us explode out of the blocks on Sunday, and go at them 90mph. Are tickets still available in the Supervalus is it sold out??

  21. Fair enough Willie Joe but he is writing for a regional paper and should be getting stats like that correct. He didn’t mention starting teams either, on that basis I included Ewing who came on as sub and Gilmartin who I expect to start on Sunday. Also Marren was injured for that game and Egan was overseas that year. The majority of the Sligo team are experienced supplemented by the younger lads who have come in over the last few years.

  22. @to win just once , same here, nothing debited from my account just yet. Wouldnt be atall surprised if there are some refused at the gate at the Hyde even though the bank details are correct. Would hate to travel over and be told that the payment hadnt gone through!

  23. To win just one.Ring season tickets at 01/836 3222 have your sixdigit code on your season ticket and they will explain .As was my case earlier today my credit card that I used to purchase my season ticket was expired. So they didn’t have my updated credit details. They sent me an email explaining how to do this. Not an easy task. I have done this just now and sent them an email to (season tickets that.ie)

  24. I believe we can win the game without Cillian and Caff has looked fine in any recent appearances… thought he should start anyway for Zippy who should be the sweeper listed at 12 for either Diarmaid if injured or J Doherty. Zippy is outright leading blocker, line breaker, best long range kicker into FF line and finger in the dyke defender so giving him sweeper role suits. Yes he’s in top 2 as man marker also with Keegan but his other attributes must be considered. Offers more than other backs mentioned (Donie and Barrett) in the role and more in worker role than Doherty apart from shooting but there are others to do that. We need a sweeper so pick the best player to do it who does most on the ball.

  25. .. If Cillian out it’s great opportunity for Kirby, Freeman or Conroy to be at least first sub on in later game(s) and make a big statement.

  26. Is cillian injured again hope not would love to see Tyrone beaten o. Sat any chance of that I wonder

  27. Shuffly deck no matter what way I ever analyze the differential between Higgins at 4 versus Higgins at sweeper or a different sweeper I keep coming to conclusion Higgins will have most scoreboard impact at sweeper.
    If facing a Donaghy or Neil Gallagher or Murphy we simply increase the average height of our three full back line members selecting all 6′ minimum. Gives you Caff/Keane/Cunniffe. With Higgins fast hands in front it will take a very accurate pass/receive/layoff to beat the three six footers and Higgins tidying up.
    I’m a fan of the idea that averages of a defensive line are more important than individuals. I personally like the idea of getting guys like Donie/Shane McHale/Ger Caff/Tom Cunniffe/Keane on the pitch fresh together to finish out games. Use Keegan/Higgins as the speed in between. If we need to kill a game the danger men are guys like Bradley/Murphy/Connolly/Donaghy/ODonoghue/McManamon/Brogan/Colm ONeill.
    I believe you need five good big defenders who are all arms to stop drive throughs. Again the averages are more important than any individual.
    Try taking the ball past a duo of Tom Cunniffe and Kevin Keane or Shane McHale and Ger Caff. These drive at you moments are where shorter smaller defenders struggle to stop up the man and get a tackle on the ball. Look at how hard it is to tackle the ball when McManamon wraps it on far side of his chest. I still believe Shane McHale injury free can contribute from the bench. Height n toughness.

  28. 15% think Mayo will lose.Surprised at that even if some posters are from Sligo.
    Only poll that matters of course is on Sunday.

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