Match day panel named for Connacht final

We’ve named our match day panel for Sunday’s Connacht SFC final against Galway. Here it is:

Mayo (Connacht SFC final v Galway, 5/5/2024): Colm Reape (Knockmore); Jack Coyne (Ballyhaunis), Rory Brickenden (Westport), Sam Callinan (Ballina Stephenites); Paddy Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels, captain), David McBrien (Ballaghaderreen), Donnacha McHugh (Castlebar Mitchels); Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore), Matthew Ruane (Breaffy); Jordan Flynn (Crossmolina Deel Rovers), Fergal Boland (Aghamore), Jack Carney (Kilmeena); Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Tommy Conroy (The Neale), Ryan O’Donoghue (Belmullet). Subs: Rob Hennelly (Raheny, Dublin), Enda Hession (Garrymore), Conor Loftus (Crossmolina Deel Rovers), Darren McHale (Knockmore), Eoghan McLaughlin (Westport), Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber), Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber), Padraig O’Hora (Ballina Stephenites), Kevin Quinn (Ballinrobe), Paul Towey (Charlestown Sarsfields), Bob Tuohy (Castlebar Mitchels).

So it’s an unchanged first fifteen from the Roscommon game. On the bench, there’s good news in terms of players returning from injury, with Darren McHale and Eoghan McLaughlin, as well as Cillian and Diarmuid O’Connor all named within the substitutes. This means that James Carr, Conor Hunt, Michael Plunkett and Eoin O’Donoghue all drop out of the match day 26 for this one.

Galway have also named their match day panel for Sunday, details of which are here.

The best of luck to the lads on Sunday.

60 thoughts on “Match day panel named for Connacht final

  1. Can see hession in for Durcan if he isn’t fit.will need good impact of the bench from mclaughlin, d O’connor n tuohy to see us over the line…

  2. Pretty much full strength. Shame about Carr thought he was on the way back after his cameo in one of the league games.

  3. Happy with the team if they all start and the bench looks encouraging too. Almost everyone available going on the named panel though I’d love to see carr on the field. 1_16 to 1_12. Mayo win. (I’ve “no doubt” I’ll get shot down on here for predicting if we lose)

  4. If they don’t end up starting, be great to see Hession and Eoghan coming on second half. Hopefully a few minutes for Diarmuid too.

  5. Very disappointing to see carr not making the 26 .

    Positive to see everyone named that was carrying a knock the last while .

  6. Seriously strong team and bench, strongest we have lined out in years.

    No excuses now.

    Great to see diarmuid especially, like Durcan he seems to up it another gear for Galway

  7. Personally I think that’s a strong Galway team. It’s obvious Joyce wanted to play the long game this year and kick-start their year with this game on Sunday. They are in the ideal position now with very little expected of them given their form, but a win Sunday and all that is forgotten with chat of them being contenders starting….
    I think the chat on here about them being a shambles etc is always risky. They will try to over power us at mid field and hit quick ball to Comer and Finnerty who can do damage. I can see them getting at least two goals.
    Obviously I hope I am wrong and in fairness, we have named a good team but I genuinely think Galway will be very up for this as another under whelming year could spell the end for PJ..

  8. Very disappointed that James Carr, his goal against Galway in Limerick was an absolute peach. Now guessing the entire panel can have a number of changes yet, but be happy to see Paddy and Duirmaid on team/ bench come Sunday Galway: 1 Conor Gleeson, 2 Johnny McGrath, 3 Sean Fitzgerald, 4 Jack Glynn, 5 Dylan McHugh, 6 John Daly, 7 Liam Silke, 8 Paul Conroy, 9 Seán Kelly, 10 Johnny Heaney, 11 John Maher, 12 Cein Darcy, 13 Robert Finnerty, 14 Damien Comer, Shane Walsh

    Subs: 16 Conor Flaherty, 17 Sean Mulkerrin, 18 Eoghan Kelly, 19 Daniel O’Flaherty, 20 Jack McCabe, 21 Cathal Sweeney, 22 Kieran Molloy, 23 Liam Ó Conghaile, 24 Cillian Ó Curraoin, 25 Matthew Tierney, 26 Sam O’Neill

  9. Delighted with that team and squad.For sure there’ll be changes before throw in but Paddy,DOC,Coyne,Eoghan Mac and Cillian all had doubts over them and are all available to start or play some part.Great news!

  10. Can see the O’Connor brothers getting us over the line! Strong bench and expect some changes to the named 15 to start.

  11. Seeing that squad on paper has me feeling that we could be in for an exciting summer if everyone stays fit.

    Note: I don’t expect us to win the All Ireland but we could do more damage then what people on here do be saying.

  12. Moose79 – I dont recall anyone saying Galway are a shambles on here. Question marks certainly over players available and fitness etc. on the blog that was about it. PJ’s team selection looks short on pace and doesn’t carry any surprises so there is no pigeon being pulled from a hat here. If Mayo are at the right intensity and attitude level there is a win here for them that I am confident off

  13. First time in a very long time where I have looked at a Mayo bench and got excited. I still don’t think our starting 15 is that strong but there is so much potential impact on the bench.

    Should be tight but expect us to win. Just hope the wind doesn’t ruin it as usual down there.

  14. @thedarkfinn.has said nobody saying Galway are a shambles but easy to see why they were being talked down a bit lately. We’re told players can’t flick a switch and be up to the pace of championship straight away after playing no or very little league football all year so it’s no wonder people are questioning their ability to produce it when the going gets tough. Imagine if mayo were coming off the same injury list we would all be asking the same questions. After saying all that I’m well aware of the dangers the tribesmen posses.

  15. I would like to see DOC given a go at full forward he s big ,strong and very good at getting on the end of things,just a suggestion

  16. @Unstoppable

    I thought the same about the bench. Good to see we have options. Fingers crossed we can stay relatively injury free.
    The mind goes back to Killarney last year when we sprung Durcan, Hession, Conroy and Eoghan Mc from the bench at the same time and Coen shortly afterwards.

    Maigh eo Abu

  17. Mind the House, yes, what a gang to spring from the bench at the same time in Killarney!

  18. Happy with the squad, we know first 15 won’t start as named, just feels like a season to enjoy the journey over the destination, 2nd stop is Salthill. Hope Carr is up and running for the group stages, Mayo by 6 for me

  19. Good to see Cillian and diarmuid on bench, more or else team we’d imagined he would pick .
    Would loved to see carr on bench, he’s a big impact sub but all been said I’d be more surprised if the 1 to 26 is that on Sunday

  20. @outside of the boot
    That’s the match day 26 unless they want to start messing around with doctors certs etc.

  21. Delighted with the depth of panel named and hope everyone is flying fit. We still have a major issue with our kick out strategy and our midfield is suspect so this game is still 50:50 for me. When Galway are underdogs and been described as a shambles from a winter league cutting (although i doubt anyone believes that) they have a habit of suddenly turning up in the short grass to bite you in the ass. This is our first really big test with silverware on offer. Let’s just hope we come out the right side of it with no injuries.

  22. @unstoppable, unless there is a major change in the weather by Sunday, the wind will be a minimal factor – average wind speeds of 9km p/h forecast is as calm as it gets anywhere in the west of Ireland! Hopefully the ball will be dry and we could be in for a great game.

  23. That is as strong a match day panel as we can expect to field. McStay literally had a full deck of cards to choose from, and it’s his job to get the selection correct. I think in this case he has, and has room to wriggle with the strength of the bench.
    I don’t get the negative mood about Carr not making the panel. A players best ability is his availability and Carr, despite all the promise, is just not reliable to be fit and available. McStay couldn’t possibly formulate an attacking shape and structure on the off chance that Carr might be available. It’s tough, but this is Championship and there is no room for sentiment. The best horse jumps the ditch and that’s that. For all the promise and potential about Carr he has never consistently held down a jersey and scored regularly. Certainly not in the way a ROD, Conroy or even Carney have. Championship doesn’t wait for anyone so he has missed his chance and in truth probably only made the panel for the Roscommon game because of the injury list.
    I also don’t buy into the general narrative that Galway are in a bad place. They survived Div 1, just about, and are heading into the Final with Walsh, Comer and Kelly back in the 15 and Tierney on the bench. Joyce would have snapped your hand off for that 2 months ago. Regardless, form tends to go out the window in these games and when they were dominant in 98 we took them out in Tuam in 99. They did likewise to us in 16, 17 and 18.

    We’ve no excuses if we don’t win. We have a well prepared, experienced squad with no major injuries. We had a solid run-out v Roscommon that had some good and some bad in it and if we are to lose then it will be because, on the day, we weren’t good enough. Physically, we are probably in a better condition than them, our league form was probably a little bit better than theirs and I do think our sideline is better than theirs. But, this game takes on a life of its own and form means little.
    They’re obviously looking to start fast, hard and early by the fact that they are starting Comer, because it is unlikely if he has a full 70+ minutes in him. If they get enough good ball into Comer and Walsh in that opening half they may build up enough of a lead to hold out on, once Comer starts blowing blue smoke and his race is ran. I’d have concerns about Brickenden in our full back line as I don’t think he is Championship material and I don’t like the way we use Callinan as a man marker as I think his strength is breaking forward, so, I can see us under pressure at the back. Likewise, I can’t see them holding Conroy, ROD and AOS either. As always, whoever wins the midfield battle will go a long way to deciding the outsome of the final.
    Mayo by 1. Possibly extra time!

  24. Galway going for their 50th Connaught title and a chance to make history.
    According to reports coming from their camp this will be treated as their A I and will be going hell-for-leather to win it.
    Anyone thinking that Mayo should have a comferable win of 4 or 5 point might be in for a bit of a shock!!!

  25. That’s a strong team and an even stronger bench. Boringly predictable first fifteen is a good sign and the return of heavy hitters like Diarmuid, and Cillian is reassuring.

    The fact that Carr and Plunkett are not making, sorry have dropped out of, the 26 is a sign of intense competition – something O’Hora mentioned in an interview recently.

    Galway team looks strong too though a question mark remains in my mind about how fit those fifteen are – Joyce seems to want players to tog no matter what the circumstances.

  26. Very strong 26 on paper but the big question is what kind of form are a number of players returning from injury in? and the same applies to Galway? Walshe Comer and Finnerty is a very dangerous line if are 100%, Walshe usually operates out around the half forward line. Will be interesting to s who actually starts and who comes off the bench.

  27. @John+mchale and mayo will be going for their first connacht in nearly 3 years.. And will also be going hell for leather for it to!

    This is a must win for mcstay I feel if we loose Sunday there will be massive pressure on him after loosing last year. The strongest team and bench we have named in a while is a sure sign that they are only thinking of a strong win here.

    I’d wonder as others have said how fit are the guys coming back for Galway guess we shall find out soon enough..

    Still going with a 4 or 5 point win
    Best of luck guys!

  28. Catcol, from what we hear all players are fit in Galway and ready to go… I believe Mc Daid is ready and could still be catapulted into the 26 if there is any last minute pull outs…
    Maybe a good few are lacking match sharpness but no better way to get that then Mayo in a Connacht final..

  29. Tumstar – Surprised you let the cat out of the bag about McDaid. If he is one of the four named standby players I fully expect him to be parachuted in.

  30. Both sides seem to havee nearly a full hand to pick from. If all Galway players are fully fit and playing , think they have a bit too much for us. We wont know full teams for either side till about 3.45pm on Sunday.

  31. @DejaVu: Not sure there was much of a bag there. PJ told media (can’t remember who specifically…. OTB maybe?) he was back part of the field training group chatting over in London.

    Hernan back with the panel and James McLaughlin back playing for his club at the weekend, so both the lads done with their Erasmus adventures too. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of shape they’re in and if we might see them make a 26 in the Group Stages. Both naturally fit lads but you’d imagine away from the field and even team gym sessions you’d slip back a good chunk despite the best efforts & intentions.

    Just Patrick Kelly and Tomo Culhane really out of contention at this point. No more than ourselves, the questions now shift to be more about how fit and how sharp rather than if injured.

  32. Strong panel.
    2 evenly matched teams .
    Both going for what might be their only chance of silverware.
    If we break even at mid field, we might just sneak it .
    Think we will hear the Mayo crowd really getting behind the team Sunday.
    They will need all thr support we can give them !!!

  33. Great to see a bit of substance on the bench and who knows what the starting 15 will be.
    We know Gaugh well enough so we play by his rules, no silly off the ball fouls. AOS has a better chance of some protection from Goughs too. ROD will have to be on best behavior
    Anybody checked a weather forecast for Salthill. Hopefully no difficult cross wind
    I can only see a Mayo win, too strong all round but we need to bring our A game and finish with a strong final quarter

  34. @Ontheditch: Weather seems to have cleared up nicely for Sunday. Early in the week a lot of talk of wind and rain, which would have shocked nobody, but wind seems to have dropped right off, low chance of rain and even a risk of a little sunshine with it kicking off the good weather for next week.

    Probably as unbelievable a forecast as either of the two sides named starting. Met Éireann joining in on the tricks of keeping the cards close to the chest, you’d imagine.

  35. I just hope that the goalkeeping coach and management have worked out some sort of kick out strategy or we will be in very serious trouble.
    If Galway push up on our Kick outs I will be worried. As we will struggle with long kick outs.
    Hopefully Colm won’t panic if they do. Hope it goes well for all starters and panel and Management make the correct calls. It’s definitely a strong 26.

  36. Chick. If Mayo push up on our kickout ( I fully expect them to) we kick long and it becomes a lottery… Mayo always get the upper hand on us with regards getting hold of the breaking ball…
    That’s a very strong Mayo 26… they have the Indian sign over Galway and I believe will win again on Sunday..
    Mayo by 3

  37. To state the obvious, Mayo need to turn up for this from the start, because you can bet your life that Galway will be fired up. That looks a good Galway 15 and I would be worried about what looks a strong midfield and the damage that Comer can do-if we limit them in those areas, we have a good chance. On the other hand, our bench looks a lot stronger. Difficult to call it.

  38. Tuamstar – Galway recent all Ireland finalists will have a full deck to choose from and home advantage, hard to see anything other than a Galway win.

    Mayo will be happy to play a game against one of the all Ireland contenders, it might stand to us when we play Roscommon and Cavan in the round robin.

  39. Good to see Durcan included in match day panel. Hopefully he is included in the real panel on Sunday. Likewise. Diarmaid and Cillian. Galway full forward line is top class and ours isn’t bad either. 50/ 50 game as usual against our greatest rivals. Roll on Sunday

  40. At. TsuDhoNim. Thanks for weather update. Met have a habit of issuing better forecasts for long weekends but it’s looking good.
    Galway uninspiring performances this year and it’s difficult to drag yourself up from mediocrity.
    I think we have an edge in panel strength. There is no reason why we should not settling for anything less. Group matches with Derry and Ulster runners up will battle harden us for quarter finals. One game at a time though.

  41. When we think of galway .. the same names crop up. Comer. Walsh. Conroy. Kelly. Heany. For me mcbrien has to be at 3. O hora done a great job on Walsh before. I worry about our inexperience in the full back line. I expect changes. Midfield will be crucial Think they have the edge there. Can we get away without Durcan who is a line breaker . Diarmuid o Connor. . Two big championship players. Its no more than a 50.50 match. Goals will probably decide it

  42. Winning this game will depend on what improvements have been made to our middle 8 on winning primary and breaking ball .I have to say I haven’t seen any particular improvement from game to game this year.we somehow won in salthill last year despite being almost totally cleaned out in that sector and Roscommon also highlighted problems there .while I think we might just have enough to sneak a win on Sunday i still think our lack of ball winning midfielders is our Achilles heel

  43. Can’t say I’m confident for this one (rarely am for games between these two teams though).
    I would think, unfortunately, that Galway have the greater room for improvement. Didn’t think we were anything special at all in our victories over new York and a very poor Roscommon team. Against a better team, who will marshall Ryan a bit better, we will be very stuck for scores. Meanwhile, Galway are creating a lot of goal chances. Only a matter of time before they start putting them away. Galway by four I reckon. I’ll be a happy man in Salthill if I’m wrong!

  44. I think we need to have faith in our team at this stage. We are a decent side, good enough for last four with a bit of luck. Away from home against a side going for three in a row is the test we need

  45. I see Tuamstar has said McDaid is ready to go, I thought he was another week or two out but pleased to hear Hernon and McLoughlin has joined the panel. I still think we are a few weeks off championship pace for likes of Comer but we will see. Mayo are favourites but not by much. It would be a pleasant surprise if Galway win as it will give them the platform to step up this year but on league form Mayo should shade it.

  46. New pod up on Patreon – it’s our Here Comes the Weekend show, in which Mike is joined by Stephen Drake to look ahead to Sunday’s Connacht final. And chat about spuds.

    This is the first of two pods this evening, as we’ll have a Final Whistle show later on after this evening’s U17 match against Leitrim.

  47. Really hard to call this one, as a Galway man delighted to see some of our main lads back and McDaid pushing for the 26. If we could get him back on the field of play it would be a big boost. Just looking at the benches and Mayo just look that bit stronger, I just can’t get that aspect out of my head and it could be a deciding factor the standard of player Mayo can spring.

    @Tommy+Joe – Conroy showed a bit of form against Roscommon, that may have landed right on time for ye! No doubt Johnny McGrath will be looking forward to another tussle with Ryan O’D but he will be hard marshalled.

    Looking forward to it now!

  48. Alot of unknowns with both teams in terms of fitness and form. This may well come down to who wants to win it more. Would like to win, could accept a narrow loss if players like Tommy, Jordan, Jack continue to up their performances. Recent history suggests Galway win non knockout games but I have a hunch that we may just pull through.

  49. I don’t know about that Tommy. It seems every team we beat is “very poor” (despite playing in Div 1 this year).
    And as for marshaling ROD, sure isn’t that what every team tries to do with him? Looks easier said than done to me. And if they double mark him, what about the space that leaves for AOS and Conroy?
    Like, every team tries to marshall D Clifford, but sometimes a player is good enough to still make the difference. Mayo by 3

  50. @Dan totally agree..

    I bet if we do win on Sunday people say it was ‘Galway playing it cute to get so called easier group’

    The draws pre finals is a total joke. Even on rte news it said it makes of joke of conacht final. People say provicials still matter but not according to the GAA super powers by the looks of it.

    But I still think both galway & ourselves will go all out to win Sunday.

    Heard marty morrisery saying winner of connacht faces a really tough group though I don’t get the hype around Derry tbh good side but you’d swear they are new dubs side in the making. They lost their first opening round v donegal yet still firm favourites along with dubs, kerry I don’t get it.

    Anyway mayo for a good win and then a good win v derry ha good luck guys!

  51. @Dan
    100%,everybody we bet was shite and then we were shite if we lost (even when we fielded a weakened team like v Tyrone)

    Mayo (and Galway for that matter) are on a similar level to Derry and ahead of Donegal,Armagh when it comes to summer football.

  52. There has never been a Connacht final between mayo and Galway when both teams didn’t go all out to win it .doesn’t matter what the circumstances that won’t change on Sunday

  53. I agree with Craggy Boglands about our inexperience in the full back line, being a big worry.
    Brickenden Isn’t a full-back at this or any level, and if he’s to mark Comer tomorrow, then that will be badly exposed.
    It’s one way of avoiding Derry in the next game.

  54. Both teams badly need the momentum a win would bring, it’s a must win in my opinion

  55. Dean rock has an article in the independent about the championship group stages and how 3 teams going through is crazy. He mentions how Dublin and kerry can manage their load nicely to a quarter final and I think most would agree with that. Time for a shake up with the fixtures.

  56. The Galway rumour mill seems to be very knowledgeable – ‘McDaid pushing very hard for the 26’. I doubt if there is one poster here or journalist, who could authoritatively name a Mayo player pushing very hard for the 26. Once upon a time maybe…

  57. I agree @No Doubt, two teams should be going through from each group to four quarter finals.
    It’s not as if those Preliminary quarter finals bring big crowds or anything.

    The prelim quarter finals winners are then severely punished as have to play a quarter final 6 or 7 days later. Best option is to top the group, this is why Kerry and the Dubs will have an easy run.
    Funny that those two teams always seem get the easier teams in all Gaa draws.

    I thought this was to change this year.

    All in a very congested Season.

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