No new injury concerns following club action at weekend

The weekend of club championship action has come and gone and it looks if it has done so without any members of the county panel getting injured. Most of the panel – with one high-profile exception – turned out for their respective clubs on what was the final round of action before the knockout stages of the different championships get underway. I’m not 100% sure of when this will happen but I can only assume that it’ll be after our involvement at inter-county level is over.

That high-profile exception I mentioned was Kevin McLoughlin, who, according to this piece in the Connaught Telegraph, sat out Knockmore’s Group 2 clash with Garrymore following an instruction by James Horan to his players that they should only line out for their clubs if the match in question was one where a positive result was needed to secure qualification to the play-offs or to avoid demotion. Knockmore were already through and so Kevin Mc didn’t tog but so too were Breaffy and the three O’Sheas all played as did Andy Moran and Richie Feeney for the already-qualified Ballaghaderreen and Castlebar Mitchels respectively.

Performance of the weekend must surely go to Ballinrobe’s Donal Vaughan. Named to start at midfield against Kiltane, Donie was instead switched to full-forward where he made proverbial hay, banging in 2-3 as the South Mayo club prevailed in Bangor on a 2-12 to 1-12 scoreline. According to the match report in the Mayo News (paper and digital versions), James Horan was at that game on Saturday evening so will have been able to judge for himself if that’s a rabbit he might consider pulling out of the hat at some stage at Croke Park.

The same paper also reports that Tom Cunniffe didn’t play at the weekend and that the Mitchels man is now a “major doubt” for the All-Ireland quarter-final as he continues his slow recovery from an Achilles injury. There’s better news concerning Tom Parsons, though, who played the full hour at midfield for Charlestown against Ballaghadereen, scoring a goal in the process. Jason Gibbons also got valuable game time under his belt for Ballintubber but that wasn’t the only belt involving him as he picked up a minor facial injury in his side’s trouncing of Crossmolina.

A summary of the weekend’s results and what it means for play-off qualification and relegation trouble is here.

25 thoughts on “No new injury concerns following club action at weekend

  1. Great stuff apart from Tom. It’s a shame that Chris comes back and Tom gets injured. That’s a headache we want James Horan and co to have this year! Hopefully his recovery is going steady.

  2. Achilles injury is horrible to recover from. Hopefully tom will be back soon. We definitely need him at full tilt, key player

  3. It’s a real plus for us this year that our injury count is low.
    Hopefully Cunniffe will not lose his fitness whilst rehabbing from his achilles.
    We are going to need everyone on board & we’ll need James to play a blinder in his selection, match-up & substitution role.
    In my view there are at least two places up for grabs in the forward division & as Willie Joe mentions above the performance of Vaughan at 14 is interesting. I doubt that Vaughan playing at 14 & James travelling to Bangor are unrelated.
    Another new development & a welcome plus was that we handpassed two goals last Sunday mirroring what Dublin did to us in last years AIF. Simple & effective.
    Less welcome was our failure to cope with direct running into our defence … missing in action direct from the throw-in at the start of the second half is pretty damning as was our passivity in dealing with Paul Conroy. This weakness will have been noted by all of our potential opponents & I would expect a thorough testing in this area from now on.

  4. I heard that about Vaughan at 14. I always liked the thought of how he’d fare in the half forward line, but no. 14 will do!! Very interesting. As mentioned here by a few people after the Connaught final, it bodes well for us the way many players now can move seamlessly between positions. I can see this working well for us this year and being a key feature and one that definitely keeps the opposition guessing. Overall, certain players are going to be more suited to a certain position, but in a horses for courses type approach, even time-limited switches can be very effective and off-putting for opponents.

  5. I wouldn’t have thought Vaughan would be considered in the inside forward line for Mayo. His running power is his key strength so, as stated above, I would have thought he would be stationed in the half forward line or midfield if moved from defence.

    To be honest I still think Freeman will start there in Croker.

  6. I was at the Kiltane Ballinrobe game, Vaughan took his chances well but they were more 1:1’s as a result of poor defending rather than outstanding Banlinrobe play, but then again maybe I am just a bitter Kiltane man! He also took some frees as Ballinrobe gained a deserving win.

    There is no reason why inter county players could not rotate at club level, does not guarantee that it would have worked at inter county level. Mikey Sweeney played half forward for a lot of the game, but missed his incisiveness in the FF line.

    Good to hear that the players came through the weekend, justifies proceeding with the games this time!

  7. If donie was to be moved to the forwards who would slot into the wing back position? Or would Boyle go back to playing on the wing and someone slot into centre half back? Interesting prospect all the same

  8. Barrett could possibly be played on the half back line – He has certainly showed he is composed going forward. I’d also expect to see Freezer being given the start at no. 14 again soon.

  9. Usually when Donal Vaughan comes forward from the back, he misses a lot more chances than he scores. Maybe he might be a bit more accurate if he was closer to goals but I’d just prefer to see us playing more natural scorers up front. I thought that Dublin’s first goal against Meath really summed up what a natural forward is, extremely selfish in front of goals. Do you think that Bernard Brogan was going to let his brother score a simple tap in? No he wasn’t, he nearly injured his own brother in the process of scoring a goal. A natural forward only thinks about scoring and thrives on it, like Cillian O’Connor, while a converted defender will be hoping that he won’t miss. I can’t see why Mikey Sweeney wouldn’t be a good option in the full-forward line. He was on the field for a very short time against Dublin in the league and buried the ball in the back of the net. I’d say we would have a lot of forwards who have played for us the last few years, who have never scored a goal in Croke Park. I’d love to see him get his chance in the quarter-final game. If he does not start, he should at least be the first sub to be brought on up-front.

  10. Yeah Roger, he scored 1-1 against Dublin from play and 2 points from play against Derry as well as giving the assist for Andy Moran’s goal. The only black mark against him, that I can think of is when he didn’t pass the ball to Enda Varley when he was in on goal, in that game. You’d hope that maybe James Horan was saving him for Croke Park as he scored a goal for Kiltane too in the club final there. So I make that 2-3 from play in 2 and a bit games on the hollowed turf, thats pretty good going. It’d be great to see Jason Gibbons start as well. You just feel we need players who can be relied on to get those extra few scores, that could make all the difference in Croke Park. We have lost 2 and drew 1 of our last three games in Croke Park so it’d be great to get back to winning ways there.

  11. Injurys have cost us dearly in ’12 with Andy and last year COC and Andy. Inside forward line of Freeman and o Connor is what we need, both able to fight for possession, can take a score off either foot and clever in possesion. Name Doherty in corner and bring him out with Kevin mcl AOS and Feeney/Andy/Parsons or Duffy with gibbons and SOS i lár na pairce

  12. I’ve been a long time advocate of Vaughan at 11

    14 is interesting!

    Only one man for that job for Mayo though and he was on the bench v Galway 🙁

  13. Mickey Mac…is Gavin Duffy eligible to play for Mayo?.Lives and works in Galway,plays a little football with Salthill.I cant figure out on what grounds he’d be able to play with us-Can anyone clarify this?

  14. Re Mikey Sweeney, I think we are in a good position here. We know he’s good, James knows he’s good; he is under the radar and can be sprung to good effect from here on in. Croker suits him too.

    It’s much better than being the target of the Cork’s or whoever else and gives that element of. Control that forces others to adapt to our game rather than dictating terms.

  15. Gavin Duffy is an ex Mayo minor doesn’t matter if he plays in Galway or lives there. I know it’s gone quite lately but his game temperament will be top class and he has big game experience. He will be improving all the time on his skill set you’d imagine. Could see him getting into the mix around the middle/half forward. Another trick up Horans sleeve no doubt..

  16. @ optimistkeek ,

    Gavin Duffy is an ex Mayo minor who also played at leat one senior game for Ballina Stephenites against Knockmore in Knockmore at CHF in his last game before he turned pro in Rugby. He was born and bred in Ballina and never played for another county (he was playing Rugby) since then and only transferred to Salthill recently as his rugby creer wound down.

    Another example is James burke who played for Mayo last year while he is living and playing in Dublin. He left Ardnaree when he went to college (at the same age Gavin turned pro) and as far as I know he played little or no senior football for Ardnaree before he transferred. Again he has not played for a different county hence his freedom to play for the county he was born and bred in!!!

  17. In answer to the Gavin Duffy eligibility query. I don’t know the rule exactly but logic would tell me of course he’s eligible to play for us. He comes from ballina and played minor for mayo. Since his minor days he has not declared for any other county. The fact that he plays club for salthill should not matter at all Don’t lots of county players play for clubs outside their native county. If donie is moved to full forward maybe Aiden could go centre back. Is there a role for Duffy or will james leave him for the league He’d still be only 33 for next championship

  18. I’d be amazed if we saw Duffy play for Mayo in 2014. We’re now in a QF and he still hasn’t made a match-day panel. I can’t see how he can realistically have any on-field involvement in the current championship campaign.

  19. Davy J, maybe he could be used to “take the steam” out of Connolly or McAuley if we get that far?

  20. In fairness Pebblesmeller, we have the boys to do that already, especially if we’re going to use AOS at 11 for the remainder of the year and therefore have three man-mountains on the field. And from a footballing point of view I don’t see how a guy who has never played senior inter-county is going to cope with the sheer pace and speed of skill execution required in the current game. It’s just not realistic to expect that from him – or from anyone who’s been away from the game that long.

    So I wonder what is going on here. Is JH is trying to mess with people’s minds? Maybe that’s the idea, but if there’s anything more to it, then surely we need to see the man on the field for some part of the QF. Otherwise it would be hard not to dismiss this whole thing as a gimmick.

  21. I don’t think James brought Gavin in as a gimmick. I think he brought him in to sharpen/freshen up the squad and tap into his 12 years as a professional athlete. Gavin has had a close enough relationship with the Mayo squd since Horan took over so it wasn’t a massive jump to offer him a place in the squad. Also Gavin was a superb footballer before he chose a pro career albeit 12 or so years ago!! I played rugby with Gavin on some brilliant teams and he was always a collosus on and off the field , a ridiculous natural athlete ( his speed of the mark for a big man is crazy) and had a brilliant football brain to go with his natural football ability. The bigger the game the more he performed everytime as if he thrived on the pressure.

    Despite all the above I personally think it would be a huge achievement if he got up to speed in the basics of handpassing and tackling (he had an unusual Gaa kicking style in rugby so he will be grand with the round ball!) allied with the stamina needed for a football game , to play any part in this years championship but I definitely think he will play a part next year and probably the year after. I would not underestimate the positive effect he probably already has had in the squad in terms of attitude , strenght & conditioning and leadership , on and off the field.

  22. JH wouldn’t be saying he is making massive strides if he wasn’t. Hope he’s a game day addition to the squad at no.25 for 1/4’s I can’t see many inter county players (Dublin or Kerry) having to play against a former well respected rugby full back either, would be off putting for them straight away.

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