No team ’till at least Thursday: blame it on Mort’s schnozzle

According to this report in the Mayo News, we won’t be announcing our team for Sunday’s NFL opener against Derry until “Thursday at the earliest”.  It’s all due, it seems, to Conor Mortimer’s snout – the one that Mark Vaughan allegedly broke in two places the other week.  The blonde one didn’t line out for DCU in the O’Byrne Cup final last weekend and in that Mayo News piece, Johnno rates him as “extremely doubtful” for Sunday.  I’d say there’s little or no chance he’ll start in Ballina but, depending on how the match is going, we could see him come on at some point.

With no team announcement, it’s little surprise to see sensationalist non-story shite like this rushing in to fill the vacuum.  But, despair not: for those of us hanging on like junkies outside the methadone clinic for news on the team for Sunday (though it should be pointed out that a Mayo teamsheet would do little to assuage the cravings of your average junkie), Sean Rice’s column in the Mayo News provides a very strong pointer about what the team might look like.  The Voice of Experience mentions a challenge game against Cork last weekend (which ended in a draw) and where both counties fielded full-strength teams (and, wonder of wonders, the Cork lads happened not to be on strike at the time).  Sean names most of the team in his report and the other Mayo News piece does the rest so, by stitching the two articles together, here (with a few possible positional errors) is what the team for that challenge match was:

David Clarke; Donal Vaughan, Ger Cafferkey, Liam O’Malley; Peadar Gardiner, Tom Cunniffe, Pat Kelly; Ronan McGarritty, Tom Parsons;  BJ Padden, Trevor Mortimer, Alan Dillon; Mikey Sweeney, Barry Moran, Andy Moran.

What makes this line-up so relevant in that Sean reckons that “bar one or two positions” it’ll be the team for Sunday.  If it is, I’d be happy enough in most respects, what with Ger Cafferkey at full-back, Donal Vaughan in the corner (but why not Colm Cafferkey in the other corner?), Tom Cunniffe in his best position at centre-back and a big man (though not one that answers to Barry Regan) at full-forward.  But, before I jump too far ahead of myself, it’s worth bearing in mind the state of Mort’s proboscis and the fact that the definitive line-up won’t be announced till later in the week.

Instead, it’s back to that first Mayo News report I mentioned above where I see that the capacity in James Stephens Park will only be a cosy 4,500.  At that rate, it should be a full house or close enough to it next Sunday, just like the Dubs’ match against Tyrone the night before at Croker, as – according to The Brother who was tramping around HQ this afternoon in a vain hunt for tickets for himself and his chisellers – that one is already as good as sold out too.

4 thoughts on “No team ’till at least Thursday: blame it on Mort’s schnozzle

  1. I’m sure he’s tried here, but your bro could do worse than try Benny Gilsenans shop ‘Bennys’ on Emmet Road ( just off North circular road, opposite Gills pub , behind the chipper there). They might still have some tickets for the fireworks display/Hector show/football match/whatever you are having yourself.
    Larry Mullen has been commisioned to provide music for the celebrations after the event. Here’s hoping the sound is down on the tvs by the time I step/fall into the Big Tree.

  2. I think that place was mentioned in dispatches when I spoke with him yesterday. The problem is with the kids’ tickets, they’re all gone and so it’s a bit much to be forking out the full price to see the Dubs in February.

    I’m going to sit this one out but we’re based only a mile or so north of Croker so we might be able to see the fireworks from upstairs and, of course, the match itself is live on Setanta.

  3. Thanks for the update about the team announcement WJ. Nice to see some new talent get a chance. Was just checking your excellent archive for the 07 and 08 league + Champ teams and noted a few names under the ‘what ever happened to’ column:

    James Kilcullen? Not seen since league 07 I think
    Aidan Higgins? played against Tyrone.
    Chris Barrett? Was injured last year I think
    Kieran Conroy? Played out position in ’08
    Aidan Campbell? persona non grata with Mgt?

    The other thing I noticed is that with the exception of Sweeney (filling in for C Mort) that forward line could have featured in most matches since probably 06. Not much progress on uncovering new forward talent.

  4. Too true, Mike – this ‘building for the future’ stuff is more apparent than real, I think.

    I suppose Aidan Higgins will feature again during the year at some point but I haven’t heard any mention of him as yet. I think Kieran Conroy is in the squad for Sunday and Chris Barrett should be as well if he isn’t injured. James Kilcullen (and his young brother) seem to have disappeared off the radar altogether and I’ve no idea what the story is with Aiden Campbell. Around this time two years ago, Johnno was talking about giving Campbell game time but it never really happened. He was still U21 last year so there’s still plenty of time but it’s a bit of a mystery why he hasn’t progressed in the time since then.

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