One change in league final team

We’ve just named our team to face Cork in this coming Sunday’s National Football League Division One final at Croke Park (throw-in 4pm). The side shows just one change from the one that lined out against Kerry in the semi-final, with Ballintubber’s Cillian O’Connor starting at full-forward instead of Burrishoole’s Jason Doherty.

Sunday’s team also bears a very strong resemblance to the one that started (but didn’t finish) in that narrow defeat to Cork in McHale Park last month. Missing from that line-up are Shane McHale, Seamus O’Shea and Alan Freeman with that trio replaced by Kevin Keane, Jason Gibbons and Conor Mortimer. This means that, like the Rebels, our team on Sunday will feature twelve of the lads who started for us that day in Castlebar.

Last night, I observed that Cork’s team for Sunday also features twelve of the team that started for them in last year’s All-Ireland quarter-final. We’ve a far higher turnover compared to the Rebels from then, however, as eight of our starters that day don’t feature in the fifteen named to start on Sunday. Out of that team go Robbie Hennelly, Tom Cunniffe, Richie Feeney, Trevor Mortimer, the two O’Sheas, Enda Varley and Alan Freeman while in come David Clarke, Kevin Keane, Lee Keegan, Colm Boyle, Barry Moran, Jason Gibbons, Conor Mortimer and Michael Conroy.

Here’s the full list for Sunday’s decider:

Mayo (NFL Division One final v Cork, 29/4/2012): David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites); Kevin Keane (Westport), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis); Lee Keegan (Westport), Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe), Colm Boyle (Davitts); Barry Moran (Castlebar Mitchels), Jason Gibbons (Ballintubber); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen), Alan Dillon (Ballintubber); Conor Mortimer (Parnells, Dublin), Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber), Michael Conroy (Davitts).Subs: Robert Hennelly (Breaffy), Michael Walsh (Ardnaree), Shane McHale (Knockmore), Peadar Gardiner (Crossmolina), Richie Feeney (Castlebar Mitchels), Danny Geraghty (Ballintubber), Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy), Pat Harte (Ballina Stephenites), Alan Freeman (Aghamore),  Jason Doherty (Burrishoole), Enda Varley (Garrymore).

37 thoughts on “One change in league final team

  1. Willie Joe do you know how many of the survivors of our All Ireland Under 21 win over Cork (in 2006??) are on both teams?

  2. Grainne – U21 and minor results from previous years remain on my results archive to-do list but this excellent piece by Fintan O’Toole (not the preachy leftie in the Irish Times, it’s the sports reporter in the Examiner) from last summer provides all the details. Our team on Sunday will have five starters from the 2006 U21 final – Ger Cafferkey, Keith Higgins, Colm Boyle, Barry Moran and Michael Conroy. Seamus O’Shea (in the subs on Sunday) also started then, as did Aidan Campbell (who I think is injured, which is why he’s not in the subs for Croke Park). Enda Varley came on as a sub in 2006 and is in the subs on Sunday too. Cork will have seven starters from 2006 in their team for Sunday – Carey, Shields, Cadogan, Alan O’Connor, Kelly, Gould and Kerrigan.

  3. I’m very happy with that Mayo team. Bar Aidan o Shea out injured he is the one change that would be made if he was fit. My only concern is Kevin Keane named at 2 and their donnacha o Connor named at 15. Keith Higgins picked o Connor up in the league and did well. Colm o Neill scored 1-6 in corks last game and I’d like to see caff mark him tight. Keane could then pick up Aidan Walsh at no 3. Kevin is used to that position anyways.

    Some may have concerns about our midfield but I don’t. Gibbons is coming on well and he should pick up pearse o Neill. Both are 6’5 and athletic. I think and hope Barry can deliver against on Sunday. There is a big performance in him. Looking at our bench it’s really strong. Some classy players on it and I’ve no doubt they will have a big impact when they are called upon!

  4. It’s as good a team as JH can name barring injuries (and maybe absentees). Looking forward to Sunday. I hope our fellas will give a good account of themselves.
    Cork are favourites (and rightly so imo). Kerry beat them in the League but had pulled away in the first half. Counihan made changes bringing in Noel O’Leary and Kerrigan and Cork comfortable won the second half if leaving the match behind them.

    But we shouldn’t fear them. The only fear we might have is that we don’t give ourselves enough credit and have the confidence and desire to go toe to toe with Cork.

    One of the worrying things about the Kerry game was that some players seemed to pull back from the tackle rather than go head first for the ball (when it was clearly there in a 50/50 to be won).

    There is no point naming names as I presume these fellas will have seen the video themselves and know themselves they could have put their bodies on the line in those instances but didn’t.

    I really hope this particular lack of confidence in themselves is gone from this team. In the long run it is far better to dive in and take that (possible) hit rather than pull back.

    If you have committed yourself and dived in you are far less likely to get hurt as your head is in the right place and your body will resist the belt far better.

    Rock on Sunday.

  5. I honestly can’t think who you’re referring to there JPM – I didn’t notice anyone who was afraid to tackle the Kerry men.
    A lot of this Mayo team beat Cork in last year’s AIQF, and should have beaten them a few weeks ago in the league, so I don’t think they’ll be lacking confidence.
    The only difference this time around is that it’s a national final – of course, it can be legitimately argued that’s quite a big difference when it comes to Mayo!

  6. Probally our strongest available team will take the field on Sunday. Pat Harte a little unlucky to lose out considering his performance in the semifinal v Kerry. I think he wil see action before the final whistle tough. Cork are alot stronger too compaired to the Alll Ireland quater final last on Reek Sunday last. I’m sure they were truly sickened by that deafeat, and will want revenge. Mayo too can use revenge for motivation. We let it slip in McHale Park earlier in the spring & of course Mayo’s last terrible performance in Croke Park v Cork, the league final of 2010, this was The mannerof this defeat, I think our belief disolved before our eyes & set the seeds of our early championship exit at Longford, John O Mahonys last day in charge. But a new broom, new man in charge, youth got its chance & aquited themselves very well. This is a new team, with renewed belie.f & confidence. Combined with plenty of interchangable players, a really strong bench, if we get most things right on Sunday, it will take a very good team to live with us. Of course the Rebles are a very good team but I like the momentum behind Mayo just now & I very confident that we will get one hell of a performance from the team & I’d say we will need all our 5 subs too, should be a cracker & l think we’ll have cracked this nut before the Angelus come Sunday. On a much less important issue I fancy Tyrone to have too much for Kildare in a very appealing curtain raiser, in any event managers Harte & McGeeny will be keeping one eye on the main event, whats the betting all four in action next Sunday making the quaterfinals next august. Co’Mon Mayo.

  7. It remains to be seen what effect the trip to the Algarve will have on our prospects on Sunday. A weeks hard training might get us up a notch or leave us flat.
    As to the team, it is along the lines expected. Opportunities still for championship places to be nailed down especially in midfield and ff line.
    Cork look strong on paper but to be the best you must beat the best.

  8. Very happy with the team. There’s a bit of apprehension over on GAA board about big Barry in midfield but provided he’s injury free I think he could do damage on Sunday and Gibbons is developing nicely too. Our bench looks pretty strong so everything points to a great battle. All I want from the lads is the same passion and intensity(sustained for longer periods) they showed the last day and I’ll be happy and if that brings Silverware then it’s a bonus.

  9. Solid team with good alternatives on the bench. We could be on to something here. In the words of Mick Doyle was it who said “give it a lash”

  10. have been listening to a lot of people say that Mayo “have to win” this as its a final. nonsense in my opinion, what Mayo have to do is play to the best of their ability and put in another good performance to make it 5 decent performances in a row. That will show me we are consistent and heading in the right direction. Cork are a better team on paper and are further ahead in their development so I expect them to win by 2 or 3 points.
    What concerns me more, is that if we do manage another good performance its nearly 2 months before we play again. We’ll almost have arrived at championship pitch, only to have to park it for 2 months. James biggest challenge, is not Sunday, its how the hell does he keep these lads fine tuned and motivated for 2 more months. Pitch openings and chicken and chips on Friday nights between now and June 28th won’t do it.

  11. I’ll try and be more specific Tubberman. A few times against Kerry certain players had situations where the ball was coming towards them. Also an opposition player was chasing down that ball as well.

    Our lads had the opportunity to move into the ball and take on the tackle as well. Instead (in several instances) they chose to wait for that ball to come onto them.

    That split second hesitation (indecision, lack of nerve to commit in) gave the opposition the upper hand.

    Because that split second hesitation also allowed a 3rd party opposing player to gain a couple of metres and catch up to that particular time and place as well.

    The net result was that when our fella eventually got the ball he ended up being surrounded by two opposing players and duly turned over possession.

    This instinct to go head on and meet the ball (and the tackler) rather than waiting for the ball is what I was referring to above.

    Its not always possible and you can accuse me of being picky however these split second decisions can lead to bigger consequences for both teams on the pitch.

  12. “Preechy leftie” ?

    Not a shite do I give about the west brit your making reference to but how do you make out he’s a leftist?

  13. To be fair to the guy, I don’t think he could ever be accused on being a West Brit but I don’t think anyone who has ever read anything he’s written could be in doubt as to his leftie sentiments!

  14. Only n Ireland, sure gilmore is a connollyite too.

    There is no true left wing party nor mainstream journalist left in Ireland all firmly in the pocket of the bourgeois since the IRA were defeated

  15. Alan O’Connor is the best midfielder in the country and this is where our best player is missing.

    Personally I am worried about Barry Moran. I don’t think he has shown anything in the league. He does not tend to leave the ground and definitely does not have the spring which means his height advantage becomes a problem. He is also quite slow and we could be open here. Surprised he started.

    Delighted to see Cillian back. I wonder what way the free will be handed out. Presume Mort and himself will share.

    Hope Davey Clark is not left with the 45s. He has a booming kick but the accuracy is questionable.

    Anyway here’s to a good day. Think it will be a bad one.

  16. Oh Lord, Willie Joe, if we’ve descended into politics (not sporting either) on this blog, it’s goodnight Vienna…lol

  17. mayo av won nothing and goin 20 minutes without scoring isnt good enough to win anything especially wen you av 70 percent of the posession but they av made good progress and there startin to toughen up and getin a bit of confidence as well lets get behind the team on sunday and support them i think it could be a sunny day in the west up the tubber

  18. We must keep in mind that Cork were All Ireland champions up until we knocked them out 9 months ago, so for them to beat us on Sunday wouldn`t be a huge shock or wouldn`t be seen as a huge failure on our behalf either.
    Aiden O`Shea will be a big loss to us on Sunday around the middle but we beat Kerry while loosing midfield.
    Where I think we have the winning of it will be our willingness to take scores from 30+ yards out and our ability to deliver fast quality ball into the full foreward line where we have proven finishers.
    Alan Dillon needs to have a stormer.
    I`m very happy with the way our defence has played no soft goals given away tight marking where it was needed.
    Midfield will be a play it by ear situation on the day, hope Seamus O`Shea is fit enough to come on at some stage, we`ll need his strength if we`re to get on top around the middle.
    All in all we can do it on Sunday the training camp should be a big plus in our favour..Looking foreward to lifting some silverware after a few scares along the way I`m sure!

  19. Time to lay off Barry Moran & give him agood run in the team. He was the best club player in the county last year. I feel Cunniffe will be a panel player if he returns. Harte is a great addition—real madrid do not have as good a penalty taker.Keane settling in well–glad we did not rush him.Mort has surprised us all—lets give it everything on Sunday, no regrets that night.

  20. Nonsense that craic about lads pulling out of tackles. [Deleted – WJ]

    Its make or break for Barry Moran. The lad may shine!

  21. time was we could pick the mayo team with fifteen sure starters that day is gone thank god jh has thrown down the gauntlet to his panel not like the bad old days when your name guaranteed a starting berth nowwe have players with no little skill fire in their bellies pride in their jersey iwouldnt say we will an allireland this season but we will be in the mix come august these croke park days are invalualable to the younger lads in the panel leave the politics at home and get behind the lads your county needs you on sunday good luck lads theres plenty of county teams who would love to say a sher tis only a leauge final but its a priceless final in terms of experience ofthe big stage im a proud exile but a prouder mayo man heres to a good summer go for it lads

  22. I was talking to two cork men yesterday – seperatly- one an old friend living in the uk the other a man who is married here in Mayo both had absolute conviction that Cork would win no doubt at all ” sure Mayo are a grand team and I’d love to see them win an all Ireland but when they get to a final in Croker”…..etc
    that is how we are seen, so this is an oppertunity to change that mindset.. the perception thats out there”Mayo are a soft touch” I strongly believe this bunch of guys have the balls to rock that boat
    No doubt tomorrow will be one hell of a battle, thats what we need at this time of year and no better place for Mayo to showcase their their battling qualities than on the national stage.

  23. MaigheaAbu – I’ve had to delete part of your comment, House Rule 1 refers. If you want to respond on a point, then deal with the point itself and please refrain from aiming insults at the person who made it.

  24. ah lads lesave tha politics out,if we go into that on ths blog they,d be none of us talking to 1 to tha game hav to agree with east cork n that this cork team s ahead of us ,all ire champs 2010 n 4th league final in a row .very goog n experince team. i think cork will have a couple points on us at tha end but mayo have come on leaps n bounds and anoter good performance n maybe a little luck can sneak it. b ig game for barry moran n its time now he delivers to his potential n im sure he knows tha himself so good luck to him n all tha lads n give it hell. MAIGH EO ABU…

  25. Well
    They have 15 we have 15
    We have as good a footballers as Cork
    There are no ghosts on the pitch
    Neither team will dominate all the play
    When they dominate we must fight
    When we dominate we must execute
    It is still April
    But lets take a few bob off the bookies anyway
    We have 26 they have 26
    That is a handy looking team above
    Roll on 4;00

  26. Cautiously optimistic that Mayo eek out a win today. Sure it won’t be easy and maybe not that pretty at times, but who cares? There’s many a final that was crap, yet there was always a champion crowned.
    On a personal note, I’ve married into a family of Corkonian’s and to be honest, as someone mentioned previously, they see us a soft touch, nice footballers but when we reach the business end of the league (or c’ship), we’re seen as a soft touch. Sure! winning the league title on Sunday won’t change that perception, but the reality would be that we are champs, and maybe NOT a soft touch after all.
    Onward and upward…best of luck to the lads.

  27. Being thought of as a soft touch in finals is understandable, as that is what we have been. The only way to change that is to win a few. If we win today it will help. As we all know it’s all about championship. So let enjoy the game and see how we proform in a final v a good Cork team. Ironically we might learn more from defeat than success. Still though I’d prefer a win. Come on Mayo!!!

  28. I’ll be glued to mid west here in Japan,gutted I can’t be there.This Mayo team are skillful with no shortage of passion and crucially have a harder edge than previous teams.They believe they can win,that’s very important.Hup Mayo!

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