It’s my final night here in the land of perpetual summer and so there’s lots to be sorted – including my predictions for this weekend’s round of league matches so don’t forget yours either, both for the Setanta competition (for which you need to email me with your predictions for the score in the Tyrone v Antrim match and, as back-up, the score of the Cork v Down game) and the mini-league.
There’s no sign of the team to play Armagh yet (it may be released later on I guess) but the side to face Roscommon in the U21 Connacht championship first round tie at McHale Park on Saturday (throw-in 2.30 pm) has been named. Aidan O’Shea will captain the U21s this year and here’s the team and subs that Ray Dempsey has named to face the reigning Connacht champions at this level:
Mayo (U21 Connacht Championship v Roscommon, 12/3/2011): Robert Hennelly (Breaffy); Shane McHale (Knockmore), Kevin Keane (Westport), Keith Rodgers (Ballaghaderreen); Caolan Crowe (Garrymore), Danny Kirby (Castlebar Mitchels), Eoghan Reilly (Castlebar Mitchels); Shane Nally (Garrymore), Danny Geraghty (Ballintubber); Michael Forde (Ballycastle), Cathal Freeman (Aghamore), Andrew Farrell (Killala); Colin Dempsey (Swinford), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy, captain), Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber). Subs: Conor Campbell (Swinford), Tom Staunton (Tourmakeady), John Broderick (Claremorris), Ciaran Charlton (Kiltimagh), Fergal Durkan (Castlebar Mitchels), Darren Coen (Hollymount), Aidan Walsh (Castlebar Mitchels), Lewis Cawley (Westport), David Dolan (Garrymore), Ger McDonagh (Castlebar Mitchels), Joe Keane (Crossmolina), Michael Walsh (Ardnaree), Cormac Doohan (Ballaghaderreen), Jack McDonnell (Swinford).
Plenty of familiar names there, both in terms of lads who took part in the last few minor campaigns and those who have already made the breakthrough at senior level. It’s a great idea, I think, to give Aidan the captaincy and I hope he thrives in the role. The Sheepstealers will be no pushovers on Saturday and, as ever, with no backdoor at U21 the campaign facing us could be a lot shorter than we might imagine. If they get over this hurdle, however, it could be a good campaign for us so here’s wishing the lads all the best for Saturday.
In other news, Club Mayo Dublin are planning to hold a bash in Croke Park on the day of the Dublin match on Sunday week. This will involve both a lunch and a guest speaker slot, for which Tyrone legend Peter Canavan will be doing the honours. Full details on this event, including how to get tickets for it, are available here.