After all the leaking that went on yesterday (which proved to be on the money), the first championship selection of the Holmes/Connelly era was finally announced officially a short while ago. Here’s the team that Noel and Pat have selected to face Galway in Sunday’s Connacht SFC semi-final at Pearse Stadium (throw-in 4pm):
Mayo (Connacht SFC semi-final v Galway, 14/6/2015): David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites); Chris Barrett (Belmullet), Kevin Keane (Westport), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis, captain); Lee Keegan (Westport), Tom Cunniffe (Castlebar Mitchels), Colm Boyle (Davitts); Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy), Tom Parsons (Charlestown Sarsfields); Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore); Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen), Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole).
So it’s a pretty experienced pick, with all fifteen named to start having all previously lined out for the county in the championship. That said, there are a number of significant switches compared to the last time we played in the championship, at the end of August last year.
Out from the team that started down in Limerick in the All-Ireland semi-final replay are Robbie Hennelly, Ger Cafferkey, Donal Vaughan, Barry Moran and Alan Dillon while in come David Clarke (a first championship start for him since the 2013 Connacht semi-final), Kevin Keane, Chris Barrett, Tom Parsons and Diarmuid O’Connor. Kevin, Chris and Tom all came on as subs that evening in the Gaelic Grounds so, despite the five changes made for Sunday, there’s still a fair bit of continuity between then and now.
Compared to our last competitive fixture, the League match against Donegal back in April, there are six changes. David Clarke, Tom Cunniffe, Chris Barrett, Tom Parsons, Cillian O’Connor and Andy Moran didn’t start in that game (and none of them featured off the bench either) while Kenneth O’Malley, Brendan Harrison, Donal Vaughan, Barry Moran, Mark Ronaldson and Danny Kirby did.
We haven’t named our subs for Sunday at this point in time.