Team to play Dublin named

I had only just hit the ‘Publish’ button on the previous post when I saw that we have now, a bit earlier than expected, announced our line-up for the Dublin game on Sunday.  Here are full details of the team and subs:

Mayo (NFL Division One v Dublin, 20/3/2011): Robert Hennelly (Breaffy); Tom Cunniffe (Castlebar Mitchels), Chris Barrett (Belmullet), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis); Richie Feeney (Castlebar Mitchels), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore); Ronan McGarrity (Ballina Stephenites), James Kilcullen (Ballaghaderreen); Aidan Campbell (Swinford), Alan Dillon (Ballintubber), Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen); Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Alan Freeman (Aghamore), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole).  Subs: David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites), Peadar Gardiner (Crossmolina), Cathal Hallinan (Ballintubber), James Burke (Ballymun Kickhams, Dublin), Jason Gibbons (Ballintubber), Tom Parsons (Charlestown), Aidan Kilcoyne (Knockmore), Enda Varley (Garrymore), Neil Douglas (Castlebar Mitchels), Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber), Eoghan Reilly (Castlebar Mitchels).

That’s seven changes from the side that started against Armagh last weekend, with Robbie Hennelly, Keith Higgins, Richie Feeney, Ronan McGarrity, James Kilcullen, Aidan O’Shea and Alan Freeman coming in, while Kenneth O’Malley, Cathal Hallinan, Peadar Gardiner, Ruaidhri O’Connor, Tom Parsons, Jason Gibbons and Aidan Kilcoyne all lose out.  There are also a number of positional switches from the starting team the last day, the net result of which is that only Tom Cunniffe, Ger Cafferkey, Aidan Campbell, Alan Dillon and Jason Doherty will have the same numbers on their jerseys that they had the last day.

While there are good reasons for many of the changes being made for Sunday, it means that, as has been the case for every other game so far this year, there’s absolutely no continuity from one day to the next. I can understand why the likes of Gardiner, Parsons, Gibbons and Kilcoyne haven’t made the cut this time (given that none of them by all accounts did that well the last day) but this logic surely doesn’t apply in the cases of Cathal Hallinan and Ruaidhri O’Connor.  Hallinan (or Alan Feeney – is he injured by the way?) is a potential championship full-back for us while Chris Barrett (who stands at 5’9” or thereabouts) most definitely isn’t.  So why name Barrett there when the Ballintubber man could gain valuable experience in the position at HQ on Sunday?  Likewise, why reward O’Connor for repeatedly good showings with a place on the bench in the next game?  It makes no sense to me, I have to say.

A more welcome development is James Kilcullen’s return to midfield, where he’ll provide a bit of heft (though maybe not too much in the way of pace) while Keith Higgins should add a bit of stability at the back (he’ll have the legs on Mossy at any rate).  Alan Freeman’s return in the forwards will also add some potency there and, given his and Jason Doherty’s keen eye for goal, Pat Gilroy may yet end up regretting his decision to rest Stephen Cluxton for this one.

6 thoughts on “Team to play Dublin named

  1. That forward line as a distinct ‘championship’ look about it. So, with a relatively inexperienced Dublin back line in action, it will be interesting to see if those forwards can deliver on Sunday.

  2. Cant understand why full back slot hasnt been given priority. Our number 3 and number 6 need to be consistently chosen with realistic championship candidates ie A Feeney and Cafferky given regular berths to build some kind of understanding back there. The other back four slots are largely like-for-like personnelwise and can fit ‘the system’ regardless of name. Its March, we need some shape rebuilding or not. The team named will be unlikely to start anyway judging from the campaign so far, which is pointless and a little frustrating for the travelling supporter

  3. I think we will have to travel in hope on this one.

    1 – The Dubs are the form team and playing at ‘home’ and have already had 2 wins out of 2 in Croker against Kerry and Cork.

    2 – In the league so far we have both played Kerry and Armagh – Dublin won both and we lost both.

    3 – There will be goals in this match – Dublin have out-goaled us on the double so far in the league as they have scored 8 and we have scored exactly half that while on the other hand they have only let in 3 and we have conceded twice that.

    So 3 solid reasons why the odds favour the Dubs on this one and I would be very very very surprised if any of the analysts forecast anything but a Dublin win on Sunday. Mayo will be underdogs !

    But you know what being seen as complete underdogs could be our trump card. I don’t expect the Dubs to be complacent but they were a tad lucky against Monaghan last week so it’s not as if they are unbeatable. Mayo need to raise their game for sure but this is exactly the game they need just now when least expected !

    So will travel in hope – of a good performance and maybe, just maybe, to upset the odds !

  4. We are looking quite threadbare, Chris is a tigerish corner back, would like to see how the team might function without Moran and Dillon. If the name of the game is experimentation then go the whole hog.

  5. Chris Barrett at FB is a bit strange but then I doubt if he will actually play there. There might well be changes before throw in.
    WJ – I’m not sure I agree with you 100% about Ruaidhri O Connor……I have been at all the games so far this year and I have not seen aything too special from him so far. Then again he hasnt done much wrong either that I saw.

    I certainly agree with selecting James Kilcullen – a bit of muscle at midfield is no harm at all. He now has a great chance to show us what he can do.

    I wouldnt argue with JH chopping and changing at this stage – it is the only way he will find out what lads are made of by throwing them into serious competitive games. Good luck to the boys on Sunday. Everyone expects us to get a hiding – I’m not so sure that will happen.

  6. Great to see Freeman back for this one lets hope he`s fully recovered,hand injuries can knock the edge off a lad if the injury is not 100% ok.
    Midfield need to send in varied ball into the FF line Andy will probally handle a fair bit of ball from the middle third let`s hope it`s not all his usual route one approach.
    The full back line will have their hands full they need to stick tight for the full game given the number of goals that the Dubs have scored so far this year.
    Who`ll take the long range frees? Freeman Doherty or Hennelly could be tried it`s a worry though we don`t seem to have any specialist young O`Connor was deadly as a minor but he`s still a bit too young for this level.
    If we could get a good start on Sunday we could get something out of it.

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