Teams for Sunday named

Both ourselves and Tyrone have named our starting line-ups for this coming Sunday’s NFL Division 1 clash at Healy Park, Tyrone (throw-in 2.30 pm). With Trevor Mortimer out for a month following the straight red he got last Sunday, Johnno has opted for minimal change by drafting in at left half-forward Aghamore’s Alan Freeman, who came on as a sub for Seamus O’Shea against Galway, in an otherwise unchanged team. For the record, here is that team:

Mayo (NFL Div 1 v Tyrone): David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites); Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis); Peadar Gardiner (Crossmolina), Trevor Howley (Knockmore), Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore); Tom Parsons (Charlestown Sarsfields), Ronan McGarrity (Ballina Stephenites); Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen), Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy), Alan Freeman (Aghamore); Enda Varley (Garrymore), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Mark Ronaldson (Shrule-Glencorrib).

I dunno what the story is with any appeal against Trevor’s red card but whatever the crack is, he’s obviously suspended for Sunday. If there’s no appeal, the only other game he’ll miss will be the FBD final against Galway on Sunday week, a match which – if Johnno has any sense – should see wholesale changes compared to the one that was put out for the league match against the Herrin Chokers. I’d say the odds now heavily favour Trevor quietly doing his bird in relation to this rap.

The resultant vacancy in the team has been filled by Aghamore’s Alan Freeman, who had, of course, the unusual distinction the last day of being the one and only sub we brought on. When did an Aghamore man last play for the county in a league or championship match, I wonder? We can’t have had too many representatives from that neck of the woods since Jimmy Burke’s heyday. And, of course, with Enda Varley deservedly retaining his place, we have lads from both Garrymore and Aghamore on the same starting fifteen for the county for the first time since, I’d reckon, sometime back in the Seventies or early Eighties.

Mickey Harte, meanwhile, has made four personnel changes and a whole load of positional switches to the Tyrone the team that went down fairly decisively against Derry last weekend. Pascal McConnell returns between the sticks for the Red Hand, with Sean O’Neill, Davy Harte and Ryan McMenamin – all of whom came on as subs against Derry – also coming into their team for Sunday. Tyrone will line out as follows:

Tyrone (NFL Div 1 v Mayo): Pascal McConnell; Sean O’Neill, Justin McMahon, Dermot Carlin; David Harte, Conor Gormley, Ryan McMenamin; Aidan Cassidy, Kevin Hughes; Enda McGinley, Brian McGuigan, Joe McMahon; Kyle Coney, Martin Penrose, Tommy McGuigan.

That’s an extremely experienced Tyrone team, one which – notwithstanding the absence of Sean Cavanagh, Stephen O’Neill, Brian Dooher and Eoin Mulligan – is close enough to their first-choice pick. I see that our old pal from the 2008 minor final, Kyle Coney, is named at corner-forward: it’ll be interesting to see how tightly Keith marks him. From what I remember of the Ardboe man from those two minor final matches, it’ll need to be tight enough.

16 thoughts on “Teams for Sunday named

  1. Was always going to be that team with Mort out. If nothing else Mahony is predictable…sometimes i think he could do with taking a leaf out of Declan Kidneys book….mix things up a bit….keep the opposition guessing. Anyway Freeman looked decent when he came on and gave hanley more problems that OShea did thats for sure. Great to see Seamie is ok too.. we saw how valuable a big man can be around the middle of the field last Sunday. Im delighted Keith is marking coney…it should focus the mind a bit. We have a great record V Tyrone and reckon we have a decent shot against them. Bring it on….

  2. Its going to be a good test, one would have to feel that we should get the better of them in mid field and their defence does not look great. Tyrones attck will show us properly how good our defence is, come on mayo

  3. Looking forward to the game. Very curious to see how our defense copes with Tyrone. I think this will be a much better barometer of our progress.

    We have to remember that as poor as Galway were ,they still scored 1-10 off very limited possession. I think Tyrone at home could clock up significantly more than that. I’m not sure our lads will be able to repeat 2-14 against that Tyrone defense.

  4. Agree with Anonymous there, I wasn’t too impressed by the Tyrone defence against Derry. Although having Harte and McMenamin back from the start will be a huge help to them.

    Their attack looks quite strong though, which is just what I wanted to see.
    I think we’re nearly all in agreement that there are some serious question marks over our backs. Well, I think we’ll know a lot more after this game. And February is the time to find out, leaving us with enough time to try and change tactics and/or personnel for the summer.

    I think the ongoing debate on here over Higgins will leave us all watching his battle with Coney very closley.
    WJ, maybe you should start off a new poll and see how many points (if any) everyone thinks Higgins will be taken for!

  5. I think a poll along those lines would be a bit too personal, Dan! Let’s just see how he fares out – Coney is likely to be a bit of a handful but we could find ourselves stretched right across the back. As Mike so rightly points out, bad and all as Galway were we conceded 1-10 against them and a fair proportion of that was from play. I know that quite a bit of this was conceded in the second half when we had the match wrapped up but we all know we have issues in the backs and so it will certainly be good to see how they get on against formidable opposition like Tyrone.

    The match isn’t being covered live on any channel, JPM, but TG4 will be showing full deferred coverage of it starting at around 4 pm. That’s probably how I’ll be watching it, after I’ve listened into the live commentary on Midwest.

  6. Deferred coverage on TG4 jpm – same as last week’s game v Galway.
    According to the Tyronies on gaaboard, Tyrone have been hit with a load of suspensions: Justin McMahon Conor Gormley and Martin Penrose all out.

  7. We do well against Tyrone so I expect a positive result. I am still worried about the half back line, Gardiners strenght is going forward and Howley is a better corner back. Where has Cunniffe gone to,? he might have been a good centre back or one of the Kilcullens. Sunday will be an interesting test for that sector. Big Joe McMahon is hanging around there, possibly to have a look at Seamus O Shea. Will be interested on how Parsons and McGarrity continue, last week was fine, before that pretty average.

  8. I saw that Tubberman but I can’t find any independent corroboration of this so I think it could be a weak attempt at Nordie humour or something. If it’s for real, I suppose it’ll reach the mainstream media at some point before the day is out but it sounds like a bit of a wind-up to me.

  9. Tongue very much in cheek there WJ!
    I actually rate Higgins very highly, I think he’s the best back in the county. Pity we can’t afford to leave him out of the full back line and play him in his natural position.

    Howley in the corner is definitely a possibility, but we would need Cunniffe back to have any chance of that I think. Any idea how bad his injury is?

    TG4 had the game advertised for 5.20 last week. I think it’s the 3rd game they’re showing (after the 2 club semis). Maybe they’ve changed their schedule during the week.

  10. I don’t know how long Tom is out for but I think we won’t see him for much of the league. A report in the Mayo News back in January said he has a ‘Gilmore’s groin injury’ and that he’s also based in Liverpool where he’s at college so it could be he’ll be out of the picture at the minute (and that he’ll insist on calling everyone ‘mate’ when he comes back, I suppose). Tom’s not the only option there, though – Keith might be worth trying at 6 or Kieran Conroy or maybe Ger Cafferkey, with Alan Feeney (or even Tom – whom The Brother says Sean Cavanagh described as the toughest ever full-back he’d ever played on after that qualifier game in Croke Park in 2008) coming in at 3. I suspect, though, that Johnno’s mind is pretty well made up for this year already and whatever changes we’ll see will be enforced rather than tactical ones.

    I was just assuming that our match would be on at 4 pm but I’d forgotten there were two club matches on ahead of it. I suppose they’ll show the two live games first and then ours afterwards so it could well be after five before our one is shown.

  11. We seem to make the same mistake each year—more difficult to get off the team then get on it if you start the league.
    We need to do some experimentation esp in our backs.

  12. Great test for Keith seeing as he`s in the spotlight here this week,good oppertunity for him to show us what he can do on a very good opponant.Cant understand why, with his pace he spends so much of his time on the 21 yard line when he could beat most players to the ball starting from behind the goal!You wont get away with playing from the front later on in the championship when the better players, like our own Ciaran Mac,who can drop it on a sixpence over your head from 40 yards, get going on a slippy Croke Park.Nows the time to tighten up we`re not that far away from glory days.COME ON MAYO!

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