We’ve just named our team to play Dublin in our League Division One clash under the lights at Croke Park on Saturday night (throw-in 7pm). Here it is:
Mayo (NFL Division One v Dublin 29/3/2014): Robert Hennelly (Breaffy); Tom Cunniffe (Castlebar Mitchels), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), Brendan Harrison (Aghamore); Lee Keegan (Westport), Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe), Colm Boyle (Davitts); Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Jason Gibbons (Ballintubber); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis); Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen, captain), Alan Freeman (Aghamore), Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber).
As you can see, it’s two changes from the Cork game, with Tom Cunniffe coming in for Shane McHale at corner-back (and Brendan Harrison moving from 2 to 4 in the process) while fit-again captain Andy Moran replaces Mikie Sweeney at corner-forward. The team we’ve named for this one includes twelve of the lads who lined out for us in last year’s All-Ireland final against Dublin, with Chris Barrett, Seamus O’Shea and Alan Dillon being replaced on Saturday night by Brendan Harrison, Jason Gibbons and Jason Doherty respectively.
While both Shane and Mikie are a tad unfortunate not to be named to start on Saturday, I can see the logic in both switches. Tom Cunniffe was really flying for Mitchels in the All-Ireland club final and his pace will be a real asset in this match while Andy Moran’s guile and experience is unlikely to go amiss at HQ either. And, of course, it’s a 21-man game at this stage so, for a high tempo clash such as this, the six lads who are likely to feature from the bench are as important as the fifteen named to start.