U21 team to play Leitrim named

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As Mark pointed out in the comments just now, the team to face Leitrim in tomorrow’s Connacht U21 semi-final at Páirc Seán MacDiarmada in Carrick-on-Shannon (throw-in 5pm) was named a short while ago. For the record, here’s the list of the full match-day panel:

Mayo (Connacht U21 semi-final v Leitrim, 19/3/2016): Matthew Flanagan (Balla); Eddie Doran (Achill), Seamus Cunniffe (Ballaghaderreen), Ciaran Harrison (Aghamore); David Kenny (Aghamore), Michael Hall (Breaffy), James Kelly (Belmullet); Val Roughneen (Balla), Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore, captain); Fergal Boland (Aghamore), Conor Loftus (Crossmolina), Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber); Michael Plunkett (Ballintubber), Brian Reape (Moy Davitts), Fionan Duffy (Crossmolina). Subs: Scott Kilker (Belmullet), Shairoze Akram (Ballaghaderreen), TJ Byrne (Kiltimagh), Barry Duffy (Balla), James Lyons (Aghamore), Eoin O’Donoghue (Belmullet), Colm Reape (Knockmore), Matthew Ruane (Breaffy), Mikey Murray (Ballina).

That’s a decent looking team, you’d have to say, and there are plenty of solid reinforcements on the bench as well. We’re long overdue a proper cut at the U21 championship so hopefully this year’s crop have what it takes to do this. Best of luck to them.

By the way, that U21 fixture tomorrow will be preceded at Páirc Seán by a Connacht Minor League Round 2 game, also between Mayo and Leitrim which throws in at 3pm. Following the tanking they got from Roscommon in the opening round last weekend, the minors will no doubt be looking to give a better account of themselves in this one. Good luck to them as well.

PS: I should have added, so I’ll do it now, that it’ll be a case of hit and miss from my point of view in terms of how much I’m online over the next week or thereabouts. I’m not disappearing altogether, just getting out a bit more over the coming days and this’ll be reflected in how active, or not, I’ll be here over the Easter period. Feel free, as always, to continue chatting away amongst yourselves.

83 thoughts on “U21 team to play Leitrim named

  1. Is Liam Irwin injured? Surprised Akram is not starting thought he was playing very well at wing back earlier in year

  2. Yeah Liam is injured Done Deal. Very strong team though/ Hopefully we see a structured performance!

  3. I am delighted to see that there are a few lads up front who love to score and actually thrive on it. Best of luck to all involved!

  4. True that it’s a strong front 6, Duffy is a very physically able buck from what I have seen of him, it would be great if himself and one or two others could force their way into the senior panel at some stage. Anyway, Leitrim really lack the population at this age group to be a big obstacle for this Mayo team I imagine. Best of luck to them, and hope they make a run of it this year.

  5. Good that they picked Diarmuid in his favorite position. Strong team with good subs like Sharoize Akram to come in.
    We all need a good lift with two wins.

  6. A very strong team even without Akram, Irwin and M Ruane.The three of them featured prominently in that draw with Donegal earlier!

  7. Best of luck to our U21s tomorrow evening. God knows us proud Mayo folk badly need a bit of a boost after the week we’ve been through…

  8. Would I be right in saying that three of that first 15 did not feature at minor for Mayo, i.e. Ciaran Harrison, James Kelly and Fergal Boland. If so I would see it as a reasonable indication that there was a good trawl for talent outside of the usual suspects, i.e. ex minors.
    It looks like a strong team and I am surprised that Sharoize Akram did not make the starting team. Although I recall Barry Duffy, last years minor captain, make reference to the amount of time he spent on the treatment table in the run up to the Galway match [which of course Akram missed]. Is the injury bug still around?
    I also recall that in the Connacht Minor final of 2013 we were hanging on at the end as Roscommon came back having been hit with two early Irwin goals.

  9. Best wishes to the Mayo U21 team this year. It would be a nice change to reach the Connacht final this year. I cannot remember the last time for sure. I am not as upbeat about our prospects of AI success passed this game. Good U21 teams on the teamsheet have had a habbit of turning out to be just that, on paper only. I feel Roscommon could emerge as Connacht Champion this year, but I hope I am proven wrong. I am delighted to see Boland, Kelly, and Plunket on the team. I have great time for these guys.

  10. Interesting to hear AOS say on national radio this week that he prefers to play number 11. Maybe he should be played there until his fitness and form kick in at least.

  11. Surely AOS is not eligible to play for our U21s? I just had the impression that U21s are the focus of this particular thread.

  12. Looking forward to both games tomorrow especially the U21, Padraig Prendergast is the other noticable omission. he was on the team 2 years ago. Cruciate injury last year. With Boland and Akram we probably have 2 of the quickest players around and both can play at half back or on the half forward line. That what I like most about this squad we have players that can come in and play multiple positions. A few starters from last year sitting on the bench, they will be looking to make an impression. Was hoping Conor Byrne Moy Davits could break into the Squad but overall top marks so far on selection.

  13. Messi. I am a bit surprised about Prendergast myself. Is this his last year at this grade?

  14. From the 2013 AI winning minors, 9 remain.
    Padraig Prendergast, Mark Mulligan, Sean Conlon, Liam Irwin, Tommy Conroy, and sadly of course Darragh Doherty (RIP) are the six players not involved this weekend. Interestingly despite all of the fuss about mayos good forwards in 2013, only Conor Loftus and Michael Plunkett start. I know Irwin is injured, but you’d have to be disappointed with how Tommy Conroy has developed in the intervening years. I know he’s had to deal with some other issues in that period but he looked an exceptional minor player and hopefully he can still develop, in a position Mayo football is badly lacking in actually.
    Cian hanley would also likely be involved – incidentally anyone hear how he’s progressing at the lions?
    Often after 2 years many (most) of these Irish lads come home for various reasons, wouldnt rule it out here either, but obviously wish him the best in the AFL also.
    A massive year for our u21s – Connacht title minimum target.

  15. We have been blessed to gave two good minor teams 13/14. Great mix of all sorts of different types of players.

  16. Very strong squad. Looking forward to it and hoping for a good, disciplined performance

    Also keen to see the minors after last week to see how they respond

  17. On paper looks class team , word of caution though remember cillians last year at 21s , I thought we had a very strong team , kirby, Regan , Gallagher to name a few (2013 I think) . Went to tuam and had a bad performance , season ended . It’s old style knockout , you’ve got to be up for it from the get go . Hon Mayo.

  18. @mac’s boot,

    I believe Tommy Conroy has had serious issues with his hip since 2013, indeed a number of those players missed over a year due to injuries.

  19. True enough Sean but I think we have a very solid management this time around, hopefully that can spur us on. These lads have tasted success already either in Connacht or nationally, they’ll be chomping at the bit!!

  20. How the minors get on will be big stuff. Really hoping they can get a good game under their belts to lift them.

  21. If we get over today , cf is in the Hyde I’m told , what date is that pencilled in for ?

    Yep Liam and it’s all very strange the amount of lads under gilvarry that had near a year out . I’d also wonder why his back room team left IE James Mitchell .

  22. Sean Burke

    I think the U21 final is due to be played on Saturday 2nd of April. I didnt hear it was due for the Hyde. The Rossies playing Dublin the following day there. Mayo should be winning the title this year. We had an unexpected win over Galway in our last outing. Alot of injuires for us this year and the team wouldnt be as good as last few years. I was surprised we beat Galway but wouldnt be overly surprised if Sligo won today. Diarmuid Murtagh was back fit the last day so that helped. A good few of Clan na Gael players on the panel. They won the county title with a very young team so interesting to see how they progress for club and county going forward.

  23. My only doubt on this team is that Coen is more suited to centre back, Hall to the wing and a tall midfield Specialist to midfield.

  24. What I meant is if the odds on favs Mayo and Ross came through to meet in final it’s due for the Hyde as per alt arrangement .

  25. Happy to hear 3 Balla lads on the panel. The youngest of these not starting Barry Duffy a no nonsense defender just out of 2 years minor plays at full back, centre back and midfield and maybe half forwards too. Hopefully one for the future. Flanagan looks a good fearless Goalie at that level and Val Roughneen looks to have a lot of football ability, though mightn’t be big enough for midfield, selectors have picked him there in his natural position so hopefully he is able to win enough ball to show his other skills.

  26. Did Balla do a big signup drive and coaching effort? They had fallen low at all levels for at least fifteen years. Great to see them maybe getting back on their feet.

  27. Rossie Shane. They were very impressive against Galway last week. Galway fielded a strong side also. Ye won pulling up. A huge effort is under way in Roscommon with this team, with no expense spared. You really think Sligo will get a look in??

  28. Any news on Adam Gallagher? A player who needs game time and one Rochford would be interested in as he is intelligent on the ball and a very good kick passer.

    There really should be coordination between Gilvarry Solan and Rochford to brig players through the grades. Also very smart move by Dublin making Brian Cullen preformance director ( or whatever his title is). This is a position Mayo desperately need as our playing piol is not that big and so players need to be managed centrally.

  29. Greetings from Carrick. It’s full time in the minor game. 11 each, a draw. Way, way, waaaay off what you would expect from a Mayo football team. I liked the look of Donovan Cosgrove from Kiltmagh, looks like he can play.

    Overall very disappointing. Maybe they can turn things around come championship but that’s being incredibly hopeful.

    Fingers crossed our u21 boys go well.

  30. Shuffly Deck
    Another in Colm Murphy Balla 4 points today from midfield for the minors in draw game with Lietrim, finished 11 points each

  31. Leitrim with 1/4 of our population can hold us to a draw. Must be some good training going on in Leitrim. I see that basquel from balky idem scored well today for Dublin u21 against Laois. It’s all down to confidence and how winning breeds it

  32. Also in the Connacht Minor league today in Markievicz Park, it finished Roscommon 3-12, Sligo 0-7.

  33. Padraig o Malley Westport

    John Cunnane Ballyhaunis
    John Maughan Castlebar
    Cathal Horan Kilmovee
    Sean Kenny Aughamore
    Matthew Mackin Claremorris
    Liam Kelly Kiltimagh

    Colm Murphy Balla 0-4
    Nathan Moran Hollymount

    Paul Lambert Westport 0-1
    Oisin mcLaughlin Westport 0-1
    Evan O Brien Ballinrobe 0-1
    Stephen o Malley Ballintubber
    Ross Egan Aughamore 0-3
    Tommy Conroy The Neale

    Adam Byrne Kiltimagh
    Conor Hunt Aughamore
    Sean Og Tighe Aughamore
    Dylan Pinder Louisburgh
    Ethan Gibbons Castlebar 0-1
    Brian Keane Belmullet
    Nathan McGhee Shrule/Glencorrib
    Colm Moran Westport
    Donovan Cosgrove Kiltimagh
    Frank Carr Tourmakeady

    omitted from last weeks match day squad
    Luke Doherty Ballina
    John Timlin Ardnaree
    Joe Mason Cill Chomain

  34. 6 mins gone in Carrick. Leitrim lead two points to no score and have missed a goal chance. We haven’t had possession in their half yet.

    Make that 3 points now

  35. 2-5 to 0-7 at HT. Leitrim have hit 6 wides and have carved us open numerous times. Our defence are all over the place and we are playing with a sweeper. Plunkett.

    Management brought on Matthew Ruane for roughneen at midfield and he made an immediate impact scoring a point within a minute of coming on and then catching the resulting kick out which lead to our first goal..with reape bundling it over from a yard out. Our 2nd came from a penalty.

    Early days yet but we’ve been average. Nothing between the teams in terms of build up and quality. In fact Leitrim have looked a bit more fluid. They’ve created 2/3 goal chances and fluffed two, with Flanagan pulling off a superb save to deny their third effort.

  36. Significantly better 2nd half. We are out of sight. Leitrim defence making terrible mistakes and we are capitalising on them.

    An area of improvement for us has to be free kicks. We’ve missed a number of 30 yard’ers and two 45’s.

    We’ll win pulling up now but plenty of room for improvement.

  37. FT: 4-12 to 0-15. Decent up front without being brilliant. We never dominated at midfield. Defensively we were poor. Leitrim opened us up time and time again. Today’s performance wouldn’t beat much teams because we wouldn’t have been gifted two goals and we’d have conceded more.

    Fionan Duffy was our best player today.

  38. Congrats to the Mayo U21s on getting the win and making it to the first final at this grade since 2009. It was great to score four goals, we have a few goal poachers in this team. Still you’d like to see us scoring more points than the opposition as well as it can be hard to get goals in the bigger games. Best of luck to them in the final!

  39. Roscommon have beaten 1-18 to 0-6. Comprehensive. Final will be in the Hyde. Lots to get right before then.

    I don’t think Coen at 8 worked today. He’s good on breaks but hasn’t he height to win much primary possession from kickouts. On today’s evidence he’d be needed in defence.

  40. Great too get the win, much needed. Wouldnt take too much out of either semi, both winners facing average opposition to be fair. Hopefully it will be a good final. Is it definitely in the Hyde as they have Dublin there the following day

  41. Do not worry too much about our minor failings. In 1994 Wexford beat Meath in the Leinster championship & in 1996 3 of this team won Sam–Mark Reilly, Fay & Reyonolds.

  42. Um maybe less of the 1996 and Meath there jr, dont want too ruin peoples sat evening.

  43. Yes Akram came on for the start of the second half.. the lad has serious turn of pace and caused a lot of problems up along the left wing. He needs to practice his defensive tackling a bit more.. he is definately better on the front foot than the back foot. Good to see Liam Irwin with the team and hopefully he will be back in the forwards soon. Would be nice to see Padraig P back in midfield and Coen moved to centre half back.

  44. So where did Galway go? Or was there an earlier round that I missed ? Well done Mayo. Duffy reaper and co will be big names in Mayo in time to come. Reape especially.

  45. Well done Mayo.Irwin is the recognised free taker in this team? Good for Duffy and Akram. No mention of Loftus and DOC and Cunniffe presence!
    Tks for reports…..scouts!

  46. Thanks Mayonaze and Toe to hand for the update on Akram. interested to see how this lad progresses as he looked to be a serious athlete

  47. Roscommon beat Galway last weekend comfortably enough.
    Glad to hear our guys got the win today. Listening to Mid West you would worry hearing that Leitrim cut through our defence easily numerous times but you would hope they can tighten up and improve. I assume Roscommon will be favourites for the final but I’d give out guys every chance.

  48. For the first twenty minutes or so Mayo found it very difficult to settle and get good possession of the ball to do anything with it. Leitrim pushed very high up on our kick outs and have some fine tall footballers specially around midfield. When we did start to get breaking ball around the middle DOC started to come inot the game more and kicked some sublime passes into the forwards carvings Leitrim wide open. With more possession around the middle we started to get on the ball more in the forwards and while they all did ok there was no one forward who would jump out at you as a marquee forward. Some easy frees missed out of the hand and goalie sent two 45 wides. So good win but a lot too work on

  49. In corner back I thought Ciaran Harrison struggled and it took a long time for David Kenny to get to the tempo of the game. Michael Hall possibly played best of the defenders and got on most possession. Everyone else in defense had a good solid game. Fergal boland had a good game and was involved with a lot of link play and tracked back as did DOC. As already said Matthew Ruane coming on had the biggest impact on the game. Conon Loftus and Fionan Duffy showed well for the ball and got some nice scores. It’s game that will stand to them in experience but as already said if they start like that against Ros or whoever.. its goodnight

  50. …and our last 7/8 minutes was poor too Toe to Hand.

    Anyway, plenty work on. Not sure why we played with a sweeper for much of the first half but we did and we still left gaps. The team only played with any real urgency for periods in the 2nd quarter and especially in the 10 mins after half time, this is when we scored about 2-5 without reply, but important for those of you who weren’t there, Leitrim gifted us 1-1 of that. Their keeper kicked two dreadful kick outs straight to our lads who promptly netted and pointed.

    Midfield need to dominate better. This will be huge against Roscommon.

  51. Well done to the U21s.

    Will the Hyde be able to host 3 matches in 7 days seeing as it has not had a match all year ?

    How much notice do the Roscommon board have to give for venue change ?

    It’s a given they will want to play the Dubs in the Hyde but our seniors and U21s ??

  52. Leitrim had some decent forwards. With Irwin to come into that full forward line they’ll be a serious unit. Ruane played himself into a start as did Sharoize I feel. Only problem with him is that he’s a loose marker and a serious half forward could do damage with him. Duffy and Reape are serious prospects, Duffy in particular has that selfish, go for the throat style that the true forwards all possess, plus he’s built like a Sherman tank.
    Loftus came into it better in the second half.

  53. Mayo, I thought, looked very lackadaisical early on, taking too much time on the ball and not anticipating Leitrim tackling. Leitrim went straight through for a point from the throw in and on the kickout Kenny got the break but lost it, taking straight away. Ruane’s introduction did seem to make a big difference. Regards Fionan Duffy & Reape, in another code they would be referred to as strikers and they are our main threat in attack. Akram just has to start the next day. Even though he might not be the perfect defender he is as good as the next man in defence and a whole lot better in attack. He has pace which nobody else can match and that can be as useful in defence as in attack.
    Regards the minors I do hope Mayo are not putting out their best team in the league. Last time I saw Mayo v Leitrim in the league [2014?] Leitrim won and won the league in doing so. But Mayo won the Connacht championship. It took almost 20 minutes to get a score from play today and they never looked convincing. Shooting was terribly poor in the first half but improved a bit in the second. Donovan Cosgrove of Kiltimagh, one of the few survivors from last year, did not start but made a big difference when he came on. Mayo seemed to have about 30 players taking part in a kickabout at half time so hopefully there are a few good ones there.

  54. Echoing above points, Donovan Cosgrove stood out a mile today

    Well done today lads. Connacht final in 2 weeks

  55. Reape and Duffy are the strongest prospects in my view and I’v thought that since their minor days. They are still maintaining great scoring Rates with every team they play with.

  56. Defending was woeful to be honest. Akran should be moved to wing forward. A liability in defence. I can see us all pick the blame game at the full back line. The problem is the lines in front of them. Leitrim a bit unlucky, but I agree they have a few decent players. Boland is real good, no nonsense style. DOC is the main man.

  57. By the sound of it we made heavy weather of beating a very average Leitrim team, it doesn’t bodes well for our chances of beating Roscommon – or am I missing something?

  58. The result was never in doubt to be fair. Leitrim had some decent footballers. We have a good team and they’ll take beating. Bit of positivity be no harm from some of the doom merchants on here. I think someone should ring paddy power and warn him that having the Rossies at an outrageous 20/1 to win Sam borders on the criminally stupid. Think it’ll be between themselves and the Dubs dividing up Sam for the next 10 years.

  59. Sure, they might as well give them the cup now Liam!

    Mayo McHale, we made heavy work of it in the 1st half, especially in defence, like we were torn apart and a better team would have bagged a goal or two. Stern words were obviously said at Ht and in the 3rd quarter we won the match, but then took foot off the gas and Leitrim scored 5 points in the last 7/8 mins. If this bunch are serious, they have to be way more focused, tunes in for the full match. If they don’t, they’ll be knocked out. Fortunately you can see they have talent.

    Will Irwin be available in 2 weeks?? is he fit?

  60. Ah Liam be careful there you dont get a few over sensitive Rossies getting all upset about your sarcasm.

    I wud think Mayo at 6/1 is a great bet given the easy run to the final ye have this year. The Dubs cant retain a title so its like printing money.

  61. Thanks Mayonaze, that seem to have summed it up nicely – we’re in a Connaught final, underdogs maybe, but we have to believe.

  62. Great result for Mike Solan and his team,

    A very important win for Mayo. Football after Mitchels display on Paddys day

    Liam Irwin should be good to go the next day,

    Mayo Abhu

  63. If Liam Irwin is good to go the next day that really lifts the standard of this team. He is the best freetaker in this panel

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