Unchanged team named for Saturday evening

Keith Higgins jersey 2015 Connacht final

I’m coming to this a bit late, I’m afraid (as will be the case with all relevant news this week, I reckon), but, for the record, here’s the team to face Donegal in the All-Ireland quarter-final at Croke Park on Saturday evening (throw-in 6pm) that was named earlier on tonight:

Mayo (All-Ireland SFC quarter-final v Donegal, 8/8/2015): David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites); Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe), 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 an unchanged starting fifteen from the one that lined out against Sligo in the Connacht final last month. Given the ease with which we won that one, it’s no real surprise that Noel and Pat have opted for continuity for Saturday, though whether or not the team that’s been named will actually start on the day remains open to conjecture. One thing’s for sure, though, they won’t be lining out in the manner named but sure we know that already.

Looking back to the last time we faced Donegal in the championship – in that memorable (for us) quarter-final of 2013 – Saturday’s team contains eleven survivors: Tom Cunniffe, Ger Cafferkey, Lee Keegan, Donal Vaughan, Colm Boyle, the two O’Sheas, Kevin McLoughlin, Keith Higgins, Cillian O’Connor and Andy Moran. The four who started then but won’t be lining out on Saturday are Robbie Hennelly, Chris Barrett, Alan Dillon and Alan Freeman. All four are all but certain to be on the bench on Saturday. The four players lining out this time but who didn’t in 2013 are David Clarke (injured then), Tom Parsons, Diarmuid O’Connor and Jason Doherty.

Turning to the more recent past, in the form of that League meeting with them at MacHale Park in April, Saturday’s team contains only nine survivors from that one: Keith, Lee, Colm, Donal, Seamus, Kevin, Aidan, Jason and Diarmuid. Missing from Saturday’s team then were David, Ger, Tom C, Tom P, Andy and Cillian. The six lads who started then but won’t on Saturday are Kenneth O’Malley, Brendan Harrison, Kevin Keane, Barry Moran, Mark Ronaldson and Danny Kirby.

34 thoughts on “Unchanged team named for Saturday evening

  1. Looking forward to the game on Saturday. Is there a discount for children. I think we will have a few points to spare in the end. Hopefully Pat and Noel will see and make any necessary changes on the day.

  2. What would be far more interesting is the subs named. They have to be named by Thursday am so why the supporters cannot know who they are I do not understand. As I said before there is no point in including all four of Dillon, Conroy, Ronaldson and Sweeney as was done for the Connacht Final. All too alike and filling the same roles. Meanwhile Barry Moran alone is covering for AOS, SOS and Tom P. We need more big men, Jason Gibbons and Danny Kirby in place of two of the four above. Remember we have Alan Freeman who can fill in as wing or corner forward too. We need him in any case for frees in case of a mishap to Cillian.

  3. So the team will more than likely line up as follows?


    Higgins Cafferkey Cunniffe

    Vaughan Boyle Keegan

    S O Shea Parsons

    D O Connor C O Connor K McLoughlin

    A Moran A O Shea J Doherty

    C O Connor and A O Shea to switch positions during game, McLoughlin,D Connor to drop back and pick up breaks. Looking forward to the game should be much closer than 2013 but i still expect Mayo to win probably by about 4 or 5 points.

  4. I agree with Andy d , I would include regan and kirby on the bench instead of conroy and Sweeney

  5. I think you could be right there Deelrover. Wouldn’t be too surprised to see one or both start on Saturday evening.

  6. Why are people so sure the team won’t line out as selected? For me Vaughan is the only defender with the height to deal with Murphy. The key thing with high balls is not get caught out in front and give the attacker the advantage of seeing ball and his marker as the ball is flighted in, stay behind and punch. He should man mark for the day, if Murphy moves out, even better, that will suit Vaughan. As Kerry showed last year man mark murphy is the way to go.

  7. I too dont think that will be the team that will start but all the same its get nearer throw in . Cant wait for this one.
    I have every faith in this team but really want to see them tested to lay down a marker.
    They are good enough to win and even go alot further.

    Game management and tactics will win this match so hopefully all goes well .

    I think Michael Conroy is the perfect foil for a deep runner supporting Aido and Cillian.
    If we congest half back line etc as discussed to death I think Conroy gives power, pace and penetration in breaking from halforward line to support Cillian and Aido .

    There is no doubt the team that starts will not be the team that will finish and subs impact will be vital .

    So if we do line up like

    I think the introduction of Conroy for say Andy will give more pace and power, but in saying that I expect a big game from Andy as his distribution is top class and ability to hit score from distance may well be vital .

    Ronaldson,Regan and co also give options in halforward line but as ye say I think a bench of

  8. We will know a hell of a lot more come Saturday evening that’s for sure. Its already been said, but you can expect the narrative afterwards to be either a) bridge too far for Donegal given all the matches they have to play and the 7 day turnaround or b) Mayo hadn’t enough matches and weren’t tested. And yes, people will get paid to trot either of those pieces of analysis out.

    One thing I think people have overlooked regarding this team and the new management is belief. look what Pete McGrath did with Fermanagh, listen to the players talking and one repeated statement they make is about how they have belief in what Pete tells them because he’s a winner. Colm Parkinson has said the same about Micko back in the day with Laois. So how does this relate to our team, well for the majority of this team their one and only experience of winning an All Ireland is with the two lads. Surely as a player that will give you more belief than not that they can do it again. Last time they managed you, you won an all Ireland, with the same captain also mind. Why wouldn’t you believe that you could do it again with them? Maybe that’s the one thing that’s been missing…..again, we’ll know a lot more Saturday evening.

  9. Good luck the weekend. Mayo to win but we persist playing chicken with our full back line. What has Keane done wrong or is he injured? Winners will make the hard calls. We haven’t made them, just enough to beat Donegal but a back line that so far has leaked 4-19 in two Connacht matches are walking a very greasy tightrope

  10. Lets put the tactics aside and get on the Hill like those lunatics from Fermanagh. Let’s get back to enjoying these days rather than analysing these days. Unusual for me, as I’m usually all numbers based but I’m actually tired of all the drive towards professionalism and analysis of everything. Would actually love if the arse fell out of the money side of GAA and we were left with purely amateur hobbyists. At least we might see an odd Sean Quigley smile now and then, not the beefed up on protein stony faced decathletes gathered in a circle chanting win, win, win, win, win at every training session and before every match.

  11. and thats not a comment on these Mayo footballers I believe they play the game with great spirit and enjoyment and you see the players smiling during games. It’s more a general comment on the game as I see Donegal, Dublin, Kerry, Monaghan, Tyrone approach it and the pre-match approach to games in media and by fans. There almost like business events to be analysed if you read terms like:
    – Every man has a job to do
    – Everyone has to work
    – Turnover
    – Ruthless efficiency
    Jese like give us a break from work when we’re watching sport.

  12. If this is the way this team lines out we will be roasted. Vaughan at full back or Cunniffe at centre half either of them trying to mark Murphy? Watch Vaughan in Connacht final when he let ball pass him into the net for goal and he on line, Not great defending. As for Cunniffe he cannot hold a ball. I have my doubts if this is the team that lines out. Would love to know what the subs named. Who is the referee for Saturday? As usual we will get someone with the usual logo ” Give respect, get respect” and they have not a clue what it means, (Reilly, Hughes, etc). Until I know how the team lines out and the list of subs I cannot see this team progressing.

  13. I can see one change from that, Keane if fit to play full back with Caff moved to corner.
    However none of us know how lads are in training so perhaps that’s the best starting 15 picked. We should have a plan for isolating Paddy McGrath as Kerry did last year. They keep ye guessing each game and won last year because they were the team best able to adapt tactics.
    Match ups very important in this game. We have to change each time Donegal do with Murphy and they’ll try to bang a few into McBrearty when Murphy goes out too, thinking he might edge Keith in the air.
    Looks like no specialist sweeper plan so half forwards will be coming back lots to help out.

  14. Agree with John Cuffe. What does Kevin Keane have to do to get selected?

    Play well all league, do little wrong against Galway, miss the Sligo game and see your replacement(s) roasted.

    Mystifying. And I feel it sends a signal to Donegal.

  15. “Until I know how the team lines out and the list of subs I cannot see this team progressing.”

    Jeez True Grit talk about a dramatic post!!

    And the referee is a Gough from Meath I understand, who I’m sure will do his best for both sides in fairness to the man

    As for the team I can see Keane in for Cunniffe but if not so be it. I trust the management are in a far better position than ourselves to make a judgment on who should and shouldn’t play.

    I also don’t share others’ repeated desire to see the bench before matchday; sure it’d be nice but it’s fairly obvious who most of the 9 (or is it 11 in this day and age?) will be and even any interesting inclusions could well see little to no game time

    PS anyone tempted to back the draw in this one?

  16. YA Ciaran I was thinking same about a draw, does this game gpo to extra time or an other day out?
    Is it only SKy that has this game on tv?

  17. I think we forget Donegal will have to deal with the very same problems. Neil Magee is a fine defender but he’s not infallible. McGrath is pretty slight so maybe COC could pull onto him for a few long deliveries? Let’s not get too negative here. We have a few cards to play too.

  18. I’d imagine a replay outside of the boot? The winner isn’t down to a play a semi till August 30th so plenty of time. It’d be the Saturday after surely. I don’t know what’s the criteria for QF replays but surely there’s a chance it’d be taken out of Croke Park?

    If you look at our worrying propensity of being unable to close out matches (that we seemed to pick up last year), and the fact both teams are closely matched- I’ve certainly seen worse bets.

    Interestingly I’d take a draw this minute tbh. I think donegal are done if they have to play 3 weeks in a row, we’d have to fancy our chances in a replay and it gives us another game under our belt

  19. And yes, only sky Outside Of The Boot

    Can’t get to Dublin myself will have to hit the pub really. Don’t like watching Mayo matches in the pub whatsoever, with idiots shouting non-stop around that don’t have a clue what’s going on, but hopefully I’ll scope out somewhere quiet

  20. Big test. Need to tighten up in full back line is fair to say but more importantly we need half back line/midfielder to drop back and stop donegal coming through middle easily. Let’s hope aidan and Cillian are firing and then the other players to add to the score sheet. Lads well able to shoot from distance which we’ll need to do vs donegal with their defensive structure

  21. Sing it JP!

    Seems to me we’ve been burned a bit too often – I think we are talking ourselves down a awful lot here.

    Still quietly confident of a win on Saturday. If we get through that, then I’ll start worrying. If we don’t, we don’t.

  22. We are going to beat Donegal.
    We are then going to beat Dublin.
    We are then going to beat whoever God has deigned will have the honour to be beaten by us in the Final.

    Mayo for Sam.

    End Message.

  23. Can I just ask how come this isn’t our official website? It’s ten times better than the other one. Also what do people think of Tom ? He was beaten by his man against Galway and beaten in the air for sligo’s second goal .

  24. Well said Roger milla, nothing wrong with a good dose of confidence, we have a fine team and with a little luck we can take any team, UP MAYO

  25. Fair play.Who told you that.Who is leaking all this stuff? Obly kidding…even titbits keep us going this week.
    Actually though others are blaming Peter Canavan I think he is right.Sure Mayo havent a hope at all at all!Will definitely be Kerry and Dublin.Hardly worth our while showing up.

  26. Can’t blame pundits for looking ahead at the QF stage to the final, sure the Dublin Kerry All Ireland final was a cracker last year in fairness, can’t wait for it again..

  27. RogerMilla

    You’re spot on. And just so we’re all clear, Tyrone will play Mayo in the final. Then PaddyPower will give me some lovely money because of that. I can enjoy our AI win by throwing my winnings (all in 5ers) into the air in delight! I might wait til I’m at home to do that though

  28. In fairness, conroy seems to be a forgotten man. He was excellent at wing forward against Kerry in the rematch. His speed, power, tackling and workrate are definitely an option out there more than freeman, who someone suggested for wing forward. He also has an eye for goal.

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