Four changes in team named to face Cavan

Photo: O’Neills

We’ve just named our team to play Cavan on Sunday. Here it is:

Mayo (NFL Division One v Cavan, 19/3/2017): David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites); Brendan Harrison (Aghamore), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis), Paddy Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels); Colm Boyle (Davitts), Lee Keegan (Westport), Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe); Tom Parsons (Charlestown), Danny Kirby (Castlebar Mitchels); Fergal Boland (Aghamore), Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber), Conor O’Shea (Breaffy); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen), Conor Loftus (Crossmolina).

So, it’s four changes from the team that got badly mauled by Dublin two weeks ago. In comes All-Star defender Brendan Harrison for his first start of the year at corner-back, into midfield comes Danny Kirby and into the forward line come Conor O’Shea and Conor Loftus, the Crossmolina man also making his first start of the year. Omitted from the starting fifteen named tonight are Stephen Coen, Jason Gibbons, Diarmuid O’Connor and Evan Regan.

53 thoughts on “Four changes in team named to face Cavan

  1. Delighted to see Conor Loftus & Brendan Harrisson back. Can’t understand how Shane Nally still hasn’t started a game. Some will be delighted with Danny Kirby starting, I can’t figure how he couldn’t make the Mitchels team

  2. Redcol, he was in the states all summer. He featured when he came back but rightly didn’t start

  3. At last Conor Loftus gets a start.

    Although this will probably not be the starting 15 and so i’m not counting any chickens just yet and he could fall victim to “a late change to the Mayo team”.

    Was hoping to see Irwin starting too. Anyway i would expect a reaction from Mayo this week after the last night in Croke Park. Cavan might find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time and get trodden underfoot by a wounded animal.

  4. Good to see Harrison and Loftus. Big test for kirby and connor o shea not a corner forward. Disappointing irwin not starting especially as we get poor return from cillian o connor long range free taking

  5. Going to be a tough slog for Conor Loftus, dirty heavy pitch and will be heavily reliant on Cillian for quality ball to Andy and him. ‘Changes to the Mayo’ seems more likely than those 6 forward starters. Can only agree about Shane Nally and Liam Irwin.
    Hoping for big reaction following croker.
    Best of luck to all on Sunday. Maigh Éo Abú

  6. Shane Nally hasn’t put a foot wrong when he has been brought in her had a great league last year but I don’t think he saw any championship action he would be my choice for sweeper and keep KMc closer to opposition goal he has a sweet left foot there’s a point or 2 in him.I am glad to see Loftus getting a start the few minutes he has been getting must have been frustrating blood sub for 2mins then the last few when we had the game won or we were beaten out the gate he has a chance now to show his skills. After the croker disaster Andy deserves a start to show he’s not finished yet Irwan will probably get the last 10 minutes now that Loftus is starting I also can’t understand why we can’t name our full panel on Friday like all other countys we are not waiting on the fitness of anyone returning from injury.

  7. Durcan at corner back again???

    We can’t afford to play him back there in the championship so why are we wasting time playing him back there now instead of giving a specialist full back/corner back game time in the full back line

  8. Brian reape is under 21 and obviously is being kept for the Galway game next sat. That game is very important to the next bunch of mayo senior players.Good luck to Colman’s claremorris and Ballinrobe community school today in all Ireland semi finals.

  9. At least Diarmuid O’Connor is being benched. He looks out of sorts and burnt out.

  10. If that is the team that starts then best of luck to Conor Loftus especially, I hope that he puts in a big shift. We have made two changes before the throw in of most of our games so far in the league so it’ll be interesting to see if we continue with this.

    We’ll need to see a big improvement in our midfield play in this game as apart from the Roscommon match we have lost the midfield battle in all of the other games. I am delighted to see Brendan Harrison back as at least we’ll have one more out and out corner back starting as we can’t keep giving up the amount of goal chances that we have so far in the league.

    You’d prefer to see Paddy Durcan on the half-back line, maybe that will happen with Donal Vaughan moving into the full-back position. Conor O’Shea, again if he starts, would drive you mad sometimes with what he does with the ball but at least he is capable of getting his hands on it, something that we really struggled to do against Dublin. He gives Clarke another option as well if he drifts out towards midfield. Best of luck to all involved and hopefully by Sunday evening we will have secured our Division 1 status for 2018. Its full steam ahead then for the rest of the year.

  11. I fully expect mayo to win this one. Why? A backlash, no it’s because they will be MOTIVATED. MOTIVATED by the fact that 2 pts will see them safe. Against the dubs they had little or no motivation that night. They had 4pts in the bag and knew that 2more v Cavan at home would see them safe. Why bust your Bollox for 2 points that you don’t really need? Management had set the target of retaining div 1 status ( a defeatist view that I totally disagree with BTW). Beating Cavan tomorrow will reach that target. So in my humble opinion I believe we lacked MOTIVATION on that night. We all know they are better than that.
    Dublin on the other hand had the motivation, the motivation of going for the unbeaten record, the motivation of winning the league again and probably most importantly for them the motivation of beating the team that took some of the shine off their AI win last year. Many Dubs and most Mayo people believe we handed it to them.
    Note that this is not an excuse for the very poor performance being put forward here. It’s my opinion that a flawed approach off the pitch led to a flawed performance on the pitch.

  12. Delighted to see COS and Harrison named and it augurs well for them both going forward. C Loftus will be under extra pressure from the start IMO , not from the Cavan defenders, but mostly from the “where is Richie Feeney” brigade that have been posting here so much since the New Year”

  13. Sean, Neil Douglas returned to training last week. Diarmuid may not be rested, he might not be 100% fit. We will have too much for a depleted Cavan squad, without Keating, Givney, Faulkner, Flanagan, McEnroe, and Mackey only back from England.

    Gearoid McKiernan will present their main danger, big powerful man with a sweet left foot. If we curtail him it should be relatively straightforward.

  14. The Durkan Corner Back move mightn’t be as mad as appears though. It may well be designed to give him an appreciation of the defensive side of the number 7 position in front of him, as well as a new perspective on the game as a whole. It may well transpire he’s being groomed as a new full back also. I recall similar being done with Boyler a few times. Could be Donie Buckley’s handprints over that one

    That said I’d have liked to see Newcombe to see out the league.

    Keegan doesn’t make much sense to me. He seemed well off the pace v Dub and could surely do with a well-earned break. Fortunately this seems to have finally been granted to DOC, but several games too late. I’m not sure what Vaughan or Boyler really have to prove either, why not give Nally a run. Donoghue looks a real prospect in the FB line too.

    Glad to see Loftus in. Fully think he could be the guy to nail down a forwards shirt this summer and has plenty about him.

  15. DOC not starting might simply be a case of like other lads he’s a student and they have a heavy workload this time of year.
    Think Durcan selection at CB down to being thin on the ground in FB line unless Drake or Coen or Nally risked in there. Probably holding back on Chris Barrett until they see how the game is going..
    Bit worried about midfield again something which might only be fixed by an O Shea. Kirby a very good footballer but has he a midfielder engine? and also fairly new to the position. I prefer him in FF line or CHF but he has strong competition in both those lines.
    All 3 O Sheas have ability often backed work rate too but decision making and distribution is not consistent. Hopefully part of AOS’s plan with basketball is to speed up his offloading something Donaghy is best in the Country at. Also it’s been pointed out that MDMA for Dublin seems to have been told to offload the ball and certainly you don’t see him trying to score goals as much so teams need to play to their individual strengths. Dublin are being assigned roles where players are told to minimise operating in their own areas of weakness. For us Jason Doherty for all his good work got caught in traffic quite a bit last year. He improved in that regard later in year possibly from feedback from our statistics team.

  16. Playing Durcan at corner back isn’t that surprising. That’s effectively where he lined out in the 2 AI finals last year when he was marking McManamon and Andrews.

    Surprised Coen has been dropped. He was one of the few that did okay against Dublin.

  17. After the Dublin game some were saying where is Buckley’s tackling gone. If ye recall it was similar last year and probably the year before during spring. It seems the team needs to be near full championship pace for it to be effective as defenders are able to get that bit closer. Tom Parsons is very good at it, seems to time a burst of pace just right when he spots a turnover opportunity. Same with Kevin Mc, Cillian, AOS, SOS, half backs. But this time of year we don’t see it as often. We’ll need it back soon with championship 2 months away. If the game goes well I’d like to see Nally and Irwin brought on before the last 20. Very happy to see Loftus start.

  18. Well just getting your hands on the ball is not enough at this level im afraid HopeSpringsEternal. Reading a lot on this BLOG lately about such a one did QUITE well in such a game and such a guy did OK. Well quite well and ok is not good enough for a team who’s trying to win Sam. The dogs in the street knows who up to it, and whos not! We all know what Andy can do, so why start him, in this type of game, and leave young Irwin on the bench.

  19. Disagree on Coen in the Dublin game. In first half when playing as a defender he wasn’t on the ball very much. In 2nd half when moved to midfield despite a good point we still lost that sector. He’s been solid in all games before that but not as effective as Nally was in last year’s league. Coen will do well to start come summer as Donie Vaughan still looks a more dynamic player certainly in a half back role and Nally looks good any time he gets on.

  20. The reality is these team announcements are a joke nowadays. Will be very surprised to see this one line up as selected. Hope Irwin gets some decent game time at some stage.Still I expect a win no matter what team lines up. Should have to much for Cavan. If we don’t then a short summer looms..

  21. I assume with such a strong team named that its a case of getting the points and safety first versus giving too many new guys a try out. Having said that there is certainly an argument for seeing when and if these newer felas can perform when the backs are to the walls so to speak.

    And that will be the case tomorrow as Cavan will certainly be up for this game. Lose this and they’re out of Div1. Anyone expecting anything other than a championship style effort from them will be fooling themselves.

  22. @Ciaran I agree with most of your arguments and many contributors have made points along the same lines.
    Not convinced of the logic behind Durcan in full back line. We need his drives forward. To me the skill of a half back is taking those calculated drives forward into the attack with minimum risk of getting exposed at back. Presumably the sweeper has a cover role. Lee keegan has it down to a fine art and Durcan progressed eell in this department last year but is not the finished article in either the timing of his runs or taking of scores. I am still hoping we see him in half back tomorrow

  23. @jjkelly I agree we as supporters get a very bad service re team plus substitutes. Are they punishing us?
    In a recent fbd match, there was the historic occasion of three westport players on the mayo starting fifteen. Unfortunately no one in westport new about it has the team was never announced until we bought programs on day. Similar with aughamore.

  24. That selection sure has a negative press! Question is, what’s the point of commenting on the team – we won’t know until throw in, who is actually on it. At least David Drake has been spared the indignity of being named, not played, and his jersey number allotted to a team mate. Maybe this fate awaits someone else!

    Would definitely like to see Keegan and Andy rested. Argued for Keegan playing a while back, but it’s now obvious that he needs to get to full fitness; Andy shouldn’t be playing every game in the league – we will need him to peak later in the year.

  25. If ye want substitutes here they are!
    Hennelly, Barrett, Newcombe, Crowe, Nally, Coen, Gibbons, Diarmuid, Regan, Plunkett & Irwin
    …all ye had to do was ask!

  26. Good man MayoRoosterman. Please keep up the service for the rest of the year. At least we will be able to have more informative discussion now
    Strong looking bench. I would like to see more of Plunkett (promising) and irwin (for the 45m frees and a few goals)

  27. Nip and tuck between St. Colmans and St. Brendans at half time. Brendans 8 Colmans 1-4.
    Reportedly a breeze helps Colmans in second half.

  28. Team for the championship should be along the lines of:

    Clarke

    Higgins
    Cafferkey
    Harrison

    Boyle
    Vaughan
    Barrett

    Durcan
    AOS
    SOS
    Keegan

    D OConnor
    Mclaughlin

    A Moran
    C OConnor

    Give Durcan & Keegan license to attack when we have the ball and drop back to defence with D OConnor on the opposition kick out.

    Play a counter attacking running game.

    When Meath played the Dubs in 94 Gerraty and Brendan Reilly were wing backs by 96 they were wing forward and corner forward. Mayo have got to go in the same direction and push some of the strength of the half backs into the forward unit. This craic with playing Durcan at corner back is idiotic given the weakness upfront.

  29. Playing Durcan at corner back isn’t that surprising. That’s effectively where he lined out in the 2 AI finals last year when he was marking McManamon and Andrews.

    Surprised Coen has been dropped. He was one of the few that did okay against Dubli
    …………………………………………………….

    dont remember McManamon or Andrews operating close to goals in the finals

  30. A good day results wise. Belmullet won the D. Ballinrobe through to B final. St. Colmans pushed St. Brendans closer than anyone. 16 scores to 12 is very competitive.
    Finally Mayo minors beat Leitrim with Kuba Callaghan goaling again. 2-8 to 9 points.
    Considering St. Colemans had it tough in Mayo this indicates well the depth of talent.
    St. Brendans hammered everyone up to today.

  31. @Centerfield,
    Cavan won’t be playing with a 3 man FF line either so I don’t think Durcan will be stuck in the corner for the whole game tomorrow, providing Higgins and Harrison are on the field.

  32. Well that’s the narrative set for the year now. We’re all just waiting around for a Kerry Dublin all Ireland final in September…………

  33. Just watched the game between Kerry and Dublin. Left Croker despondent 2 weeks ago but after tonight all I can say is I tip my hat to Stephen Rochford. I take back all negative comments I may have made. He is cuiter than a Kerry Man and that is saying something. 2 points against Cavan then out of the spotlight and focus will turn to Sligo.

  34. Kerry showed some real grit tonight and proved that fast attacking football with quick interplay can break through that Dublin defense. The aces that Kerry hold over the likes of ourselves are top quality forwards who can take their scores in tight situations. Tonights game showed up our last performance in an even more pathetic light. We need to see a major response by our lads tomorrow.

  35. Looking forward to Cavan match , interesting to see response regardless of who starts , , well done to ballinrobe CS , doesn’t seem like 1999 when they one it first , some serious players that time , Fergal Costello and his brother Donal , tony corcoran , Fergal o loughlin , I was in leaving cert that year , some celebrations in the south mayo town that night

  36. How effective would Kerrys tactics have been in Croke park with a much larger pitch? Tonights game showed we need a rule on accumulation of yellow cards. Kerry fouled as a rule tonight and instigated most of the off the ball stuff. The yellow card without a team based cumulative punishment is no deterrant.
    Can you imagine how bad tonights match would have been with no black card rule in place?

  37. Fair play to Kerry. Feck the cards and fouls ,if that’s what it takes to win then so be it , all I’m saying is at this stage if we need to win ugly then so be it , whatever it takes come championship ,

  38. @kop/Mayo 5, the point I was making was that in the Dublin game we couldn’t even get our hands on the ball around the midfield area especially and if that happens then you have no chance in a game. So I want to see a big improvement in that area against Cavan and in the upcoming games.

  39. I like the look of this team, a nice balance of experienced players, players who are coming back into the team like Harrison and younger players like Loftus, would like to see some younger players coming off the bench too.

  40. Dublin were not allowed to run THROUGH THE MIDDLE tonight against Kerry, as they have done against Mayo. ( like a hot knife through butter) Management would do well to study Kerry,s approach to this, and how they rendered Mc Auley and Fenton largely anonymous. If we could achieve that we would have solved our most basic problem.!!

  41. It was obvious Kerry would be well up for game last night wishing to prevent their record etc. Level at haft time against the wind, lead by 4 at one stage in second half and lead by 2 in injury time and still couldnt beat them. If that was us no doubt we d be labelled chokers. You have to give credit to dubs, not only a fantastic set of players ability wise but also unbelievable character. Anyway the narrative from now will be that kerry can match the dubs while Mayo have fallen down the pecking order. I think I can live with that narrative until the long days of summer kick in and then its time to tear it to shreds.

  42. I watched with interest how Kerry seemed to curtail the Dubs….but just like Tyrone and Donegal games the Dubs found a way. I wasnt at all surprised at the tactic Kerry used which was to systematically foul in Dublins half of the pitch to prevent them building from the back and getting any flow to the game with their strong runners. Imo that’s two games in a row that Dublin have been on the receiving end of the refs bad decisions. Maybe The tide is turning. The amount of high tackles Kerry were let away with was ridiculous. They were the same against us. To today’s match and I would be confident of a win. But I’ve a niggle that we won’t get it all our own way. Maybe that’s just my usual fears kicking in anytime we play. No matter who we play! Hon Mayo!!!

  43. On a slightly different note, I see that Dublin got 9 points from frees out of their total of 13 last night, they seem to get alot of frees in matches, hopefully the refs will cop on to this and not give them too many handy ones.

  44. Re Kerry v Dub, jim Gavin not slow making the changes to try pull the game out of the fire. Narrow pitch also helped Kerry contain Dub attacks. Hopefully we will have a strong bench by end of league campaign. I agree with above mcauley/fenton well contained. How parsons/kirby perform today will be interesting..

  45. Ya gotta hand it to the Dubs now in fairness and I don’t see the Rossies stoppin them break that record and create their own new one next week. Still, and still again, three draws in this year’s league (I know they’re all on the road against good teams) and a drawn all Ireland and an all Ireland by a point last October and again three of their four all Ireland’s by a point……..tight margins. It’s a compliment, but…..

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