We’ve just announced details of our first starting line-up in this year’s championship. Here’s the team we’ve named to face Sligo at MacHale Park on Sunday (throw-in 2pm):
Mayo (Connacht SFC quarter-final v Sligo, 21/5/2017): David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites); Chris Barrett (Belmullet), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis); Colm Boyle (Davitts), Lee Keegan (Westport), Paddy Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels); Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy), Tom Parsons (Charlestown Sarsfields); Fergal Boland (Aghamore), Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber), Conor O’Shea (Breaffy); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber), Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen).
It’s seven months and a bit since our last championship outing – the replayed All-Ireland final in early October last year – and the team we’ve named for Sunday Connacht opener shows five changes from then. In come David Clarke, Chris Barrett, Ger Cafferkey (huge welcome back to him), Fergal Boland and Conor O’Shea and out go injured All-Star Brendan Harrison, as well as ‘keeper Robbie Hennelly, Donal Vaughan, Aidan O’Shea and Jason Doherty.
Our last competitive outing was the League clash with Donegal back in early April. Eleven of the team who featured from the start that day also line out on Sunday. Those who started then but aren’t included in the first fifteen this time are Brendan Harrison, Danny Kirby, Shane Nally and David Drake.
Sunday’s team contains one championship debutant, Aghamore’s Fergal Boland. Good on you, Fergie – the very best of luck. Hon the parish and all that.
UPDATE: Sligo have now named their team for Sunday as well and it’s an unchanged one from the side that started against New York a few weeks back. This means that injury doubts Brendan Egan, Pat Hughes and Mark Breheny are all named to start on Sunday. Full details on the Sligo team here.
FURTHER UPDATE: With thanks to KL in the comments, Connacht GAA have published details (here) of both counties’ match-day panels for Sunday. This means our subs’ list for Sunday is as follows: Robbie Hennelly (Breaffy), Caolan Crowe (Garrymore), Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore), Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe), David Drake (Ballaghaderreen), Shane Nally (Garrymore), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole), Evan Regan (Ballina Stephenites), Danny Kirby (Castlebar Mitchells), Conor Loftus (Crossmolina). But, sure, we could have guessed that list anyway.