I’m a bit off the pace at the minute, I have to confess, what with friends being over from London with their four small kids in tow which, when mixed with our three Dubeens, has resulted in a whole pile of kiddie chaos. Little wonder then that there’s been a significant volume of alcohol consumed Chez WJ after the sun’s gone down the last few nights which has meant that I haven’t seen as much of my laptop as I normally would. So it’s Good Friday, I have a bit of a hangover and I’ve just gone online to discover that the teams have already been announced for Sunday.
We’ve made two changes to the starting line-up from the Galway game, with Kevin McLoughlin coming in for Ciaran Conroy at the back and BJP coming in at corner-forward (which, I think, is yet another new position for him). This means that Conor is benched again and although this time I’m not going to bother getting all arsey about it, I do hope that Johnno knows what he’s doing in terms of how he’s handling our top scorer of the 21st century. I can’t see the logic of this decision but as I’ve said, I’m not going to repeat the rant I had about it the last time. All that red wine and cava has mellowed me, I think.
The second major talking point is that he’s decided to risk two of the really key lads on the U21 team, by starting both Kevin McLoughlin and Aidan O’Shea. While I accept that they’re both top lads and deserve to be in the team on current form, I cannot see why both of them are being risked in a match like this when they’ll both be lining out just six days later in the U21 All-Ireland semi-final. Chris Barrett, Colm Boyle and Ciaran Conroy are all named in the subs and, of course, David Heaney, James Nallen and Aidan Higgins are all back in the panel as well so I can’t see why Kevin McLoughlin – who has had injury problems already this year – needs to be risked for this one. Likewise, Barry Moran is fit and available for selection at full-forward and he could certainly do with some game time. I wonder what the Holmes/Connelly/Collins axis think of all this: I suspect they could do with some red wine and cava to mellow them too.
Here’s the team (details of which I got from Club Mayo Dublin) in full:
MAYO (NFL Division 1 v Tyrone, 12/4/2009): David Clarke; Liam O’Malley, Ger Cafferkey, Kevin McLoughlin; Peadar Gardiner, Tom Cunniffe, Andy Moran; Pat Harte, Ronan McGarritty; Mark Ronaldson, Trevor Mortimer, Alan Dillon; Austin O’Malley, Aidan O’Shea, Billy Joe Padden. Subs: Kenneth O’Malley, Colm Boyle, Ciaran Conroy, Chris Barrett, Tom Parsons, Conor Mortimer, Barry Moran, Barry Kelly.
Tyrone, meanwhile, have made seven changes to their line-up. This article in the Indo (which also covers Galway’s selection for their match with Kerry) provides all the detail of who comes in where. Here’s the starting fifteen:
TYRONE (NFL Division 1 v Mayo, 12/4/2009): J Devine; PJ Quinn, C Gormley, D Carlin; D Harte, R McMenamin, P Jordan; K Hughes, E McGinley; J McMahon, B McGuigan, R Mellon; N Gormley, S Cavanagh, O Mulligan.
The major talking point in relation to the Red Hand team is that it features the return to action of that ball-grabbing loon at centre-back. Mind you, Ricey will need to mind his manners at McHale Park as I don’t think that it’d all that advisable for him to start playing with Trev’s testicles.
Right, I think I need to lie down for a while now.