There’s a bit in the Mayo News today on what’s the crack with injuries in the camp. As expected, the jungle drums that reported Ronan’s hamstring injury on Sunday have proved to be correct and in the Mayo News piece, it’s also been confirmed that Trevor’s injury is of the same kind. I may be wrong but I think that this is the first time that this has been confirmed as such though I think that everyone who saw it happen immediately reckoned that this is what it was. Well, it is and so it seems almost certain that neither of the hamstrung duo will be fit to take part in our next match on Sunday week. I suppose that Trevor has a chance of being ready, given that he got to the treatment table a week ahead of Ronan, but realistically it’s difficult to see either of them making it, certainly not for the full 70 minutes.
Of the two, Trevor is clearly – on current form – the bigger loss. Indeed, you could argue that Trevor’s departure from the field the last day cost us the match; it certainly made the job of the Galway backs a whole load easier as the few runs he’d made into their defence before then had caused them all sorts of problems. Ronan, on the other hand, had a poor Connacht campaign. He was downright indifferent against Sligo and was, in my opinion, fortunate not to be hauled off well before the end. While he did well in the second half against Galway, he was totally out of it early on and over the seventy minutes played second fiddle to his junior partner in the middle. While it goes without saying that you don’t want to see any injuries occurring during a championship campaign, I can think of a fair few others I’d be more worried about losing at this juncture than our captain.
On that note, the return to action of Trevor Howley is a huge boost for us. When he got injured in that challenge game against Meath back in May, I immediately felt that this was a hammer blow to our championship preparations – indeed, I said as much at the time. While Padraig Joyce had given Trevor a tough seventy minutes in the league encounter between us in April, on the harder ground at McHale Park the Sunday before last you’d have had to be fairly confident that Joyce wouldn’t have been given the same kind of space that he got from David Heaney. Trevor’s return to the side will undoubtedly strengthen the backline and close down that middle channel that Galway were able to utilise so freely in his absence.
If I had the choice of having just one of this trio available on Sunday week, then it would obviously be the Knockmore man. Indeed, I’d go so far as to say that with Trevor back in contention for a starting place, the team the next day should be stronger than the one fielded against Galway, even with the two lads out.