We’ve just named our team for Saturday evening’s NFL Division One Round 4 clash with Dublin at Croke Park (throw-in 7pm). Here’s the team we’ve announced:
Mayo (NFL Division One v Dublin 23/2/2019): Robbie Hennelly (Breaffy); Brendan Harrison (Aghamore), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis); Lee Keegan (Westport), Colm Boyle (Davitts), Paddy Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels); Matthew Ruane (Breaffy), Donal Vaughan (Castlebar Mitchels); Fionn McDonagh (Westport), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Ciaran Treacy (Ballina Stephenites); Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen), Brian Reape (Bohola Moy Davitts), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole).
So it’s an even half-dozen changes from the side that started against Cavan in Round 3. Into the starting fifteen come Robbie Hennelly, Brendan Harrison, Colm Boyle, Donal Vaughan, Ciaran Treacy and Brian Reape, while out go David Clarke, Stephen Coen, Michael Plunkett, Diarmuid O’Connor, Evan Regan and Colm Moran.
Seven of the team named for Saturday night’s game also started when we last played Dublin. That was in Round 4 of last year’s League and that night in Castlebar Robbie Hennelly, Ger Cafferkey, Colm Boyle, Lee Keegan, Aidan O’Shea, Andy Moran and Jason Doherty all lined out from the start for us.
The last time we faced Dublin in Croke Park was, of course, the 2017 All-Ireland final. Nine of the players who lined out then – Brendan, Donie, Keith, Lee, Colm, Aidan, Paddy, Jason and Andy – are also named to start for us on Saturday evening, while another, Ger, came on as a sub that fateful day.
Keith Higgins – who is making his 150th senior appearance for the county – captains the team at Croke Park on Saturday night. By coincidence, Keith’s very first senior appearance was also against Dublin, way back in February 2005. That game took place at Parnell Park – I’m almost sure I was at it – and Keith came off the bench in that one to replace David Heaney in the second half.