Six changes as team named to face Dublin

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.

69 thoughts on “Six changes as team named to face Dublin

  1. Maybe Diarmuid is being held in reserve for 2nd half … Fair play to Horan .. Training must be very competitive. Good blend of experience and youth .. Interesting team

  2. Big opportunity for Matthew Ruane,Fionn McDonagh,Ciaran Treacy,Brian Reape to impress against the best team in Ireland. With McLoughlin,C O’Connor,Barrett,D O’Connor to come back into the starting team i’d say 11 of that selected team will start v Dublin again if they happen to meet again this summer.

  3. Don’t see why Diarmuid would be kept in reserve? He hasn’t played many games in midfield at this level so needs the game time.

  4. Hope to see the Oracle, Cillian O’Conolnor in action. Will there be a podcast this week Willy Joe?

  5. I’ll be happy if we finish relatively close to Dublin on Saturday. With 4 newish players starting, to finish within 4 or 5 points of the Dubs would be a great display.
    If we are going to beat the Dubs only once this year I hope it’s later in the year.
    Dublin finished very strong against Kerry and will be roaring out of the blocks Saturday.
    Of course, a mayo win would knock another bit of the invincibility out of Dublin.
    Delighted Ruane is starting. I think this game will be a great learning curve for him.

  6. You won’t be seeing Cillian in action on Saturday, Mayo Are Magic – he’s not near full fitness yet. Better news on the podcast, though: we’ll have the next episode online, featuring the action from Croke Park, at some point on Sunday.

  7. Well balanced team, the changes are solid and lays a nice marker for Dublin to figure out a way to stop us rather than the opposite way.

    As Croker is huge it’s a ideal platform for McDonagh and Treacy like in Healy Park.

    I was confident without seeing the team already, v happy with selection.

    Mayo by a few.

  8. Can’t accuse JH for not going for the W. It’ll be fascinating if there are any changes beforehand. We all saw DOC hobble off two weeks ago as did the dubs. Maybe some gamesmanship if he’s really healthy and gets the start.

    The subs and how they’re used and what Gavin’s going to do make for a helluva chess match.

  9. Was it not the Tyrone game that Diarmuid limped off at the end? He played the full game against Cavan and scored our final point.

  10. Bold selection again from James which personally I like to see at this stage of the season. Great opportunity for the new lads and it will be interesting to see if Caff can repeat his man of the match performance against Cavan against the Dubs to prove it is a permanent return to form!!
    Interesting to see how Robbie goes as he has been solid all year so far. Robbie definitely has a beautiful flighted kickout as opposed to Clarkie’s ugly duckling kicks but in the past when the pressure comes on in big matches those beautiful flighted kicks tend to soar to an opposition player at an alarming rate whereas Clarkies bobble and float to a man in green and red 95% of the time!! Time for Robbie to change that this season for good!! Do this and the keeper debate will be cooled for 2019 anyway!!
    I have a gut feeling the trio of McDonagh, Treacy and Reape might have a night to remember in the wide open spaces and will be all looking forward to Galway next up!!!
    Up Mayo!!

  11. Hope Diarmuid ok to play and being held back for a 2nd half impact. Invaluable experience for Ruane, McDonagh,Treacy & Reape. Would like to see Diskin get some game time also….he needs a chance to get up and running in the national league. What’s the story with O’Donoghue ??

  12. I expect that JH is planning to have a strong bench to unleash in the second half. Eoin O’Donoghue, Stephen Coen, Diarmaid O’Connor, Kevin McLoughlin are all well able to add strength. Fight fire with fire

  13. Do we need to be playing Caff, Zippy and Boyler in the backs? All 32 or older. Surely Eoin o’ Donoghue and Michael Plunkett need more experience and Drake needs some game time.

  14. Interesting team That defence has some experience and some amount of games played. . In contrast we have lots of new guys in the forwards. Would like one or two new fellas sticking up their hands for backs as well. It appears the name of the game is to build a panel so fair play to JH we appear to be doing just that.

  15. Anybody know what is the stoory with James Durcan? He looked very promising last year and, unless he is injured, I am surprised he has not got game time this year.

  16. Acid test for mayo with dubs needing the win. Delighted to see new ones starting. Game will give us a good insight into how they are progressing. And we have the three steely amigos at half back
    Game will also throw some light on what strength we have in depth.
    Will also be a measure of Horan as a manager so it’s all good
    Dubs not going to learn much from game on the other hand so a lot to look forward to.

  17. It’s a great opportunity to get a win since 2012 against the dubs. Alot of our games against them we’ve contributed to their wins. Own goals and the likes.

    We are flying fit and top of the table so really there should be other to fear. As we all know in big games, they’ve won helped by ourselves.

    So a bit more concentration on Saturday night will lead to good decision making, will lead to two points on the board.

    As regards the newbies in croker against the dubs, why wouldn’t they perform appropriately. Evidence so far suggest they can. Before Tyrone everyone was weary, we beat them of course and sure Tyrone “played badly”. I settle for the comments afterward suggesting Dublin “played badly”. Really, there is nothing to fear Saturday night except US kicking it wide in front of an open goal.

    We know Dublin well and we owe them!!

  18. I’d say Barrett Diarmuid will start.
    I’d imagine Ruane will go to 12 Tracey drop out.
    Barrett in full with caff dropping out.
    Before people say I’m Caffist it’s my opinion and despite his great game against Cavan there’s not one part of me that feel he could mark mannion Andrews Kilkenny or any of the Dubs forwards(rock included)

  19. He hasn’t made many alterations to the teams named to date and appears to be picking players on performance. It’s been a problem for us for years where we have named to strong a team to start and left nothing in reserve for the second half. We need to be trying out this balancing act at every opportunity we get. We know what Diarmuid can do.. if Ruane can win his battle then we are in a very strong position with DOC going into the home. I like his thinking.. it’s the way we need to be thinking.. strength and depth and experience.

  20. Outside of the Boot – Barrett hasn’t played all year but you’d start him in this game? I would say that’s a much bigger risk than playing Caff.

    I think Ger would do fine on Rock or Andrews. Of course with Dublin there’s a chance neither will start… I can’t think of any back that could mark Mannion comfortably.

  21. Nice team named there by JH. Really looking forward to the match ups.
    On a side note, what’s the best option for parking from about 4.30 to 9.00 pm???

  22. Decent blend of experience and youth. Wouldn’t be surprised if there’s one or two changes but at the same time I’d like to see a few of the kids start. We need some cover around the middle so it’s time Ruane got some minutes.

    One standout for me is that we have already seen to be developing a strong bench. There are lots of options there, and with the likes of C O’Connor and Hanley yet to come back.

  23. Hilly Bits – it depends how much walking you’re prepared to do. If you’re okay to walk 20-25 minutes then there are plenty of on-street options. For example, coming in off the M1, on or around Home Farm Road would be good and it’s straight back out the airport road to the motorway from there. The closer you come into Croke Park itself then the more snarled up it’ll get (they’re expecting 30k there tomorrow night, by all accounts) but there’s parking close by the stadium at Clonliffe College and also the other side, off the North Circular Road, at O’Connell’s Boys School (details here). A further option would be to use one of the multi-storey car parks in town (e.g. Parnell Street) but, to be honest, if you’re prepared to walk from there you’d be as well to trying the on-street options I mentioned at the top.

  24. Hilly Bits! Whitehall Church car park at the top of Drumcondra. You could park there it’s just off the M1. Buses stop outside the carpark 1, 16, 41 33 and across the junction the 44. All these buses stop at Quinns pub.

    It’s just another option. That car park is open 24/7

  25. Thanks, Kickhams Man – I’d forgotten that one. Hilly Bits – if you’re thinking of using this option come in off the motorway as far as the lights at the Collins Avenue (i.e. past the Port Tunnel entrance, under the Santry underpass and past Whitehall church on the left), then turn left at the lights onto Collins Avenue and left again almost straight away into the carpark.

  26. I’m genuinely amazed that there is a Mayo person who needs directions to Croke Park. Most of the county knows Drumcondra better than Bertie Ahern at this stage.

  27. That’s an old backline. I’m hoping JH revises his selection before Saturday night. If he’s serious about using Coen, O’Donoghue or Plunkett come summer, then they need to experience Croke Park and the Dubs.

    Better balance in both midfield and the forwards: half old, half new.

  28. Dublin are missing quite a few strong defenders or defenders who were getting close to being established. Cian OSullivan still out, John Small suspended, Eric Lowndes out injured, Philly McMahon hasn’t featured yet andJack Mccaffrey hasn’t featured yet. John Small is a huge loss as he defends well against teams trying to come down the centre.
    We should be aiming to finish this game stronger than them coming down the stretch. We’ve way more work done and we have a stronger bench for once.

  29. Pace is the name of the game against Dublin, without it, they will spreadeagle us and setup countless overlaps. The team selected pays homage to that fact and should enable us to go head-to-head.

  30. Hi Hilly Bits….I usually park on Dorset St just down from Tom Mayes pub. Never had any problems and it’s only 10 mins up to Croker.

    Kind Regards
    Martin the Dub

  31. If Mayo win connacht and dublin win leinster that means that Mayo and dublin will be in the same group for the super 8s. So we need to lay down marker for later on i the summer.

  32. Hey Liam
    Not looking for directions to Croker just somewhere to park the Zetor!!
    Need somewhere handy and facing for home….mass in the morning and all that.
    These night games in the city has upset the routine?

  33. Excited about tomorrows game! Great to be back in croke park. What an inspiration Tom P. is- the video of him working out made my day.

  34. Hilly Bits,
    You should be able to get on street parking handy enough on some of the roads off Philips burgh Avenue too – one end brings you very close to Ballybough and the other to Griffith Avenue and to / from the M50

  35. You can park the Zetor anywhere Hilly, they won’t be able get the clamp around the wheels. You’d want to be heading off shortly though..

  36. Clamps work just fine on the front wheel of Zetors, best not chance it.

    Homefarm road is the safest bet for parking, I would say. Gives you options out of the city – via Ballymun road or up through Whitehall.

  37. Yes, its great to see that Parsons is making progress with his injury!

    The problem tomorrow night is 3-fold: (I) Dublin will be desperate to win to stay in contention for a final place and exact revenge on Kerry (2) if they lose they’ll be in a relegation battle and (3) They’ll want to keep us ‘down’. That makes them dangerous opponents to say the least and they’re 3 to 1 on with the bookies (we’re 3/1….perhaps we shouldn’t bother turning up).

    I don’t believe the team named will start. In particular, I’m sure DOC will start instead of Ruane. I’d also be concerned about a lack of pace in the FB line. For what its worth, the man that did the most damage to us in the 2017 final was Mannion in the second half…..he destroyed Harrison!

    I see where we’ve rowed in behind Donegal, Galway and Cork in attempting to include a motion that teams can’t select CP as their ‘home’ venue for the Super 8s (obviously to prevent Dublin from playing two games there during the Super 8s). Sean Kelly says that he did-agrees because Dublin shouldn’t be punished for its success and its all about ‘maximizing resources’ i.e. wrong to play the game in Parnell Park or wherever.

    Could someone please tell Mr Kelly that the point isn’t about ‘maximizing resources’ but instead is about ensuring a level playing field for all competitors so as not to impugn the integrity of the AL competition?

    The GAA maximizes CP very well thank you through tours, conferences, concerts etc………….the line must be drawn to ensure fairness for all in respect of our competitions.

  38. Sorry Liam, that was meant to be a LIKE on your earlier comment on Mayo fans knowing Drumcondra better than Bertie Ahern, but the emoticon doesn’t work.

  39. Really looking forward to this game and see how your young lads perform in Croker against da dubs.

    For all the giving out Mayo and Dublin fans do about each other I think it’s the game both sides look forward to most.

  40. Really delighted to See Tom back to that level of mobility again not just for football sake but for life sake.. because there is life after football and injuries of that nature can impact on a persons well being into the future. Like others i got footage of Tom’s injury sent to me at the time, again from people who should know better, and I wish I had never seen it and I remember thinking this guy will be lucky to ever walk again never mind play football. Footage like that really does lift the spirits. Well done big T

  41. Other than Finnerty’s place in Salthill, can anyone recommend a Mayo friendly bar in Galway to watch game?

  42. Does anybody really think that preventing Dublin from playing two Super8 games in Croke Park makes the slightest bit of difference towards creating a level playing field for all competitors??? The AI Championship is deeply riddled with unfairness, in varying forms, across all provinces. Preventing the GAA from permitting Dublin nominate CP as home venue will make pretty much zero difference to this.
    If the motion is passed (surely it won’t be) then I’m sure there’ll be some satisfaction among the sponsor counties … which will last right up to the point where one of them is handed a Super8 game against Dublin in Parnell Pk. Daft.

    That to one side, there is a nice bit of excitement building about the game tomorrow.
    I think if Mayo have the heads right and attack this game with real belief then we *might* see a surprise result.
    Although supporting Dublin, I’m fascinated to see what kind of performance Mayo produce and whether JH Mk II is really bringing something new.
    But overall, I’m inclined to think Kerry’s driven performance two weeks ago hasn’t done Mayo any favours and Dublin will come out on top.

  43. Loreto Road – IMO Dublin should be allowed play their “home” super 8 game wherever they like (Croke Park makes the most sense). It should be the neutral round that is moved outside Croker.

    However that would be a much more difficult motion to pass as Croke Park is the national stadium and not owned by Dublin GAA. It was built as a neutral ground but when one team plays all home games there it’s not really.

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